When 25-year-old Mark Hamill was cast in George Lucas’s Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope (1977), he could never have known what the Star Wars franchise would become. Alongside Carrie Fisher (Princess Leia Organa) and Harrison Ford (Han Solo), Hamill skyrocketed to stardom, ultimately turning into a pop culture icon.
Hamill has played the role of Luke Skywalker for over 40 years, most recently appearing in Disney’s sequel trilogy, primarily in Star Wars: Episode VIII – The Last Jedi (2017), though he also made cameos in both Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens (2015) and Star Wars: Episode IX – The Rise of Skywalker (2019).
Then, in December 2020, the iconic Jedi Knight triumphantly returned to the Star Wars story in The Mandalorian Season 2 finale episode (“Chapter 16: The Rescue”). Skywalker swooped in with his X-wing to to rescue titular bounty hunter Din Djarin (Pedro Pascal), Grogu (AKA “Baby Yoda”), Cara Dune (Gina Carano), Bo-Katan Kryze (Katee Sackhoff), Koska Reeves (Sasha Banks), and Fennec Shand (Ming-Na Wen) from certain doom onboard Moff Gideon’s (Giancarlo Esposito) Imperial starcruiser.
The catch? Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni’s hit series takes place about five years after Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi (1983), meaning a body double and CGI technology were used to bring young Hamill back to life, in a way.
After last week’s Filoni-directed episode that also saw Cobb Vanth (Timothy Olyphant), Din Djarin (Pedro Pascal), Ahsoka Tano (Rosario Dawson), R2-D2, and — at long last — Cad Bane (Corey Burton) all appear, some Star Wars fans noticed that Hamill’s Mandalorian body double, Max Lloyd Jones, wasn’t in the credits.
Now, Hamill’s new Luke Skywalker replacement, Graham Hamilton, has spoken out about his Star Wars role on social media.
Hamilton took to Instagram to write a lengthy thank you post, which you can read in full below:
What can I say.
Co-creating #LukeSkywalker for @thebookofbobafett with master @hamillhimself was one of the most magical and fulfilling creative experiences of my life. Deep gratitude to @dave.filoni and @jonfavreau for bringing me into the family and to all the geniuses @starwars + @lucasfilms who remind us of the power of myth, and the deep responsibility of artists who bring these archetypes to life. It’s hard to express what this all meant for me, how unimaginably moving it was and still is.
The 5 year old kid who sat night after night in a basement in Missoula MT watching #StarWars is living his best life. The highlights are endless but here are few:
Playing everyday w. #Grogu
Geeking out w. @rosariodawson
Lightsaber training with @lateefcrowderdossantos
Wigging the Lukealike w. @hairdepartmentetc
Listening to all of Mark’s incredible stories
Introducing Luke’s Jedi Training threads w. @trpcic
Grogu fist-bump that MADE THE FINAL CUT!
Meditating between setups
Trailer laughs w. @sabswilson + @momeinhart
Dressing w. @merryberrydesigns
Discovering the Force
Coming home to @raleighveronica + Maeve
Waking each morning to live in a dream
Becoming a Jedi
I am humbled beyond words and forever grateful to all the incredible artists who welcomed me on this journey. Thank you thank you thank you. May the Force be with us all, always.
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At this time, it not known if Hamilton will play Skywalker in future appearances — such as in the rumored Luke Skywalker and Grogu series that may or may not come to fruition — or if the legendary Star Wars character will be officially recast, perhaps with Marvel Cinematic Universe star Sebastian Stan, who bears an uncanny resemblance to Hamill when he was young.
Both Stan and Hamill have previously weighed in on the possibility, with Hamill specifically noting that he has no say when it comes to Lucasfilm casting decisions, no matter how good of a fit he might personally find Stan.
What do you think about Mark Hamill’s new Luke Skywalker replacement?