'The Mandalorian': Is Luke Skywalker's Appearance Really a Malicious Imposter?

In season 2, The Mandalorian continued to follow Din Djarin (Pedro Pascal) — aka Mando — on his bounty hunter travels. And it introduced some new characters. While one of those characters was new to the Disney+ series, he’s a stalwart of Star Wars lore. And his sudden appearance shocked viewers in the season 2 finale. Now, a new fan theory is claiming Luke Skywalker’s appearance might be taking a page from the Dark Side.

‘The Mandalorian’ Season 2 finale brings back a familiar face

In The Mandalorian‘s season 2 finale, titled “Chapter 16: The Rescue,” Mando encounters the Dark Troopers, and things are looking grim for him. But in a big twist, the Dark Troopers are defeated by none other than Luke Skywalker.

According to Rolling Stone, it was “an emotional conclusion that marks a high point for the series.” The magazine also praised it for reaching “back into Star Wars lore.”

How did Luke Skywalker appear in the season 2 finale?

In the finale, you’re led to believe Mando’s journey is coming to a positive conclusion. But things take a turn when the Dark Troopers attack. Thankfully, an iconic X-Wing fighter shows up at just the right time. Out comes a cloaked character with a telltale green lightsaber: It’s Luke Skywalker himself, played by the original Mark Hamill.

Weapon in hand, and digitally restored to a more youthful appearance, Skywalker makes quick work of the troopers and saves the day. Many fans were excited not only by his heroic moment, but also by the way the show tied iconic characters and moments together, such as Skywalker meeting The Mandalorian‘s Grogu (aka Baby Yoda).

“Grogu is us, as children, seeing Star Wars for the first time, gasping at the idea of an all-powerful Force that binds the universe and makes everything better,” Rolling Stone says. “He reaches a tiny hand towards the screen not only because he and Luke are linked by their powers, but because what he’s seeing is, literally, awesome, and he wants to get closer to it

A fan theory suggests Luke Skywalker in ‘The Mandalorian’ is hiding a secret

For all intents and purposes, the season 2 finale of The Mandalorian was neat and tidy. And it tied the modern show back to original Star Wars characters that audiences have loved for generations. But what if this throwback to Star Wars canon holds more truth than current fans realize? That’s the idea behind one fan theory currently going viral across the Internet.

Ryan Britt, writing for Inverse, proposes a unique idea: The Luke Skywalker we saw in The Mandalorian might not actually be Luke Skywalker. He might instead be a malicious clone of the Star Wars hero.

“With The Mandalorian rebooting so much old-school Legends canon, the prospect of a Skywalker imposter’s suddenly a lot more plausible,” Britt says. He points to the Star Wars graphic novel series Dark Empire, where Luke and Leia do battle with Emperor Palpatine’s clone. Plus, there’s the time Luke and Mara Jade battled a clone of Luke Skywalker in the book The Last Command

Hamill has even come out in favor of this idea. “Not only could you get to play your evil twin, but what a great idea that you bring Luke back, and the audience starts noticing him undermining the heroes, cutting their fuel supply inexplicably, maybe even killing one of the supporting characters,” he said in an interview with SFX magazine (via GamesRadar). “It would be so mindboggling, and then of course the real Luke shows up and that mystery is solved.”

Only time will tell if The Mandalorian will take audiences down such a surprising twist. Disney+ hasn’t announced a release date for season 3 of The Mandalorian yet. But based on current production schedules, it will likely come out in 2022.

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