Spoilers below for The Mandalorian's franchise-expanding Season 2 finale below, so be warned!
In the same way that Jon Favreau's The Mandalorian blew fans' minds with its completely unexpected Baby Yoda reveal in Season 1, the hugely popular Disney+ series struck Star Wars gold by capping off Season 2 with a bonkers cameo from none other than Luke Skywalker. It was quite the emotional appearance, too, since Luke's arrival essentially happened to that he could take Baby Yoda away from Mando for training purposes. Of all the emotions that Favreau was feeling throughout the process, "fear" was definitely a strong one.
Luke Skywalker's return for The Mandalorian required some major technical wizardry from from the teams who also crafted younger versions of Carrie Fisher and Peter Cushing for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. But pulling off the visual magic wasn't the only thing Jon Favreau was worried about, as he was also extremely nervous about keeping Luke's cameo hidden from the spoiler-seeking fanbase. During his appearance on Good Morning America, Favreau explained the additional caution that came with this iconic TV sequence, saying:
It was very tricky, because it’s very hard to keep a secret nowadays. There are so many people involved with the process. Every piece of casting leaked, so we were so scared, right up until it aired, that our surprise cameo was going to leak, too.
To be fair, Jon Favreau was 100% justified in being stressed out about keeping all things Mark Hamill and Luke Skywalker on the hush-hush. After all, the other biggest surprise Season 2 character debuts had been spoiled by rumors and set reports, from Rosario Dawson's Ahsoka Tano to Katee Sackhoff's Bo-Katan. At least Bill Burr tried flat-out lying in the past about not returning to The Mandalorian, even though his criminal Mayfield did return for the chuckle-worthy Chapter 15.
Still, Jon Favreau likely had a bit of confidence deriving from Temuera Morrison debut as Boba Fett taking some fans by surprise. Even after he first appeared at the end of the Season 2 premiere, no one was quite sure when he'd return, nor that he would be accompanied by Ming-Na Wen reprising the role of the thought-dead assassin Fennec Shand. Keeping that secret mostly intact is definitely a success, considering all that led into the finale's post-credits sequence that introduced the long-rumored Book of Boba Fett spinoff.
Of all the cameos likely to get leaked out to the public, one of the biggest Star Wars characters in the entire franchise certainly seemed like the best candidate. But thankfully, Jon Favreau and his creative team managed to keep a lid on the Jedi's arrival all the way through to the episode's debut. Granted, fans had suspicions that he would possibly be the Jedi master who would be responsible for training Baby Yoda, but before Season 2's finale aired, those suspicions seemed like the loftiest of pipe dreams. Thank goodness Mark Hamill didn't start making cryptic tweets BEFORE that day.
The Mandalorian is now done with Season 2, but Jon Favreau did confirm that Season 3 is definitely on the way with Pedro Pascal back in the helmet as Mando, and it will go into production at some point soon after The Book of Boba Fett has completed filming. Does this mean we won't be getting Season 3 until late 2022, or will Disney+ aim to change up that Fall/Winter release pattern for something earlier?