Fennec Shand (Ming-Na Wen) gives direction on The Mandalorian (2020)

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For fans, watching Star Wars can be an incredible experience but, for the cast and crew, that feeling is only amplified. Being able to say that you’re a part of the galaxy far, far away is certainly a treat, and one that's likely even more special if you grew up with the franchise. Ming-Na Wen, who plays Fennec Shand on both The Mandalorian and Star Wars: The Bad Batch, falls into this category. As a part of the franchise, Wen has had plenty of cool moments, but the one that seems to have been the most visceral for her was the Season 2 finale, which brought in Luke Skywalker.

When Mark Hamill’s Luke Skywalker arrived to take young Grogu at the end of The Mandalorian’s second season finale, fans were hyped, to say the least. Ming-Na Wen reflected on what it was like to have been on set to film such an important scene:

To be in a scene where Luke Skywalker has one of the most – I mean, it made fans lose their minds. It was so, so good. Part of me is still reeling about it. It doesn't feel like it's my life, in a way, because I'm living my fantasy, to be in a scene with Mark, with Luke Skywalker. It's just beyond belief.

Ming-Na Wen’s sentiments to Digital Spy pretty much sum up how just about any fan would feel about such an extraordinary situation. Like many of us, Wen found a bit of a kindred spirit in the Luke Skywalker character when she was growing up and, in the same interview, she expanded on her love for the Tatooine farm boy-turned-Jedi:

As a kid, I grew up in a very white suburban neighbourhood. I was one of maybe two or three Asians there. I always felt like an outsider and didn't fit in. Star Wars, when it came along… I connected so much with Luke Skywalker, especially that double sunset binary scene – when he's looking out at the sunset, wondering what he's going to do with his life; if he's going to be able to follow his dreams. So that has stayed with me forever, that image.

Many of us can likely remember the first time we ever saw Luke Skywalker look out into the distance, wishfully eyeing those twin suns. It’s beautiful to hear Ming-Na Wen reflecting on her own love for the character and how his feelings of uncertainty matched her own.

Filming that actual scene on The Mandalorian wasn’t the end of Ming-Na Wen’s Luke Skywalker experience, either. After the episode aired, she and Mark Hamill had a sweet exchange over social media. Now, if that’s not surreal, I don’t know what is.

And of course, this is only the beginning of Ming-Na Wen’s Star Wars journey, as she’s set to reprise the role of Fennec Shand in a larger capacity in the upcoming Mandalorian spinoff, The Book of Boba Fett. That show is set to hit later this year on Disney+, which you can sign up for using this link.

It’s hard to feel joy when seeing Ming-Na Wen live out her Star Wars dreams, and she’s certainly crushing it on screen. Here’s to many more years of her living it up in George Lucas’ beloved world!

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