“Help us, Sebastian Stan! You are our only hope,” some fans say. But when confronted with the notion of the actor playing Luke Skywalker, other fans say, “He’ll never join us!”
Stan already has strong connections to the fan community via his role as Bucky Barnes/The Winter Soldier in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but that hardly makes Stan a slam dunk in the galaxy far, far away.
Too many questions linger, not the least of which are whether Luke will make any more appearances in a Star Wars series, to say nothing of whether he gets own series.
Should we even see more of Luke in Star Wars?
Fans around the world cheered so vociferously when Luke Skywalker appeared in the final episode of Season 2 of The Mandalorian, that a clamor for more Luke began immediately. If he couldn’t appear in his very own series, he could appear in one of several new Star Wars shows that Disney has announced.
If nothing else, it’s certainly logical for him to appear again in The Mandalorian so he can continue or conclude his story arc with Baby Yoda/Grogu.
And even if Luke is to reappear, how would they do it going forward? His appearance in The Mandalorian was achieved through a combination of a body double and de-aging CGI for Mark Hamill. That might be fine for a few minutes of screen time, but for an extended role across several episodes, it might be more practical and less costly to cast somebody new in the part.
At the same time, some fans cling tightly to nostalgia, and the idea of anyone else as Luke doesn’t sit well with those fans. For better or worse, a legend has grown up around Luke, and Mark Hamill is inextricably tied to the character.
The case against Sebastian Stan as Luke
On Reddit, a fan stated, “I personally don’t care for unnecessary recasts, so I’m opposed to Sebastian Stan playing Luke. And, sure, he’s got a passing facial resemblance to Mark Hamill, but he’s significantly taller, he sounds nothing like Mark Hamill, and ya know, Hamill can still do it. I’d be the first to admit that the CGI was a little wonky on Luke in The Mandalorian (it looked good enough for the amount of time it was onscreen), but the potential for de-aging is there.”
One fan argued that de-aging might be less of a problem if we see Luke when he’s older – further beyond Return of the Jedi but not quite up to the time when Luke goes off the grid. That person wrote, “Mark isn’t in the same physical shape as he was at that time, so he can’t really pass for a de-aged Luke (without CGI). That said, I don’t see any reason why they couldn’t de-age Hamill to his appearance in the mid-90s for a future appearance/show. That would move the timeline, but it would still be a decade or so prior to the sequel trilogy.”
Besides all that, Hamill himself has stated how delighted he was to work on The Mandalorian. He had already voiced a non-Luke character, a droid in season 1, so he has already established a relationship with the people running that show. Still, the question remains – do fans want Luke back so badly that they want him for more than just a cameo? If so, a recast might be in order.
The case for Sebastian Stan as Luke
The simplest case for casting Sebastian Stan as Luke comes through a Google search, which shows several side-by-side comparisons between Stan and a young Mark Hamill. While Stan isn’t a dead ringer for Hamill, it could be argued there’s more than a passing resemblance.
As much as fans are tied to Hamill, there was some support for a recast on Reddit as well. One said, “If there’s going to be a young to middle age Luke he’s going to have to be recast. Mark Hamill is just too old to do the very athletic kinds of things they’re going to ask of him.”
Besides, there’s precedent for recasting Original Trilogy characters. Alden Ehrenreich played young Han Solo in Solo: A Star Wars Story. Granted, that movie performed poorly at the box office for a Star Wars movie, but Ehrenreich didn’t take all that blame, and Harrison Ford has not been so eager to attach himself to Star Wars. If Luke is to put in an extended appearance, or get his own series, fans might just have to get used to a literal new face.
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