The latest episode of The Mandalorian, aptly titled “The Tragedy” was one crazy ride, right? We got Boba Fett’s confirmed arrival, another blast from the past, Mando suffering a double loss, and the much-needed intel on what the Empire is up to. But this new chapter in the adventures of Mando and Baby Yoda is shaping up to be a gift that keeps giving as an interestingly plausible fan theory suggests that it offers a logical reason for a rather unnecessary scene in Star Wars: The Rise of the Skywalker while setting the stage for the fan-predicted arrival of Luke Skywalker in The Mandalorian.
[Spoilers ahead of The Mandalorian Season 2 Episode 6, “The Tragedy”]
Chapter 14, directed by Robert Rodriguez, had Mando finally following Ahsoka Tano’s advice back in “The Jedi,” wherein she had told the harried bounty hunter that she can’t train Baby Yoda a.k.a. Grogu. After hinting that she sees a certain affinity for the Dark Side of the Force in him (side effects of which the Star Wars fans are already aware of), she assigned Mando a new mission- take Grogu to the planet Tython and place him on the “magic stone.” This was to send a universe-wide notification to every Jedi who is alive, in hopes that someone will come along to train Baby Yoda.&
While “The Tragedy” went massively astray for Mando and his plans to unite Grogu with a Jedi, what concerns us for the sake of the theory mentioned above is the point where the Mandalorian does manage to reach the Jedi Temple and place Grogu on the stone. Almost instantly, the little guy had gone into a deep trance-like state while a blue shield of Force surrounded him, stopping even Mando from forcibly whisking him away to safety when danger came knocking.&
A fan theory claims Grogu’s meditative stupor is connected to The Rise of Skywalker
In many ways, The Rise of the Skywalker was all over the place, dividing left and right. What contributed heavily to the massive debates about its (lack of) cohesive storytelling was an out-of-the-blue flashback featuring a poorly de-aged Carrie Fisher and Mark Hamill as Leia and Luke Skywalker. Mostly narrated by the Force Spirit of Luke, the flashback included the revelation that Leia had been training to become a Jedi and was about to finish the last step, with her brother as her mentor.&
But suddenly, the barely-20-second-long scene took a considerable pause after Leia threw Luke to the ground. First, Luke paused and removed his helmet with a dumbfounded expression, followed by Leia who too had frozen mid-training with a similar shell-shocked reaction. Ghost Luke explained to Rey that Leia had seen a vision of her son Ben Solo dying if she completes her Jedi training and thus decided to give up her lightsaber.&
While it was a last-minute solution to Fisher’s sudden sad demise, the argument as to why Leia just dropped the idea of completing her training sounded rather off and hollow to Star Wars fans. Whether it was because the original story that was planned before the actor’s death never happened or maybe because the out-of-the-blue scene lacked the build-up that would have lent it some depth, the flashback just felt unnecessary. Or at least it did, until a recent fan theory by TikTok user, midwestavenger, theorized how it is closely connected to Baby Yoda.&
The Luke Skywalker-Baby Yoda connection
The theory focuses on the pause Luke and Leia took in the scene and suggests that the reason behind their dumbstruck expression was because Grogu’s had Force-connected with them from the seeing stone he was meditating on in Tython. Thus, it is Luke who has sensed Baby Yoda’s presence.&
Jon Favreau has earlier clarified that The Mandalorian is set five years after the fall of the Empire in Episode VI: Return of the Jedi. Judging by the Star Wars timeline, the flashback scene in The Rise of the Skywalker also happens after the events of Return of the Jedi. So, if the Jedi Grogu presumably connected to is indeed Luke Skywalker then the Disney+ series wouldn’t have to shuffle much about his history as details about what he had been up to before The Force Awakens are rather sparse. Him being Grogu’s Jedi master could fit right in!
If this dream does come true, chances are that the character will be recast as while de-ageing Mark Hamill as a young Luke Skywalker for a short flashback is feasible, using the expensive and typical process for his hopefully larger role in The Mandalorian would be a bad idea. There is also the fact that the 69-year-old actor has himself confirmed in a chat with Entertainment Weekly that the Star Wars‘ ship has sailed for him and he “can’t imagine” his possible return to the franchise.&
But if The Mandalorian makers do decide to bring back Luke, they won’t have to look far as fans have already chosen the perfect candidate- Sebastian Stan. And what’s more, in a 2018 interview with Variety, Hamill had given his blessings to the Marvel’s star to reprise him in future appearances of a younger version of his character. There is yet to be a solid hint that Luke is the one who will mentor Baby Yoda and perhaps include him in his Jedi Academy. But if it is him, imagine how perfect it will- he was trained by the legendary Jedi master Yoda and he, in turn, will train Baby Yoda! You can check out the interesting theory here.