Luke’s cameo is without a doubt the biggest reveal “The Mandalorian” has done to date, and you could even argue it’s bigger than anything the sequel trilogy did, so it makes sense that there were some discussions about bringing the Jedi master back.
In an interview with Empire for the magazine’s April 2023 issue, “The Mandalorian” producer Dave Filoni talked about making the decision to have Luke appear in the show. Unsurprisingly, Filoni thought of Ahsoka, but explained that “she can’t take this kid on. That’s just not what I have planned.” Even when the idea of Luke came about, it wasn’t as simple as just plopping him into the show. “[He’s] this iconic character who’s the center of the whole thing from when we were kids,” Filoni said, “and if you want to bring that character in, you make sure that there’s a good purpose behind it.”
In the end, they did land on Luke, but not without reason. As Filoni explained:
“In this time period, he is the Jedi, he is the one person carrying on the legacy of what it means to be a Jedi, and perhaps improving on or having a new perspective on what it means to be a Jedi, compared to the prequel Jedi. And so he’s seeking out students, building a new Jedi Order. So Luke finding Grogu made the most sense.”
So, there you have it. Those who thought it was simple fan service, well, they aren’t incorrect. But according to Filoni, the real character they brought back to please fans (more specifically, “The Mandalorian” creator Jon Favreau) had a bit more circuits in their body. “I told Jon, ‘What’s exciting is if we get Luke, we probably get R2,'” Filoni shared. “And Jon lit up. He loves R2.”