It's hard for Mark Hamill to be sneaky in the Star Wars universe. After all, the nine movies in the Skywalker saga are named for his galactically famous, Force-sensitive family line. But unbeknownst to everyone who watched Season 1 of The Mandalorian, Hamill managed to steal a secret cameo appearance that took him all the way back to his earliest desert haunts.
Revealed as part of the behind-the-scenes talk in Disney Gallery: The Mandalorian (also available on Disney+), Hamill's hideaway moment comes in "Chapter 5: The Gunslinger," the fifth episode of Season 1. When Din Djarin (Pedro Pascal) drops in on Tatooine to repair the Razor Crest, he stops by the Mos Eisley cantina (just as we'd do if we were in the area).
Greeting the Mandalorian from behind the bar is a familiar-looking droid: EV-9D9, who in Return of the Jedi served Jabba the Hutt as a maintenance droid in charge of Jabba's robot servants. (To jog your memory, EV-9D9 is the one who cuts C-3PO short when they first meet, telling him "Yes or no will do," while sassing R2-D2 with "You're a feisty little one, but you'll soon learn some respect.") And voicing EV-9D9 for The Mandalorian, said series creator Jon Favreau, is none other than Hamill himself.
Favreau explained that, with Jabba long gone and the Empire destroyed, it turns out the no-nonsense ‘bot ended up across the sands on his home planet, landing a second career as a Mos Eisley drink slinger. Hamill doesn't get many lines as EV-9D9 — "Unfortunately, the bounty guild no longer operates on Tatooine," he tells the Mandalorian from behind the bar — but the droid's presence is an interesting twist on how things have changed on Tatooine since the events of the original Star Wars trilogy.
In Star Wars: A New Hope, the very human bartender makes a big deal out of Luke bringing R2-D2 and C-3PO into the bar ("We don't serve their kind here!" he barks). But only a few years later (at least in Star Wars time), the same bar doesn't just allow robots inside; it's actually run by them. Hamill's EV unit isn't even the only one behind the bar, so what changed?
The creative team don't say in their behind-the-scenes talk, though they do point out they intentionally made the switch just for The Mandalorian. Maybe some of that independent droid spirit from Lando's L3-37 companion (voiced by Phoebe Waller-Bridge) in Solo: A Star Wars Story ended up starting a robot revolution after all.