Star Wars: Rogue One May Bring Back A Key Character With CGI Magic

Star Wars fans will forever remember Peter Cushing for his role as Grand Moff Tarkin in George Lucas' 1977 classic - and while the actor may have passed away back in 1994, apparently that may not stop him from reprising the part. That's because a new rumor is going saying that director Gareth Edwards is planning to create an entirely CGI version of the character for his upcoming Star Wars: Rogue One.

This story comes to us from the folks over at The Daily Mail (and should probably be taken with a grain of salt). According to an anonymous source, Grand Moff Tarkin will reportedly play a significant part in the plot of Star Wars: Rogue One, and that the process is one of the "most complex and costly CGI re-creations ever." No explicit details are given about how exactly the character will fit into the plot, but the source offers that it's a significant role "as he was the one to create Darth Vader." (It should be noted that this isn't actually part of the established canon, and could be proof that the news is spurious).

In case it isn't clear, we have some serious doubts about this story, but the source does offer up an interesting detail concerning what makes the process of creating a CGI Grand Moff Tarkin so complicated. During the filming of the original Star Wars, Peter Cushing found the boots worn by Imperial commanders to be incredibly uncomfortable, and got permission from George Lucas to just wear slippers on set. As a result, there's a limited amount of footage featuring Tarkin's feet, and this has reportedly necessitated the visual effects team on Star Wars: Rogue One to look back at Cushing's long film history in order to make sure the recreation is entirely realistic. If it were me, I would just make it so that his feet don't appear in any shots - partially as an ode to Cushing's performance - and, honestly, that could very well be more evidence against this accuracy of this report.

Described as a gritty war movie - in juxtaposition with the more standard space opera approach - Star Wars: Rogue One will be set in the time just before the events in Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope, and follow the squadron sent in to steal the plans for the original Death Star. It is unknown at this time if there will be any familiar characters featured in the movie, but the impressive cast includes Felicity Jones, Diego Luna, Riz Ahmed, Ben Mendelsohn, Donnie Yen, Jiang Wen, Forest Whitaker, Mads Mikkelsen and Alan Tudyk.

Production has actually already begun on Star Wars: Rogue One, with the film targeting a release date in December 2016. We'll just have to wait and see if it includes a CGI Peter Cushing.

Eric Eisenberg
Assistant Managing Editor

Eric Eisenberg is the Assistant Managing Editor at CinemaBlend. After graduating Boston University and earning a bachelor’s degree in journalism, he took a part-time job as a staff writer for CinemaBlend, and after six months was offered the opportunity to move to Los Angeles and take on a newly created West Coast Editor position. Over a decade later, he's continuing to advance his interests and expertise. In addition to conducting filmmaker interviews and contributing to the news and feature content of the site, Eric also oversees the Movie Reviews section, writes the the weekend box office report (published Sundays), and is the site's resident Stephen King expert. He has two King-related columns.