Warning: Spoilers ahead for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, turn back now unless you have actually seen the latest Star Wars film!
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story does so many things correctly, but one of its greatest achievements is its depiction of Peter Cushing as Grand Moff Tarkin. This is particularly notable because Cushing died in 1994 -- but that didn't stop the Star Wars spin-off from making him a commanding presence in the story. The CGI Tarkin represents a significant moment in the history of the Star Wars franchise, and a new video has surfaced online highlighting the process of making him a reality. Check it out below to see the technical wizardry in action for yourself.
That video provides a quick but telling glimpse into the resurrection process for Grand Moff Tarkin. The shot begins with an actor portraying the character (an actor, I might add, who already bears a striking resemblance to Peter Cushing), and then the digital effects team strips away the actor's features to replace them with the familiar visage of one of Star Wars' best villains. In ten seconds we see the evolution of what took months to accomplish, and it's nothing less than fascinating.
Of course, as impressive as that Tarkin resurrection was in Rogue One, it still doesn't hold a candle to the OTHER major character that makes an appearance towards the end of the film. Here's your last spoiler alert just in case you missed it at the top of the article...
That's right; it's Princess Leia. The video doesn't show us how the team behind the first standalone adventure managed to make such an uncanny representation of the late, great Carrie Fisher at the age of 19, but the iconic princess served as confirmation that Tarkin wasn't a one-off.
The overall implications of these Star Wars resurrections extend far beyond simply being a neat post-production trick; this could be huge for the future of cinema. Although we are not at the point where we can give deceased actors leading roles in blockbuster franchises (Tarkin still definitely looks somewhat fake after long stretches on screen), we are gradually reaching a level of technological advancement in which these iconic characters may legitimately never go away. This practice could lead to widespread changes in the future, as deceased actors come back to life, and aging stars are kept young through the power of technology -- which is something the Marvel Cinematic Universe has already made great strides towards.
It's a brave new world in the realm of filmmaking, and Star Wars is once again leading the way. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is currently in theaters, so make sure to check it out.
Originally from Connecticut, Conner grew up in San Diego and graduated from Chapman University in 2014. He now lives in Los Angeles working in and around the entertainment industry and can mostly be found binging horror movies and chugging coffee.
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