Rogue One Deepfake Makes Star Wars’ Leia And Grand Moff Tarkin Look Even More Lifelike

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Since Lucasfilm was acquired by Disney, there's been a steady release of exciting new content set in the galaxy far, far away. In addition to the sequel trilogy and The Mandalorian, new ground was broken with a pair of standalone movies. This started with Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, which led directly into the events of George Lucas' original movie A New Hope. Both Peter Cushing's Grand Moff Tarkin and Carrie Fisher's Princess Leia were brought back through cutting edge visual effects, although a deepfake has possibly improved upon this work by making them both a bit more lifelike.

Disney swung hard with Rogue One, which told a new story while incorporating iconic elements of the original movies like Darth Vader himself. The visual effects used to include Grand Moff Tarkin and Leia was another big risk, one at helped to created more serialized storytelling in George Lucas' beloved universe. But there was some criticism for the final result, and a recently viral deepfake offered an alteration on the characters' appearances. Check it out below.

Pretty cool, right? The above video largely focuses on altering the appearance of Peter Cushing's Grand Moff Tarkin. He was by far the larger presence in the movie, and there's been some criticisms of the character's look in the final cut. And this new deepfake offers a gorgeous take on Tarkin's surprise resurrection.

This awesome Star Wars deepfake comes to us from the YouTube account of Shamhook. The channel specializes in epic videos of this nature, which either improve visual effects or swap out different actors in iconic roles. This time they took special focus on Rogue One, seemingly improving the visuals that were offered with resurrected characters like Grand Moff Tarkin.

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Actor Peter Cushing played Grand Moff Tarkin in Star Wars: A New Hope, and went on to become an iconic piece of the franchise's lore. He died back in 1994 at the age of 81, although the character was given more to life through animated series. But with Rogue One taking place right before A New Hope and bringing characters like Vader back into play, Cushing's likeness was used to bring Tarkin back for the standalone movie.

The video shown above does help to improve Tarkin's look in Rogue One. Elements like color and lighting help Peter Cushing's likeness bear closer resemblance to his onscreen counterparts like Ben Mendelsohn's as Orson Krennic. While the character is still clearly a work of visual effects, it helps to sell Peter Cushing's presence in a movie filmed decades after his death.

The video also ends with a fresh take on Leia's appearance in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. She looks quite different from the way Carrie Fisher was brought back and de-aged for the movie's theatrical cut. Her eyes are higher up, and it's truly a great recreation of the late actress' appearance from back in A New Hope. In the end Fisher's legacy as Leia would come to an end through similar means, as unused footage from The Force Awakens was used to include the hero in The Rise of Skywalker.

The Star Wars franchise continues to grow with The Mandalorian on Disney+. Be sure to check out our 2021 release list to plan your trips to the movies next year.

Corey Chichizola
Movies Editor

Corey was born and raised in New Jersey. Graduated with degrees theater and literature from Ramapo College of New Jersey. After working in administrative theater for a year in New York, he started as the Weekend Editor at CinemaBlend. He's since been able to work himself up to reviews, phoners, and press junkets-- and is now able to appear on camera with some of his favorite actors... just not as he would have predicted as a kid. He's particularly proud of covering horror franchises like Scream and Halloween, as well as movie musicals like West Side Story. Favorite interviews include Steven Spielberg, Spike Lee, Jamie Lee Curtis, and more.