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Rogue One Director Spills the Secrets of VFX Necromancy [SPOILER]

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[Warning: the below post is about a spoiler from Rogue One: A Star Wars Story]

As any Star Wars film should, Rogue One contains plenty of fun Easter eggs–but more impressively, it also contains a performance from an actor who died in 1994. Peter Cushing, a storied British actor, played Grand Moff Tarkin in A New Hope back in 1977; through the power of visual effects, he reprises his role for Rogue One.

Disney has been pretty hush-hush about the secrets of Cushing’s appearance, but director Gareth Edwards recently explained some of the mechanics in an interview with RadioTimes.com. On set, Tarkin was played by Guy Henry, another British actor who bore enough physical resemblance to Cushing that he could be digitally altered without causing too much of an uncanny valley. Edwards called Henry “very gracious” and praised him for taking on the role. “Essentially he’s doing this big performance and getting zero credit for it. He was going be totally replaced, and then had to keep it all secret…That was a big ask.”

According to Edwards, the push for this VFX incarnation of Cushing actually came from the visual effects supervisor, John Knoll. Given that information, I’m sure Knoll was pleased to hear that Rogue One is still in the running for the Oscar for Visual Effects.

Have you seen Rogue One yet? If so, did you think Tarkin looked realistic?

(Via The Hollywood Reporter, image via Walt Disney Studios)

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