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Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

Nightline shows how ILM created CG actors for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

2:30 PM on 01.06.2017 // Hubert Vigilla

SPOILERS on some cameo appearances

If you've seen Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, you know that there are some unexpected appearances by well-known (and lesser known) characters from the original Star Wars. Needless to say, SPOILERS to follow.

Some of my favorite Easter eggs in the film include some Y-wing and X-wing fighters checking in during the final third of the film, including good ol' Red Leader.

Almost there.... alll-mosst theeere...

But the biggest and most unexpected appearances in Rogue One are from Grand Moff Tarkin and a young Princess Leia. Peter Cushing has been dead since 1994, and the late Carrie Fisher was just 19 years old while making the original Star Wars. Nightline aired the following report on how these actors were recreated by Industrial Light and Magic.

Top Secret, guys! Were you expecting that spoof to be involved in Rogue One? No. Think about it. Thematically, it totally makes sense. Both movies are about fighting Nazis.

The CG Tarkin and Leia were all right for what they were. Some shots of Tarkin were better than others. Leia seemed so jarring; the shot seemed unnecessary to me, and perhaps a better ending shot was 10 to 30 seconds earlier.

This leads me to wonder how dated this feat of CG craft might look in 10 years time. I recall many people once touting the realism of Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within, and ditto the CG burly brawl in The Matrix: Reloaded. These are like height marks against the side of a door--look at how much computer-generated actors have grown.

While the technological leap is remarkable, I feel like just casting a live actor who looks similar would have been better. They did it with Mon Mothma in Rogue One, after all. The character was originally portrayed in Return of the Jedi by Caroline Blakiston. Mon Mothma was played by Genevieve O'Reilly in Revenge of the Sith (though the scene was deleted) who then reprised the role in Rogue One.

How did you feel about CG Tarkin and Leia? Let's talk about it in the comments. We'll report on another story related to Star Wars and this issue in just a bit.

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Hubert Vigilla, Editor-at-Large
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Hubert Vigilla is a writer living in Brooklyn, which makes him completely indistinguishable from 4/5 of people who live in Brooklyn. He writes about film, television, books, music, politics, cu... more   |   staff directory

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