The latest Star Wars news sounds as if it has come straight out of a science fiction novel. For the upcoming spin-off movie Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, CGI animators will painstakingly bring an iconic character into the movie. Here's where it gets weird, the character that is needed for the story is Grand Moff Tarkin, who was played by the late actor Peter Cushing. Cushing died from prostate cancer more than 20 years ago at the age of 81. However, for the upcoming Star Wars movie, Cushing will be digitally recreated.
Why Bring Peter Cushing Back from the Dead?
Grand Moff Tarkin is an important character in the Star Wars mythos, according to the Mail sources who state "Cushing is a pivotal plot line as he was the one to create Darth Vader and there's a whole back story that will come out." Cushing is no stranger to being brought back from the dead, having starred in dozens of horror movies early in his career. However, this time he isn't acting and he doesn't even have a say in the matter. Instead of casting a new actor to play a younger version of Grand Moff Tarkin it seems that Disney has opted to recreate the late actor utilizing CGI.
Hollywood has brought dead actors back to life in order to finish movies before. In 1999, Oliver Reed died from a heart attack while the filming of Russel Crowe's Gladiator was on going. Instead of scraping the character and rewriting around Reed's untimely death, the producers opted to finish his scenes by digitally recreating him. More recently, Phillip Seymour Hoffman died from a drug overdose while in the midst of filming the Hunger Games sequels. He was digitally recreated in order to stay faithful to the source material and finish the scenes he was supposed to be in.
However, this will be the first time that an actor will be completely recreated for the sake of entertainment. Up until this point, CGI had only been used to finish movies that actors had already started working on. For the upcoming Star Wars movie, this is not the case as Peter Cushing died back in 1994 before a Rogue One movie was ever thought of.
The Difficulties of Completely Recreating an Actor
The task Rogue One has set for itself is not an easy one. Humans have always been difficult to accurately recreate. The animators have to get the movement to look natural and not as if it was created by a computer. One of the most difficult tasks is recreating Cushing's legs and feet.
While filming the Star Wars movies, the Death Star employees all wore tight leather boots, but Cushing complained to George Lucas and got out of having to wear the uncomfortable costume piece. However, in order to maintain the aesthetic of the film, Cushing always had his legs and feet hidden from the camera. For the CGI team, this is proving to be a difficult aspect to recreate for Rogue One. The team has been going through Cushing's other films in order to accurately recreate his legs to create natural and realistic movements.
Is It Morally O.K. To Bring Back Dead People?
Clearly there's some moral and ethical questions out there about whether it's right to bring back dead people for entertainment and profit. Impersonators have been keeping Micheal Jackson and Elvis alive for decades, but this is something a little bit bigger. Some people have an issue with using a person who has been dead for two decades for personal gain. Did his family okay it? Will they be getting any share of the profits? How are they paying a dead actor? There are a lot of questions lingering out there about what exactly this all entails. There's no denying that at the very least it's a bit creepy and will be very unsettling to see a man who's been dead for 21 years appearing in the movies again. At the very least we can be glad to see such an iconic character appear on the big screen once more!