'Rogue One' VFX Reel Brings Grand Moff Tarkin To Life

The first Star Wars spinoff movie turned a lot of heads; not just for proving it didn’t have to focus on the Skywalker family to be entertaining or successful, but for including digitized actors who didn’t physically appear in the film.

A new visual effects reel from Industrial Light and Magic reveals some of the processes and techniques found in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, including how they used the likeness of actor Peter Cushing to add Grand Moff Tarkin to the film.

Check out the video above to see for yourself.

Tarkin was physically portrayed by actor Guy Henry in the movie, though there were a ton of digital effects in place to make it happen. The process video shows that Henry was fixed with a facial mount and motion capture dots for the VFX team to add Cushing’s likeness.

They erased Henry’s face and imposed Cushing’s appearance, making it as lifelike as digitally possible, to establish Tarkin’s role in the movie.

Though they don’t have the sequence involving Princess Leia’s cameo at the end of the movie in this video, it’s safe to assume they used the same technique with actor Ingvild Deila to bring her into the film.

Some fans have questioned the ethical practices of such a move, though Carrie Fisher had not yet passed away when her character’s scenes were completed. Either way, it’s likely added a new wrinkle to actors contracts when they sign up for major franchises as they attempt to earn money based off of their physical appearances.

The effects reel also shows some of the epic battles shown in the movie, including the assualt on-and-above Scarif.


A lot of effort was placed into Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, and rightly so. Being the first Star Wars spinoff, it had to prove it could be considered alongside the saga films that countless fans hold so dear.

Whether fans feel it accomplished it or not, this clip will allow them to appreciate the work put into the film’s many digital effects.