One cameo in particular was very fun: Moff Tarkin, the famous Imperial commander from Star Wars, who was played by Hammer films star, Peter Cushing (now deceased). Having Moff Tarkin included in the events of Rogue One made a lot of sense, given OT canon, but the prominence of his role and extent of his screen time was definitely a surprise.
Bringing old characters back to the screen can be down nowadays with extensive CGI and motion-capture technology. The makers of Rogue One swung for the fences, dedicating a lot of screen time and up close shots to create Cushing's likeness as Tarkin. Now director Gareth Edwards reveals how they pulled it off - and names the actor who helped them do it
Radio Times reported on Edwards reveal of the actor behind the motion-capture face of Moff Tarkin in Rogue One: His name is Guy Henry and he stars on the British medical drama Holby City.
As Edwards explained, despite their similar facial structures, transforming Henry into Cushing wasn't easy:
"It was a lot of blood, sweat and tears from Industrial Light and Magic... [visual effects supervisor] John [Knoll] was always like 'no we can do this, we can do it, we can do it. He was very confident, and we… you know, to be honest, a lot of people were nervous the whole time, like 'is this gonna happen?' And then we went all or nothing in."
Edwards went on to praise Henry performance as Tarkin, saying, "It was played by an actor called Guy Henry, who's in Holby City, and he was amazing."
Fans have been debating whether or not the inclusion of Moff Tarkin in such a prominent role was a good idea or not. On the one hand, it is a well-done feat of visual effects and performance, admirable in its ambition; on the other hand, for many viewers (especially hardcore Star Wars fans) there's still that "uncanny valley" problem. The eye and mind can accept entire CGI animated worlds and characters (like a Pixar film) a lot easier than they can real flesh and blood people - especially famous faces that are no longer alive.
Everyone will have his or her opinion about the result, but kudos Edwards, Knoll and Henry for at least trying to give fans something fun to enjoy.
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Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is in theaters now. Directed by Gareth Edwards, it's the first of the new standalone features from Lucasfilm and Disney, which take place outside the core "Skywalker Saga" of films noted by an Episode number. Rogue One tells the story of the small band of rebels that were tasked with stealing the plans to the first Death Star. The story spins directly off the opening crawl from the original Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope. In that crawl, it read: "Rebel spaceships, striking from a hidden base, have won their first victory against the evil Galactic Empire. During the battle, Rebel spies managed to steal secret plans to the Empire's ultimate weapon, the DEATH STAR, an armored space station with enough power to destroy an entire planet."