One of the biggest surprises audiences witnessed in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story was the return of Grand Moff Tarkin, as the film took place before his demise in Star Wars: A New Hope, with the Imperial being as nefarious as ever while crafting the Death Star. The upcoming Rogue One prequel series focusing on Cassian Andor might offer fans a number of the Rebel's exploits prior to his death at the end of that film, but a new report from the Star Wars Sessions podcast claims that Guy Henry, who played Tarkin in the spinoff film, isn't slated to be involved with the upcoming series.
These details come courtesy of Bespin Bulletin, who noted that rumors about Tarkin's return in the series emerged over the weekend, resulting in Star Wars Sessions seeking answers. They note that, while Henry's team denied the actor being involved in the project, that isn't irrefutable proof that he won't be involved, with it also being possible that Tarkin will appear in the new program but will be played by a different actor.
Given that it took place before the events of A New Hope, Tarkin's appearance wasn't so much of a shock from a conceptual level, but his almost exact likeness to Peter Cushing, who died in 1994, took audiences completely by surprise. To craft such an appearance, Henry appeared on set to provide Tarkin's physicality while a specific series of dots on his face allowed his physical appearance to be replaced with a CG rendering of Cushing's likeness. A similar effect was used for the film's finale, as a young Princess Leia appeared with the likeness of Carrie Fisher at her age in A New Hope.
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Interestingly, Tarkin's appearance in Rogue One isn't the only way Disney honored Cushing's take on the character, with creature designer and sculptor Ivan Manzella recently detailing how Supreme Leader Snoke was inspired by Cushing.
"I actually based him on Peter Cushing," Manzella revealed to the Force Material podcast. "Because there were always Snoke theories that he was Grand Moff Tarkin, which I always found quite amusing. You can see there are elements there. The maquette, there's elements of Peter Cushing, just the cheekbone and the profile and stuff, but he wasn't meant to be Peter Cushing. He was my Hammer reference, kind of thing."
The Cassian Andor series was heading into production earlier this year, only to be delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic. Stay tuned for updates on the program.