See how ‘Rogue One’ VFX artists recreated Peter Cushing, Carrie Fisher

While some of the main talking points of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story have been about Alan Tudyk’s hilariously sassy droid K-2SO and the chemistry between Felicity Jones’ Jyn Erso and Diego Luna’s Cassian Andor, the biggest highlight seems to be how the film’s visual effects team were able to recreate Peter Cushing and Carrie Fisher using both live actors and digital animation.

Cushing’s Grand Moff Tarkin plays a significant role in Rogue One as he oversees the creation of the Death Star and enjoys bossing Ben Mendelsohn’s Orson Krennic around. Here’s the thing, though: Cushing died in 1994. However, thanks to the constantly evolving technology available to Industrial Light & Magic, they were able to resurrect Cushing from the dead using a mix of CGI and live actors paired with performance capture technology. The result? It’s actually quite impressive despite the noticeable fact that this isn’t necessarily a real actor give a genuine performance.

The process of recreating a 19-year-old Fisher as Princess Leia in Rogue One was fairly similar to what the visual effects team did for Cushing—the only thing to note is that Fisher was still very much alive and well during the production of the film and was able to see it for herself and give it a “thumbs up,” as executive producer John Knoll said.

If you’re one of the few that haven’t experienced the epicness that is Rogue One, it is the first of the standalone Star Wars movies and follows a group of unlikely heroes who join forces together on a mission to steal top-secret plans to the Death Star, the Empire’s ultimate weapon of destruction. The film has grossed over $800 million worldwide.

Rogue One, which has grossed a whopping $800 million worldwide since its debut on December 16, was written by Chris Weitz and Tony Gilroy and also stars Diego Luna, Donnie Yen, Mads Mikkelsen, Alan Tudyk, Riz Ahmed, Jiang Wen, and Forest Whitaker.

Written by Matt Casillas

Matt Casillas is the founder and editor-in-chief of Silver Screen Beat. He lives in Phoenix, Arizona, and can usually be found scrolling through Twitter while attempting to get over an extreme case of writer's block.

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