In the quest for not just likeness but “life-ness,” key members of the Star Wars effects team said new ground was broken but no ethical lines crossed when they digitally revived deceased actor Peter Cushing to create Governor Tarkin in the 2016 spinoff movie Rogue One.
“I think this was a very non-controversial case,” said John Knoll, chief creative officer and senior visual effects supervisor at the effects company founded by George Lucas, Industrial Light & Magic. Agreed Hal Hickel, animation supervisor at ILM, “I thought it was fine. We were doing things that were very true to the character, and having him do what he did in the original film: standing in the Death Star talking about blowing things up.”
The pair, along with Skywalker Sound supervising sound editor and sound designer Matthew Wood, drew many oohs and ahhs during a deconstruction of key effects sequences in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story at this week’s NAB Show in Las Vegas. The film has taken in more than $1 billion at the worldwide box office since its release last December.