Some possible disturbing news with the force was reported on Sunday by a UK website and if accurate could raise plenty of questions as to why?
On Sunday the UK website The Mail reported that Lucasfilm is planning on digitally recreating Peter Cushing’s character back to life for the studios first stand alone movie “Rogue One”. Mr. Cushing played “Grand Moff Tarkin” the commander of the Death Star in George Lucas 1977 Star Wars “A New Hope”.
According to The Mail their source said “This is one of the most complex and costly CGI re-creations ever. Cushing is a pivotal plot line as he was the one to create Darth Vader and there’s a whole back story that will come out. They are going through hours and hours of old footage from the horror movies to recreate his legs and feet to produce realistic movements. It is eerie to see someone who has been dead for so long come to life on a screen.”
Mr Cushing died in 1994 at the age of 81 from prostate cancer.
“Rogue One A Star Wars Story” is currently filming for its December 2016 release at Pinewood Studios in England.
Okay my first thought to all of this was very interesting and an intriguing idea, but at the same time the idea of digitally recreating an actor who passed away over twenty years ago also raises some eyebrows.
I understand that technically Lucasfilm is recreating the character of “Grand Moff Tarkin” who was played by Peter Cushing, but it still brings up questions.
First the article from The Mail does not say if the family of Peter Cushing has been contacted by Lucasfilm or Disney and has given there blessing to the idea. Second the article also doesn’t really say how much of a role the character of “Grand Moff Tarkin” actually has in the film.
I would hope that Lucasfilm or Disney has at least tried to get in touch with someone from Mr. Cushing’s family for no other reason then being sensitive and respectful to the family, after all Mr. Cushing did pass away in 1994. If they have been in contact and the family has given there blessing then you would think a lot of pressure would be on Lucasfilm to get it right.
This is not the first time that an actor would of been digitally recreated for a movie. It was done for Gladiator when Oliver Reed suffered a fatal heart attack during production and CGI was used in order to finish his last few scenes in the movie.
The difference between Gladiator and Rogue One is one was done in order to finish the film and this time because they can. Yes I know the character of “Tarkin” was brought back for “Star Wars Rebels”, but that’s animation and not a live action film.
I’ve said it before and I will repeat it once again. I’m a huge Star Wars fan and always will be until the day I leave this Earth, but I’m not sure this would be the smartest move on Lucasfilm’s part.
For argument sake let say the character of “Tarkin” is only in a hand full of scenes in “Rogue One” that would make up less then five minutes of screen time then it might be okay to recreate Cushing as “Tarkin” for the film, but if the character of “Tarkin” has a decent amount of screen time other options should be considered.
Hollywood has shown over the years they have no problems in recasting a character with a different actor or actress if the original actor was unable or unwilling to return to the part. I ask why not this time?
Take the picture above. On the left you have Peter Cushing, as “Tarkin” from “A New Hope” and on the right is an image of Ralph Fiennes. Pretty dam close in likeness, right?
I’m sure most of you out there, like me, would not have an issue in someone like Ralph Fiennes being cast to play a character that has not been scene on the big screen in almost forty years because the actor who originally played the part passed away twenty some years earlier.
If the report is true and the character of “Tarkin” is returning for “Rogue One”, my suggestion to Lucasfilm and Disney would be to recast the part and leave the CGI for what really needs it.
I’ve liked everything I’ve heard about “Rogue One” and I’m really looking forward to seeing the film in December of 2016. If “Tarkin” is returning you can bet that Vader will also be returning and that in it self is pretty exciting.