According to the Mail on Sunday, Peter Cushing will be brought back from the dead via CGI to play the iconic Star Wars villain Grand Moff Tarkin in upcoming spin-off Rogue One.
Furthermore, the newspaper’s source suggests Gareth Edwards’ prequel film will show Tarkin’s role in the “creation” of Darth Vader.
“This is one of the most complex and costly CGI re-creations ever,” the source said. “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.”
One major issue with the CGI resurrection is that Cushing, who died in 1994, reportedly wore slippers on the set of George Lucas’ space saga opener because the poorly-fitting leather riding boots originally allocated to Tarkin were so uncomfortable. The Englishman was therefore only shot from the ankles upwards, and no Star Wars footage exists of his feet.
Grand Moff Tarkin’s reappearance in Rogue One would make sense because the film, which is currently shooting at Pinewood Studios, centres on a rebel mission to steal plans for the first Death Star.
Tarkin featured heavily in Star Wars as the imperial leader in command of the heavily-weaponised artificial planetoid, and the only figure who appears to be senior in rank to Vader himself (though he is still outranked by the unseen Emperor Palpatine). A young Tarkin, portrayed by Australian actor Wayne Pygram, was seen at the end of 2005 Star Wars prequel Revenge of the Sith, in a short scene with Vader and Palpatine in which the three look on as construction of the Death Star begins:
No actor has yet been confirmed to play Vader in Rogue One, though the evil Sith Lord is also rumoured to be returning. The first official photograph from the set of the film, which has been retitled Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, was released online last week. The cast includes Felicity Jones, Diego Luna, Forest Whitaker, Ben Mendelsohn, Riz Ahmed, Mads Mikkelsen and Alan Tudyk.
Rogue One hits cinemas in December 2016.
Could we see anyone else back in CGI form?