Rogue One Plot Details & How VFX Will Bring Back Grand Moff Tarkin

By Vince Matthews

WARNING! This article contains spoilers.

It’s the “Star Wars” movie fans are dying to learn more about. No, we’re not talking about Star Wars: The Force Awakens. This is another “Star Wars” movie…

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In this first official cast photo from the film, Felicity Jones stands front and center, while Riz Ahmed, Diego Luna, Jiang Wen and Donnie Yen are standing by. (Image: Disney / Lucasfilm)

A “Star Wars” Story
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story will follow the story of a group of resistance fighters who are on a mission to steal the plans to the Death Star. To refresh your memory, during the Galactic Civil War, the Rebel Alliance stole the plans to the first Death Star and then transmitted them to Princess Leia. It was these plans that were placed onboard the R2 unit which wound up on Tatoonie and eventually found its way to Luke Skywalker.

Directed by Gareth Edwards (Godzilla) and starring Felicity Jones in the lead, Rogue One will take place in the classic “Star Wars” universe, just before the events of Star Wars: Episode IV: A New Hope (the first “Star Wars” movie).

Considering the timeline – and the subject of the film – insiders are saying we’ll get to see Darth Vader and Grand Moff Tarkin (both in major roles) in the film. (Tarkin was the driving force behind the development of the Death Star.) How will that work, considering the actor that played Tarkin died in 1994? With computers, of course.

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Although Peter Cushing had a vibrant and varied film career, he was probably best known for playing bad guys like Grand Moff Tarkin. (Image: Disney/Lucasfilm)

You can create characters with Maya and other computer graphics imaging programs, but did you know you can create actors, too? According to insiders, Peter Cushing (the actor who played Grand Moff Tarkin) will be re-created with visual effects in what is being called “one of the most complex and costly CGI re-creations ever.”

Outside of re-creating Cushing’s role as Tarkin, insiders say the film will use practical effects and sets to sell the realism of a used-up Republic.

Ready for Launch
Other actors that have been digitally re-created for films using CGI include Paul Walker for Furious 7 and Jeff Bridges for Tron. Actor Alan Tudyk (Firefly) is also rumored to be playing a computer-generated character as effects artists use 3D animation and modeling to bring the character to life. Actors Mads Mikkelsen (Hannibal) will reportedly play one of Tarkin’s henchmen.

Rogue One is currently filming in Pinewood Studios in London, England…in the same soundstage where Star Wars: The Force Awakens was shot…and will hit theaters in 2016.

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These helmet designs for the film were recently posted to Rogue One actor Donnie Yen’s Instagram account. (The image has since been taken down). The black one resembles a Republic Commando helmet, while the far-right helmet resembles a Bike Trooper helmet.