Reasons Behind Rogue One’s Iconic CG Cameos Revealed (SPOILERS)


With the release of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, fans may have been wondering how many iconic figures from the original 1977 film we might see taking a cameo role in the prequel film. Knowing that many of the original cast members are now much older it would be less probable that they would have any role reprisal, and as for the beloved cast members who have passed on, we really didn’t expect to see them or at least it would be an altered or re cast version of their characters.

As it turns out, the creative team behind the production of Rogue One decided that given the hand in hand nature of the film, with the 1977 original Star Wars: A New Hope, it would work out best to incorporate some of the original characters and in an unusual way, pay homage to their iconic roles.

A few of the most recognized characters such as Rebel Alliance General Dodonna and Loyalist Senator/Political leader of the Rebellion Mon Mothma were recast with very talented ‘look-a-likes,’ if you will, so as to portray a strong connection to the original Star Wars film. We also saw a return of Jimmy Smits reprising his role as the adoptive father of Leia and ruler of Alderaan, Senator Bail Organa. However, roles such as Grand Moff Tarkin, or Governor Tarkin as he had not yet received the ranking of Grand Moff, and the beloved Princess Leia could not be so easily captured due to the passing of Peter Cushings in 1994, and the almost 30 years time difference for Carrie Fisher between the filming of the first Star Wars film and the production of Rogue One.

Starting with the issue of recreating the role of Governor Tarkin, Disney and Lucasfilms executives originally toyed with the idea of simulating Tarkin by way of holographic recordings or transfering his lines to other characters via some sort of relay message, i.e. “By order or Governor Tarkin blah blah blah.” However, given the focal point of the film revolving around the Death Star, and how important it was to show the legendary Governor Tarkin taking command of the Empire’s most infamous weapon, they opted to recreate Tarkin in the likeness of Peter Cushings and give him the screen time that his iconic character deserved. To accomplish this, Lucasfilm cast Guy Henry as the body double for the late Peter Cushings and, with permission from the Cushings Estate, Industrial Light and Magic used a very extensive and expensive form of computer generated animation (CGA) to recreate the famed likeness of Governor Tarkin.

Disney studios realized that this could potentially be a slippery slope in that there is a slight chance of other film studios using the same methods to recreate characters portrayed by actors who are now deceased. However, they do not believe that it is practical from an economic standpoint given the cost and time constraints of the methods used. Disney also does not plan to use this method moving forward and made exception strictly based on the nature of this film’s incorporation into such a legendary film narrative.

As for the appearance of Princess Leia in the film, it has been made clear that her appearance in the film was desired to give the bright ray of hope at the end of a somewhat dark story. Seeing the face of princess Leia creates a very strong tie in to A New Hope as well as instilling in the audience a greatly emotional connection between Rogue One and the iconic characters that we all love from the original Star Wars trilogy. The role of Princess Leia was portrayed almost 30 years ago by beloved actress Carrie Fisher, who tragically passed away on the 27th. Because of the immense time difference in the production of the films, the production team decided to cast Ingvild Deila to reprise the role as well as extensive use of CGA to recreate the iconic look of Princess Leia from the original film to really solidify the connection between Rogue One and A New Hope. (Image Below: Carrie Fisher from A New Hope Left, Ingvild Deila from Rogue One Right)

Some have stated displeasure with the use of CGA to reprise such iconic characters and even gone so far as to say it is disrespectful. We would have to say given Disney’s explanation and given that they did not do so lightly or without the proper permissions that their reasoning is justified. After all, it was kind of awesome to see Governor Tarkin once again and the ending just would not have been quite as good without an appearance from our beloved Princess Leia.

What do you guys think of the iconic cameos? We’d love to hear what you thought of the movie as a whole as well! As always stay tuned to DFTG for all your entertainment and gaming news and until next time, may the Force be with you!

Luciano Cancilla106 Posts

Luciano has an undeniable passion for all things BioWare and has an enthusiastic perspective on the Gaming Industry. With a love for gaming, comics, and Geek Culture, you can always expect to have a good time nerding out.


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