It’s a strange sign of the times that we’ve now reached so far beyond the ubiquity of CGI in entertainment that the grey-area of bringing back an actor from the dead amounts to a question of credulity rather than morality.

According to reports over the weekend Gareth Edwards’ Rogue One is now rumoured to not only feature the Dark Lord of the Sith himself, but the one holding his leash – Grand Moff Tarkin. The character has appeared in many other (mostly now non-canonical) Star Wars stories, his appearance on the recent Star Wars Rebels animated show was a treat.


This news makes sense considering the scene Edwards is setting, with this plucky band of Rebels out to steal the plans for the Empire’s first Death Star, plans which are ultimately the key to the space station’s destruction. rogue one castTarkin did, of course, make an appearance at the very end of Episode 3 looking (at a distance) like this…

star-wars-episode 3 tarkin

and, more closely…Young_Moff_Tarkin

Which goes to prove that the uncanny valley doesn’t just extend to CGIville. The report quotes a source inside the production, ‘This is one of the most complex and costly CGI re-creations ever,’ so if true we can assume that this will be more than simply a background role. The world of Star Wars does give Edwards a few options to avoid accusations of bad taste – an appearance via a hologram perhaps? But what if this is to be a more major role?

Consider the difference between the ‘de-aging’ of Michale Douglas in Ant-Man, or Arnie in Terminator: Genisys and the youthful appearance of Jeff Bridges in Tron: Legacy or Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen in the third X-Men film. The technological aim of creating the perfect illusion is getting closer and perhaps this is the film to make that final leap? It was promised with Jar-Jar Binks in The Phantom Menace after all and that all turned out really well, right?

As with any Star Wars rumour story until official confirmation arrives we’re left with the hypothetical questions. Time for a final thought from Jeff Goldblum.