Peter Cushing To Be Digitally Resurrected For ‘Star Wars: Rogue One’

Star Wars: Rogue One will reportedly feature one extremely unexpected cast member when it opens next year, as actor Peter Cushing, who appeared in Star Wars: A New Hope as Grand Moff Tarkin before passing away at the age of 81 in 1994, will be brought back to the screen.

A legendary English actor, Cushing appeared in a wide variety of Hammer House of Horror movies during his career, though he is best remembered in sci-fi circles for his appearance as Tarkin, Darth Vader’s “boss” and the commander of the Death Star in the original Star Wars. Though Cushing fell victim to prostate cancer over 20 years ago, a new report by the Daily Mail suggests that the actor will appear onscreen once again in Star Wars: Rogue One, which is currently filming at Pinewood Studios in Buckinghamshire.

Cushing’s resurrection is said to be the result of one of the most ambitious CGI projects ever undertaken, according to the Daily Mail‘s source. Astonishingly, it has been reported that Tarkin will play a key role in the upcoming film, which will apparently touch on his backstory regarding another iconic Star Wars villain, as well.

“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.”

Setting aside the fact that this statement indicates that Darth Vader may play a role in Rogue One (something that was widely reported earlier in the summer after Devin Faraci of Birth. Death. Movies. quoted his own source regarding the matter), the Daily Mail‘s report asserts that Disney is going to extreme lengths to bring Cushing back to his iconic role as Tarkin. Given that a recently-released novel focusing on the character has been included as part of Disney’s new official Star Wars chronology, it should come as little surprise that Tarkin will play such a major role, however.

The source went on to note that amid the difficulty of the CGI recreation, animators are facing the greatest challenge with Cushing’s legs and feet, due to the history of the first Star Wars film. After expressing his distaste with the boots that the Imperial officers wore in the movie, Cushing was allowed to wear slippers during production, with his legs hidden from view.

Peter Cushing at home.. pic.twitter.com/3evrk6HuhL

— Laurie Bee Cool (@Burtonish_) August 14, 2015

“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.”

Though such a digital resurrection is not without precedent, Star Wars fans will no doubt hotly debate the possible return of Peter Cushing in Rogue One until it is released late next year.

[Photo by the Evening Standard / Getty Images]