While being an actor in a ‘Star Wars’ movie likely meant that you would always live forever, now it seems that Lucasfilm is securing that legacy by digitally scanning all of their actors. We’ve seen a fully digital recreation of Peter Cushing’s Grand Moff Tarkin in ‘Rogue One: A Star Wars Story‘ and a CGI de-aged take of Carrie Fisher‘s Princess Leia as well and this seems to be the next step in assuring that the “Star Wars’ franchise can live on forever.
“We will always [digitally] scan all the lead actors in the film. We don’t know if we’re going to need them. We don’t intentionally scan them as an archive process. It’s for reference later.”
The uses of these can run the gambit from reshoots, deaths, disfigurement, sickness, scheduling issues, etc. From a practical standpoint it does make sense, one can easily see this being misused down the line to give us a ton of extra adventures from actors who would otherwise no longer be with a franchise.
That being said, from a special effects perspective there are many uses, and it was used to film what has been dubbed the “Marry Poppins Scene” in ‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi'”
“We shot it in multiple passes, and added a lot of digital stuff on top. As she’s sucked out, she’s a digital Leia. As we pull in closer, that’s all Carrie. And flying back through the detritus, that was a mixture.”
This makes stunt work much easier when an actor can have their digital face stuck onto a stunt person’s body to capture some of those difficult to film scenes. No more over the shoulder shots required to pull off some of the crazy things we used to see on screen.
I’m sure not every actor out there would approve of this, but we know at least Mark Hamill is completely in for being digitally used down the line!
What are your thoughts on Lucasfilm making full digital scans of all of their actors? Do you feel that this is a great way to achieve better special effects or will this lead to more actors being entirely CGI’d down the line? Share your thoughts below!