See the visual effects used to create Rogue One’s Grand Moff Tarkin

A new Star Wars VFX reel reveals how Peter Cushing's character was digitally re-created


Rogue One: A Star Wars Story swooped into cinemas with all the mind-blowing visual effects we’re accustomed to seeing from a sci-fi blockbuster – but the standalone story went one further by resurrecting Grand Moff Tarkin.


Last seen in an exploding Death Star in 1977, Darth Vader’s right-hand man was originally played by Peter Cushing, who died in 1994. However, VFX specialists Industrial Light and Magic were able to bring the character back to life, working their computer wizardry over the performance of Holby City’s Guy Henry.

How? ILM’s latest VFX reel reveals Henry’s head (dotted with digital markers and a head-brace-like device) was completely removed from his body before Cushing’s likeliness was added on top.

It was a lot harder than it looks below. As director Gareth Edwards previously told, “It was a lot of blood, sweat and tears from  Industrial Light and Magic.


But the behind-the-scenes glimpse isn’t only centred on Tarkin. The ILM film reveals more magic behind the 1750 shots in the film with computer graphics, from how the London Underground was converted into an Imperial base, to how the Death Star was digitally constructed. The end result: illusions on par with a Jedi mind trick.