Lucasfilm is owned by the richest film studio in the world. And the most powerful film studio of all time. So Lucasfilm has all the filmmaking resources it could want. That includes the resources to magically create the likeness of other actors’ faces (like Peter Cushing’s and Carrie Fisher’s in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story and Mark Hamill’s in Star Wars: The Mandalorian — The Rescue).
It’s all quite cool and rather beautiful.
However, I do have an issue with Lucasfilm making a computer-generated-image General Leia Organa for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. That’s only because the studio said it wasn’t going to do that.
A CGI Leia Organa
Yet now, we have confirmation. Except for her face, Lucasfilm did indeed create a CGI version of the beloved space general. (For at least one shot.) It’s in the behind-the-scenes Disney+ episode Disney Gallery: Star Wars: The Mandalorian – Making of Season 2 Finale. Viewers see Fisher’s face be digitally placed onto a 3D-outline body that becomes a CGI body that is (digitally) put into what becomes a (digital) jungle-like environment.
Here’s a photo of the result:
So minus just the face, everything about Organa there is CGI.
What Lucasfilm Said
Lucasfilm said in Jan. 2017 that it “has no plans to digitally recreate” Organa:
“We don’t normally respond to fan or press speculation, but there is a rumor circulating that we would like to address. We want to assure our fans that Lucasfilm has no plans to digitally recreate Carrie Fisher’s performance as Princess or General Leia Organa. Carrie Fisher was, is, and always will be a part of the Lucasfilm family. She was our princess, our general, and more importantly, our friend. We are still hurting from her loss. We cherish her memory and legacy as Princess Leia, and will always strive to honor everything she gave to ‘Star Wars.’”Lucasfilm
What The Director Said
And The Rise of Skywalker director J.J. Abrams said “We were never going to … use a CG character” that would have been Organa in an official statement in July 2018 about using footage of Fisher:
“We desperately loved Carrie Fisher. Finding a truly satisfying conclusion to the Skywalker saga without her eluded us. We were never going to recast or use a CG character. With the support and blessing from her daughter, Billie, we have found a way to honor Carrie’s legacy and role as Leia in ‘Episode IX’ by using unseen footage we shot together in ‘Episode VII.’”J.J. Abrams, director of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker
And that they did.
It’s just that they did more than that in a particular way when they said they weren’t going to.
Do you think Lucasfilm made misleading statements on not doing a CGI Organa? If so, what do you think about that? Comment below, and check out more about Star Wars at That Hashtag Show.