The concept of using CGI characters is nothing new in Hollywood, but there's no question the appearance of the late Peter Cushing as Grand Moff Tarkin from the original Star Wars in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story created a new debate over the use of an actor's likeness long after they have passed. And while Cushing's surprise "performance" drew the most attention when the film was released in December, others like the digital recreation of Princess Leia from the first Star Wars film ruffled far fewer feathers – that is until the death of the Carrie Fisher a mere 11 days after the film's release made her CGI appearance all the more startling.
Now, with the release of Rogue One on Blu-ray Tuesday, more images of how Princess Leia was digitally recreated have shown up online. The photos show Norwegian actress Ingvild Deila before her Fisherized digital makeover – complete with motion capture sensors on her face – which paved the way for the actor's small but pivotal role in the film. The process was much different for Fisher's voice in Rogue One, which sound editor Matthew Wood says was taken from audio tracks from the 1977 film, which he painstakingly searched for in the Lucasfilm archives.
The images appeared on Reddit and can be seen by following the links below:
Footage of Deila's pre-CGI Leia performance is said to be part of the bonus features on the Rogue One Blu-ray, and in all likelihood, it's the last time we'll ever see the recreation of Fisher in digital form. Even though Deila earlier this month said she'd be up to recreating Leia again, Disney has made it quite clear that it has "no plans" to digitally recreate Fisher for General Leia's character in Episode IX. At least the studio will avoid any quandaries for The Last Jedi, Disney CEO Bog Iger said last week that Fisher's role will not be altered in any way in dealing with her death.
While the footage of Princess Leia on the Rogue One Blu-ray will be more poignant in light of Fisher's absence, fans will at least be happy to know that the Star Wars legend was intricately involved in bringing back the younger version of Princess Leia for the film. ILM Chief Creative Officer John Knoll said in January that Fisher not only gave her blessing to use Princess Leia at the end of Rogue One, but saw the final version of the scene and "loved it."