The Star Wars universe is about to blow wide open, starting with the release of Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens in December. After that, we will get a second season of the popular Star Wars Rebels cartoon series, new novels, a trifecta of spinoff films, Star Wars: Episode VIII directed by Looper‘s Rian Johnson, and Jurassic World director Colin Trevorrow taking on Star Wars: Episode IXThe days of waiting years in between visits to that galaxy far, far, away will soon be over.

The first of the spinoff films (or “anthology” films) will be Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, which arrives a year after Episode VII, in December 2016. That film will chronicle the Rebel Alliance mission to steal the plans for the Death Star, and will have a star-studded cast led by director Gareth Edwards (Godzilla). Today we have a rumor about Rogue One that points to a classic Star Wars villain showing up – plus teases of what could be some new Star Wars costuming being done for the film.

WARNING – Potential SPOILERS for Rogue One follow!

Rogue One A Star Wars Story Grand Moff Tarkin Peter Cushing Star Wars: Rogue One Sees Classic Villain Return & New Costumes

Grand Moff Tarkin returning for ‘Rogue One: A Star Wars Story’?

Daily Mail UK is stating that none other than Grand Moff Tarkin will be featured in Rogue One, in what their source states is a “pivotal plot line” in the film. Tarkin (for those who don’t remember) was one of the Empire’s top leaders (behind Emperor Palpatine and Darth Vader). He was the head commander on the Death Star in Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope, where he died when Luke Skywalker made his famous shot to destroy the Imperial super-weapon. Tarkin has since become a bigger figure in Star Wars lore, thanks to things like Extended Universe expansions and spinoff cartoon series like The Clone Wars.

In A New Hope, Tarkin was played by actor Peter Cushing, who sadly passed away in 1994; the big part of the Daily Mail rumor is that Cushing’s version of Tarkin will be recreated for Rogue One using CGI. According to the publication’s source, it will be “one of the most complex and costly CGI re-creations ever.” Of particular note is the fact that Cushing wasn’t really filmed below the knee in A New Hope, due to some ill-fitting boots, making a hard task even harder (few reference points for Cushing’s legs and movements.

There’s no full verification of what Daily Mail is reporting, but it does carry weight for some key reasons.

Rogue One A Star Wars Story Cast Photo Star Wars: Rogue One Sees Classic Villain Return & New Costumes

Felicity Jones, Donnie Yen, Diego Luna, Mads Mikkelsen, Ben Mendelshon, Alan Tudyk and Forrest Whitaker star in ‘Rogue One: A Star Wars Story’

The most obvious reason this could be true is that Grand Moff Tarkin would logically be involved with the construction and launch of the Death Star, whenever the Rebel team would be trying to steal its blueprints. In fact, Tarkin would most likely be the target of the of theft, as he would likely keep the blueprints close to his person.

What is less certain is whether or not Disney/Lucasfilm would go to such risky and expensive extent as to try to recreate Peter Cushing using full CGI recreation. For instance, actor Wayne Pygram played a younger version of Tarkin in Episode III – Revenge of the Sith, so using a look-alike actor – even one augmented through CGI – could be an alternative (with actors like Mads Mikkelsen and Ben Mendelsohn in the cast, a good alternative).

Cushing being dead when Tarkin needs to live again onscreen is just one of many issues this new Star Wars shared universe is facing. With books, movies, spinoff movies and TV shows all needed to be coordinated to one, consistent, canon, a lot of old characters will need to be revisited, and the logistics of pulling that off is no small challenge.

As for something NEW: Rogue One actor (and martial arts star) Donnie Yen shared the following behind-the-scenes pic:

Donnie Yen Stormtrooper Helmets Star Wars: Rogue One Sees Classic Villain Return & New Costumes

The Storm Trooper helmet we know, but the left and right helmets seem to be of new design. The most likely assumption is that we’re looking at new pilot helmets for the Imperial and Rebel forces that will be doing battle in the film. With a title like Rogue One, some aerial and outer space dogfights are expected, meaning that the franchise’s trademark cockpit shots of helmeted pilots will likely be part of he process, as well. As you can see above, the Rebel Alliance has had a pretty hard fight on their hands when Rogue One takes place.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens hits theaters on December 18th, 2015, followed by Rogue One: A Star Wars Story on December 16th, 2016, Star Wars: Episode VIII on May 26th, 2017, and the Han Solo Star Wars Anthology film on May 25th, 2018. Star Wars: Episode IX is expected to reach theaters in 2019, followed by the third Star Wars Anthology film in 2020.

Source: Daily Mail UK & Donnie Yen

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