Saturday, 5 December 2015


Here's a GIF showing that amazing cinematic moment where Tarkin gets it wrong, and the whole lot goes up! It looked great in the 1977 original release and was enhanced further to give us an even better 'bang for our buck' with the re-release with addition effects and enhancements with Lucas's re-release of the film.

You would have to be living in a cave, not to know that we are just days away from the release of the long awaited release new of the continuing saga that is Star Wars. 'The Force Awakens', which brings back many of the original 1977 cast members is going to be a smash. And the fans love it!  Unfortunately for us, Peter Cushing's character, Grand Moff Tarkin, as we see in the GIF above, bit the dust, in style, when the Death Star exploded in the climax of 'Star Wars' in 1977. But, there maybe hope...

Back in  August 22nd this year 2015, a UK newspaper 'The Mail On Sunday' reported a 'leak of information', that started a viral stampede of posts. It printed a story that the team shooting the ROGUE ONE Star Wars film at Pinewood studios, were busy working on making a 'CGI' casting of Peter Cushing as Grand Moff Tarkin to be included in the film. Reporter, Caroline Graham wrote that the 'special effects teams are busy trying to find raw unused footage of Peter Cushing's 'legs to add to this new CGI footage'! That and several inaccuracies about certain basic facts surrounding the Star Wars saga though, made many, smell a rat!

Just about every tabloid in the UK followed the 'Mail On  Sunday' lead and  reported the story. On the net, trusted movie news websites took up the story to create a viral story.

There could be the smallest grain of fact about a CGI Peter Cushing appearing in ROGUE ONE, I for one certainly hope it's true. But Graham was working with what appears to have been no more than a hint, a rumour and in trying to build a bigger story, expanded the piece with a sprinkling of some 'Star Wars detail', that she hoped would add a little more creditability... but reporting that Peter Cushing had a 'gravel voice' was the tell tale sign of someone who was cutting and pasting, and had no idea Peter Cushing was, let alone seen a Star Wars film! For the next few days, just about every other UK tabloid newspapers covered the story.

BELOW how the Peter Cushing Appreciation Society Facebook Page and Website reported the story at the time:

As the grim-faced star of countless horror films including Dracula and Dr Frankenstein, Peter Cushing raised life from beyond the grave, But now the British actor, who died in 1994, will be raised from the dead himself. - See more at:


As the grim-faced star of countless horror films including Dracula and Dr Frankenstein, Peter Cushing raised life from beyond the grave, But now the British actor, who died in 1994, will be raised from the dead himself. Cushing, star of many Hammer House of Horror movies, will be digitally recreated in the new Star Wars spin-off Rogue One, which is being filmed at Pinewood Studios in Buckinghamshire and is due to be released late next year. In the original 1977 Star Wars, Cushing played evil Grand Moff Tarkin, commander of the Death Star and 'boss' of Darth Vader. In the new film Cushing, who died of prostate cancer aged 81, will be painstakingly brought back to life using the latest Computer Generated Imagery (CGI) techniques. A source told The Mail on Sunday: 'This is one of the most complex and costly CGI re-creations ever. Cushing is a pivotal plot line as he was the one to create Darth Vader and there's a whole back story that will come out.'

But the film-makers face one particularly tough task – creating Cushing's legs and feet.

When director George Lucas filmed the original Star Wars, he gave Cushing and other Galactic Imperial officers ill-fitting leather riding boots. Cushing complained so bitterly that Lucas let him wear slippers, forcing cameramen to shoot from the knees up or have him stand behind the Death Star conference table.'They are going through hours and hours of old footage from the horror movies to recreate his legs and feet to produce realistic movements,' said the source. 'It is eerie to see someone who has been dead for so long come to life on a screen.'

CGI has been used before to complete movies when actors have died during production, including when Oliver Reed suffered a fatal heart attack while filming Russell Crowe's Gladiator in 1999.'

It seems strange that, effects teams would spend time sifting through footage to find shots of Peter Cushing's legs. We have seen from previous Star Wars films, that whole cities and characters can now be created in the CGI department. Why would they need footage of Peter Cushing at all? When we originally posted this story, the idea of a CGI Peter Cushing was met with mixed reactions and comments, from 'grave robbing' and 'disrespectful to the memory of Cushing' to suggestions of recasting. Whatever the real story is behind this, I guess we will have to wait until the release of ROGUE ONE in December 2016.

I think Peter Cushing would have chuckled at this one. You have to admit, it's an interesting concept. It's just a shame that the newspaper couldn't have done a little more homework. As for Cushing's legs, that was something that  was never going to stick.

Before this went to press, if someone had told me what a great story this would make and how the newspaper thought fans would believe it, I would have replied in the words of old Grand Moff Tarkin himself , 'I think you over estimate their chances!'

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