The article below on Rogue One: A Star Wars Story may contain spoilers from the upcoming film, so read on at your own risk. Please do not openly discuss these rumors on social media as to not spoil the movie for anyone that wants to remain spoiler-free.
Perhaps the strangest bit of news I have heard in the longest time pertains to Grand Moff Tarkin and his possible appearance in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. Concept art for Rogue One reportedly does feature the Grandest of Moffs doing what he does best–being shrewd and in command. My first reaction was one of excitement because Tarkin is pretty rad and I love the character. Then immediately I wondered “how?” Peter Cushing has been dead since 1994. I don’t have an answer for that and I don’t even have an answer if he’s actually in the movie. I want to make that clear. But he was at least proposed. Not only was it proposed that Darth Vader would be an attack dog on the battlefield messing up any Rebels that get in his way, but they also proposed he talk to Grand Moff Tarkin on a Star Destroyer bridge.
While the Vader stuff was storyboard-based, the Tarkin stuff was conceptual in nature. However, it was probably done in Photoshop as it “pretty much looks like it could be a cut scene from A New Hope.” The reference materials for Tarkin in these works are not immediately recognizable (meaning they didn’t use footage we’ve seen a billion times on screen) making us ponder if there’s actually a digital Tarkin created. The amount of work on this makes some sources believe he’s highly likely to be in the film but I still want to warn you against getting your hopes up too much. I know if you’re reading this you understand the tentative nature of rumors and scoops. That said, I wouldn’t report it if there wasn’t some grounding from a trusted source(s).
Until I see a photo of a scene or something to really sell me on it, I am considering this one a pitch to bring in Tarkin to the film. The cool part is it appears it was at least considered. For Revenge of the Sith they considered using outtakes, purchasing the rights to footage of Cushing from the Hammer Horror films and digitally altering the works to allow Cushing to appear as Tarkin one last time. In the end they did several different makeup tests and went with one that is okay for one shot from far away, but left a lot to be desired when actually looked at and scrutinized.
I am hoping to hear more about this soon and if they are using Tarkin in the film. Are they using Peter Cushing’s photorealistic likeness? Or was it just a pitch that got worked on just enough for us to make a “mountain out of a molehill?”