While Rogue One: A Star Wars Story was nothing short of a smash hit, both critically and commercially, there were some aspects of the film that rubbed fans the wrong way. Perhaps the most controversial aspect of the movie was the use of CGI technology to re-create a younger version of Carrie Fisher's Princess Leia, and the late Peter Cushing's iconic character Gran Moff Tarkin. While this may have upset some fans, director Gareth Edwards revealed today that it didn't upset Carrie Fisher, who actually didn't know that the Leia in the movie was created through CGI.
The production used stand-ins for each role, with Guy Henry portraying Tarkin and Ingvild Deila playing Leia, before CGI was used to digitally replace the actors' faces. While promoting the Digital HD, Blu-ray and DVD release of Rogue One, director Gareth Edwards spoke with Fandango, where he revealed that Carrie Fisher herself didn't even know it was a CGI rendering of her 19-year-old self. Here's what the director had to say
"Kathy Kennedy is really good friends with her. We knew it was a really important moment and we wanted Carrie to be happy, so Kathy went to her house with her laptop when we felt the shot was close, if not finished. We had about two weeks left, and Kathy went around her house and everyone was waiting to hear. Kathy said she showed it to her and Carrie thought it was footage. She didn't realize it was CGI. She thought we had some footage. She didn't remember the take and thought we had manipulated a take from the original film. But they told her it was all computer generated and she was really impressed. We were all just so pleased she approved it."
Back in January, just a few days after the iconic Carrie Fisher passed away, ILM's John Knoll revealed that Kathleen Kennedy had in fact shown Carrie Fisher the footage, and that she loved it, but this is the first time we heard that she thought Leia's cameo was put together through existing footage. The actress had already shot her scenes for Star Wars: The Last Jedi before her passing, but there was a recent report that claimed the actress still had two pivotal scenes to shoot that were in either Star Wars: The Last Jedi or Star Wars: Episode IX.
LucasFilm also released a rare statement in January shooting down rumors that the studio is planning on digitally re-creating Leia Organa for Star Wars: Episode IX. The statement also reveled that the company was still "hurting" from her loss, and that they intend to "cherish her memory and legacy as Princess Leia, and will always strive to honor everything she gave to Star Wars". Despite the mild controversy swirling around these CGI renderings of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, the movie was a surefire hit at the box office, taking in $530.1 million domestically and $1.05 billion worldwide.