Who Should Have Been Cast as Tarkin

PSW: discuss Star Wars without "versus" arguments.

Moderator: Vympel

Post Reply
Patroklos
Jedi Council Member
Posts: 2259
Joined: 2009-04-14 11:00am

Who Should Have Been Cast as Tarkin

Post by Patroklos » 2018-04-16 04:16pm

Let's assume for a moment you are a film maker who makes rational, competent decisions, and thus realized how stupid CGIing him in was and decided to recast Tarkin. Since you have an unlimited budget just like the Rogue One creators actually had, who do you hire?

I contract Charles Dance.

Image

Image

Lets be honest, Tywin and Tarkin are essentially the same dude.

User avatar
Crazedwraith
Emperor's Hand
Posts: 10238
Joined: 2003-04-10 03:45pm
Location: Cheshire, England

Re: Who Should Have Been Cast as Tarkin

Post by Crazedwraith » 2018-04-16 04:23pm

Were i in that position I would have avoided the character and explained his absence as gracefully as possible.

If I had to I would prefer someone unknown rather than type casting someone from their other well known roles, which I feel is a failing of most fan fantasy castings.
To the brave passengers and crew of the Kobayashi Maru... sucks to be you - Peter David

User avatar
Elheru Aran
Emperor's Hand
Posts: 11905
Joined: 2004-03-04 01:15am
Location: Georgia

Re: Who Should Have Been Cast as Tarkin

Post by Elheru Aran » 2018-04-16 04:34pm

An alternative approach: have Tarkin on-screen only in holographic form. Star Wars holograms are notoriously low quality compared to the technology we see on display, and a digitally recreated Tarkin in holographic form probably wouldn't stand out too badly.

But if I were to cast someone? Bill Nighy, maybe.

Those cheekbones and the gaunt body type are pretty hard to replicate, though...
It's a strange world. Let's keep it that way.

User avatar
Galvatron
Decepticon Leader
Posts: 5955
Joined: 2002-07-12 12:27am
Location: Kill! Smash! Destroy! Rend! Mangle! Distort!

Re: Who Should Have Been Cast as Tarkin

Post by Galvatron » 2018-04-16 04:50pm

Elheru Aran wrote:
2018-04-16 04:34pm
An alternative approach: have Tarkin on-screen only in holographic form. Star Wars holograms are notoriously low quality compared to the technology we see on display, and a digitally recreated Tarkin in holographic form probably wouldn't stand out too badly.
This. I hate recasting.

User avatar
Batman
Emperor's Hand
Posts: 15188
Joined: 2002-07-09 04:51am
Location: In Denial
Contact:

Re: Who Should Have Been Cast as Tarkin

Post by Batman » 2018-04-16 05:09pm

Galvatron wrote:
2018-04-16 04:50pm
Elheru Aran wrote:
2018-04-16 04:34pm
An alternative approach: have Tarkin on-screen only in holographic form. Star Wars holograms are notoriously low quality compared to the technology we see on display, and a digitally recreated Tarkin in holographic form probably wouldn't stand out too badly.
This. I hate recasting.
Thirded.
'Next time I let Superman take charge, just hit me. Real hard.'
'You're a princess from a society of immortal warriors. I'm a rich kid with issues. Lots of issues.'
'No. No dating for the Batman. It might cut into your brooding time.'
'Tactically we have multiple objectives. So we need to split into teams.'-'Dibs on the Amazon!'
'Hey, we both have a Martian's phone number on our speed dial. I think I deserve the benefit of the doubt.'
'You know, for a guy with like 50 different kinds of vision, you sure are blind.'

User avatar
Eternal_Freedom
Castellan
Posts: 9061
Joined: 2010-03-09 02:16pm
Location: Bound in a nutshell

Re: Who Should Have Been Cast as Tarkin

Post by Eternal_Freedom » 2018-04-16 05:26pm

Honestly, I liked Tarkin as he appeared in Rogue One. I thought the guy had the voice down pat and the CGI effect was (to me) not noticeable - certainly not as bad as it was for Leia. Perhaps that's because I never saw it in 3D, but oh well.
"I could be bounded in a nutshell and count myself a king of infinite space, were it not that I have bad dreams" - Hamlet

“I’ve always thought the Yankees had something to do with it.” - Confederate General George Pickett, on being asked why his charge at Ghettysburg failed

Corrax Entry 7:17: So you walk eternally through the shadow realms, standing against evil where all others falter. May your thirst for retribution never quench, may the blood on your sword never dry, and may we never need you again.

User avatar
Imperial528
Jedi Council Member
Posts: 1727
Joined: 2010-05-03 06:19pm
Location: New England

Re: Who Should Have Been Cast as Tarkin

Post by Imperial528 » 2018-04-16 05:32pm

Having seen it in 3D, the CGI was fine on its own. When in a scene with other live actors it was rather jarring, though. Leia looked fine but she wasn't on screen for long enough to really judge.

User avatar
Elheru Aran
Emperor's Hand
Posts: 11905
Joined: 2004-03-04 01:15am
Location: Georgia

Re: Who Should Have Been Cast as Tarkin

Post by Elheru Aran » 2018-04-16 06:05pm

Imperial528 wrote:
2018-04-16 05:32pm
Having seen it in 3D, the CGI was fine on its own. When in a scene with other live actors it was rather jarring, though. Leia looked fine but she wasn't on screen for long enough to really judge.
This is what I was thinking as well. The digital character simply doesn't *quite* blend in. It's very close-- very good indeed-- but there's still a bit of uncanny valley going on.

Honestly with characters whose actors have passed, it's a bit of a crapshoot. Either you simply accept that the character is recast and the appearance doesn't matter, it's still the same character; you use makeup; you get rid of the character; or, now, you digital them in. The easiest thing to do is killing them off, but that's not an option if they're part of your plot. It's kinda hard to avoid Tarkin in a movie about the first Death Star.

The makeup approach kinda-sorta worked for Episode III, where they had to do a 20-years-younger Tarkin anyway:

Image

Wayne Pygram does have a similar facial structure to Tarkin, which helped considerably, and the character was only glimpsed for a few seconds on a Star Destroyer bridge at the very end of the movie. If his scenes had been closer up or more extended, it might have been harder to buy. Though it would've been a nice setup of Tarkin for ANH to have him be a more integral character in RotS...

Rogue One on the other hand: there was a notable difference in sharpness and colour quality when they used a CGI face recreation on top of a live actor (Guy Henry. Whoever that is.).

Image

Compare the rank badge and the colour of the uniform. The shadowing on Tarkin is much more stark in R1, and the skin is shinier as well. An actual actor's skin would probably have been matted down with some makeup to prevent reflections.
It's a strange world. Let's keep it that way.

User avatar
Eternal_Freedom
Castellan
Posts: 9061
Joined: 2010-03-09 02:16pm
Location: Bound in a nutshell

Re: Who Should Have Been Cast as Tarkin

Post by Eternal_Freedom » 2018-04-16 06:14pm

I can see the difference, but could that not be an artifact of using cameras that are 40 years newer?
"I could be bounded in a nutshell and count myself a king of infinite space, were it not that I have bad dreams" - Hamlet

“I’ve always thought the Yankees had something to do with it.” - Confederate General George Pickett, on being asked why his charge at Ghettysburg failed

Corrax Entry 7:17: So you walk eternally through the shadow realms, standing against evil where all others falter. May your thirst for retribution never quench, may the blood on your sword never dry, and may we never need you again.

User avatar
Elheru Aran
Emperor's Hand
Posts: 11905
Joined: 2004-03-04 01:15am
Location: Georgia

Re: Who Should Have Been Cast as Tarkin

Post by Elheru Aran » 2018-04-16 06:23pm

Eternal_Freedom wrote:
2018-04-16 06:14pm
I can see the difference, but could that not be an artifact of using cameras that are 40 years newer?
Quite possible, but IIRC they were deliberately attempting to technically emulate the 1970s era look to some extent in Rogue One, necessitated partly by their use of original film of X-wing pilots.

But yes, a lot of the issues here can be ascribed to 'technology marches on'. Not a whole lot that can be done about that unless you wanted to go full arthouse and hunt up a bunch of old-school cameras and whatnot.
It's a strange world. Let's keep it that way.

Simon_Jester
Emperor's Hand
Posts: 29947
Joined: 2009-05-23 07:29pm

Re: Who Should Have Been Cast as Tarkin

Post by Simon_Jester » 2018-04-16 06:33pm

Patroklos wrote:
2018-04-16 04:16pm
Let's assume for a moment you are a film maker who makes rational, competent decisions, and thus realized how stupid CGIing him in was and decided to recast Tarkin. Since you have an unlimited budget just like the Rogue One creators actually had, who do you hire?

I contract Charles Dance.

Lets be honest, Tywin and Tarkin are essentially the same dude.
Hm, I think part of what makes Tarkin is his sunken-cheeked, ascetic/frail/severe look. With suitable makeup I suspect Dance could bring it off, but it's important enough to at least influence casting choices.
This space dedicated to Vasily Arkhipov

fractalsponge1
Jedi Council Member
Posts: 1543
Joined: 2006-04-30 08:04pm
Contact:

Re: Who Should Have Been Cast as Tarkin

Post by fractalsponge1 » 2018-04-19 12:22pm

I think here's a case where pushing the boundaries are justifiable. They got 99.9% there with their CGI Tarkin. Really if I hadn't known it was CGI I might have likely missed it - you do notice that *something* is off, but had you not been clued into it being CGI or did slow re-watches in HD I think many people would have passed over it completely. I saw it in 3D too, and I look at a lot of CGI and a lot of ANH. A tour de force for modern technology. It was approximately a billion% better than the guy with prosthetics at the end of ROTS, who was 100% a live actor and looked far faker even in the background.

Here they had the budget and rationale to push the uncanny valley envelope. I think they very nearly completely pulled it off. To get all the way you'll need some test cases to see what can be done.

That said, CGI Leia was awful.

User avatar
griffinflyer
Redshirt
Posts: 5
Joined: 2018-04-13 12:04pm

Re: Who Should Have Been Cast as Tarkin

Post by griffinflyer » 2018-04-19 12:47pm

I watched it on Netflix and didn't notice that it was CGI, although my computer is low quality. I thought they did just fine. The shiny skin might just be the result of sweat, if there was a real person there.

User avatar
Elheru Aran
Emperor's Hand
Posts: 11905
Joined: 2004-03-04 01:15am
Location: Georgia

Re: Who Should Have Been Cast as Tarkin

Post by Elheru Aran » 2018-04-19 05:38pm

I suppose if anybody knows about this stuff it's Fractal.

Yeah, Tarkin wasn't *awful*. Honestly, in terms of mixing CGI and live action, he's among the very best I've ever seen when it comes to human simulations. The Clonetroopers in Episodes II and III are close, but that was armour, not flesh. You would still be hard pressed to say that's not a bunch of guys in vacuform...
It's a strange world. Let's keep it that way.

fractalsponge1
Jedi Council Member
Posts: 1543
Joined: 2006-04-30 08:04pm
Contact:

Re: Who Should Have Been Cast as Tarkin

Post by fractalsponge1 » 2018-04-20 10:43am

Body motion is incredibly easy compared to faces, and can be motion captured easily. There's a lot more anatomy going on in faces and our brains are hard-wired to track subtle facial cues, so everything has to be spot on or you get a stiff or otherwise uncanny valley result.

I do agree there was something about the skin that looked a little off - hard to put my finger on exactly what though. And the small expressions were maybe a little twitchier than natural. But the subtlety with which they tackled the small bits of the face I thought was really exceptional.

User avatar
SpottedKitty
Jedi Knight
Posts: 860
Joined: 2014-08-22 08:24pm
Location: UK

Re: Who Should Have Been Cast as Tarkin

Post by SpottedKitty » 2018-04-21 01:00am

fractalsponge1 wrote:
2018-04-19 12:22pm
Here they had the budget and rationale to push the uncanny valley envelope. I think they very nearly completely pulled it off. To get all the way you'll need some test cases to see what can be done.
One of the problems with falling into the Uncanny Valley is that you're grinding your nose against a cliff all the time you're trying to get back out the other side. It doesn't take much to poke the average person's "that's funny" reflex with an only-nearly-right effort, even if they couldn't say exactly what's wrong. The Japanese research into virtual pop divas and newsreaders is IMHO similarly almost but not quite there yet. Maybe it's just that we're so familiar with the real people — CGI!Tarkin struck me more like someone else made up to almost look like the character, while CGI!Leia was significantly further away and deeper into the Valley.

FWIW, I do 3D graphics as a hobby, it's got a lot better over the 15 or so years I've been involved, but it's only in the last year or so I could honestly say I was getting close to "good enough" in rendering a human figure.
“Despite rumor, Death isn't cruel — merely terribly, terribly good at his job.”
Terry Pratchett, Sourcery

User avatar
Lord Revan
Emperor's Hand
Posts: 10790
Joined: 2004-05-20 02:23pm
Location: Zone:classified

Re: Who Should Have Been Cast as Tarkin

Post by Lord Revan » 2018-04-21 02:39am

SpottedKitty wrote:
2018-04-21 01:00am
fractalsponge1 wrote:
2018-04-19 12:22pm
Here they had the budget and rationale to push the uncanny valley envelope. I think they very nearly completely pulled it off. To get all the way you'll need some test cases to see what can be done.
One of the problems with falling into the Uncanny Valley is that you're grinding your nose against a cliff all the time you're trying to get back out the other side. It doesn't take much to poke the average person's "that's funny" reflex with an only-nearly-right effort, even if they couldn't say exactly what's wrong. The Japanese research into virtual pop divas and newsreaders is IMHO similarly almost but not quite there yet. Maybe it's just that we're so familiar with the real people — CGI!Tarkin struck me more like someone else made up to almost look like the character, while CGI!Leia was significantly further away and deeper into the Valley.

FWIW, I do 3D graphics as a hobby, it's got a lot better over the 15 or so years I've been involved, but it's only in the last year or so I could honestly say I was getting close to "good enough" in rendering a human figure.
I think the issue with Leia might be a case of "it's too perfect". With Tarkin you had wrinkles and other signs of aging to hide the fact that skin lacked the natural imperfections, while Leia's smooth skin simply couldn't give us that. Though I'll admit it could also a matter of time as Leia is seen only at 1 scene, while Tarkin is seen thru out the movie, so the producers could have been forced to use most of their resources on making Tarkin look good.
I may be an idiot, but I'm a tolerated idiot
"I think you completely missed the point of sigs. They're supposed to be completely homegrown in the fertile hydroponics lab of your mind, dried in your closet, rolled, and smoked...
Oh wait, that's marijuana..."Einhander Sn0m4n

User avatar
Vympel
Spetsnaz
Spetsnaz
Posts: 28822
Joined: 2002-07-19 01:08am
Location: Sydney Australia

Re: Who Should Have Been Cast as Tarkin

Post by Vympel » 2018-04-21 10:01am

The same guy who did it in Rogue One, only without the CGI.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guy_Henry_(actor)

Guy Henry is an accomplished actor in his own right (you may remember him as Cassius from HBO's Rome) who had experience with emulating Peter Cushing's performance (he played Young Sherlock Holmes, modeled on Cushing's take on the character) and looks similar to him.

Image

They knew what they were doing when they got him for the part.
Elheru Aran wrote:
2018-04-16 06:05pm
Rogue One on the other hand: there was a notable difference in sharpness and colour quality when they used a CGI face recreation on top of a live actor (Guy Henry. Whoever that is.).
Errr - Guy Henry is a far more well known (and talented) actor than Wayne Pygram, dude.
Like Legend of Galactic Heroes? Please contribute to http://gineipaedia.com/

User avatar
Elheru Aran
Emperor's Hand
Posts: 11905
Joined: 2004-03-04 01:15am
Location: Georgia

Re: Who Should Have Been Cast as Tarkin

Post by Elheru Aran » 2018-04-23 04:06pm

I dunno, Guy Henry just isn't that much of a household name. Pygram at least I knew from Farscape.

That said, if you used Henry without the CGI you would still need makeup if you want him to look anything like ANH Tarkin, considering that Rogue One only happens a few days (at most) before ANH.
It's a strange world. Let's keep it that way.

User avatar
Vympel
Spetsnaz
Spetsnaz
Posts: 28822
Joined: 2002-07-19 01:08am
Location: Sydney Australia

Re: Who Should Have Been Cast as Tarkin

Post by Vympel » 2018-04-23 08:35pm

Elheru Aran wrote:
2018-04-23 04:06pm
I dunno, Guy Henry just isn't that much of a household name. Pygram at least I knew from Farscape.

That said, if you used Henry without the CGI you would still need makeup if you want him to look anything like ANH Tarkin, considering that Rogue One only happens a few days (at most) before ANH.
Yeah, true. At the same time, after putting up with it for years in multiple seasons of GOT, I've suddenly become ok with recasts who aren't dopplegangers of the original actor.
Like Legend of Galactic Heroes? Please contribute to http://gineipaedia.com/

User avatar
Mange
Sith Marauder
Posts: 4077
Joined: 2004-03-26 01:31pm
Location: Somewhere in the GFFA

Re: Who Should Have Been Cast as Tarkin

Post by Mange » 2018-04-24 02:56pm

I don't think anyone else should have been cast as Tarkin. I'm perfectly happy with the result and it's only in the very first shot with CG Tarkin that there's a bit of strange movement, but it looks great in the rest of the film. I think CG Leia looked much, much worse (but it was such a brief scene).

Post Reply