Column: Digital recreation is not necessary for Star Wars

Column: Digital recreation is not necessary for Star Wars

Nick Mayer, Staff Writer

Cinema fans everywhere were devastated by the loss of Carrie Fisher on Dec. 27, 2016. Being an iconic actress who was inspiration to many, her death was tragic news to fans of many of her roles, but her death will leave the largest impact on the  “Star Wars,” series, as she was set to be in one more sequel that has yet to be filmed. Her role as Princess Leia, a major character, became a concern to fans.

After speculation, Disney, the company that has the rights to “Star Wars” announced that they would not be digitally recreating Fisher in future films. This left fans uneasy and unsure of the future of their beloved film series, but it is the right decision. Out of respect to Fisher and her family, it is only right that Disney does not replace her with another actress or a digital recreation. On top of respect to Fisher, digital recreations and CGI don’t work well enough yet; and, in a movie with visuals as impressive as “Star Wars” it would ruin audience immersion. In “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story,” recreations were used, but not long enough to create a sense of how it would appear in a full movie instead of a short segment or cameo.

Digital recreation of a cast member has been done before, with a good example being “Furious 7.” After Paul Walker’s tragic death the producers used his two brothers, who closely resembled Walker, and audio clips they had from other projects to recreate his voice. On pen and paper this worked well but it received mixed reviews and lackluster audience approval. The scenes without Walker were noticeable as directors carefully placed shots to avoid the brothers’ face, and some of the lines just did not sound right. The writers gave Walker the honorable send-off that he deserved, but the movie felt off.

By not digitally recreating Fisher, the creators may have some more writing and editing to do because their original plans for Princess Leia may not be possible without the Princess herself. Despite needing possible reshoots, which can be costly, it would make for the best end to the films as the last scheduled movie has not begun shooting yet. While it is sad for fans, as she had such an impact, as a strong female actress that overcame many hardships, it is important to hope for the best for her family and the future of “Star Wars.” It will be in the best interest of Disney and Lucasfilm to listen to their fans, due to the fact “Star Wars” has one of the most loyal fan followings in pop culture. Regardless of what they do, fans will flock to their local theaters to see the newest installment. With fan loyalty, “Star Wars” won’t be going anywhere anytime soon.