If you are a fan of The Mandalorian, you may have been surprised and excited to see a young Mark Hammill show up in the Season 2 finale. If your excitement was short-lived because of Jedi Master Luke’s unnatural look and performance, you were not alone. The CG stand-in created by Lucasfilm’s Industrial Light and Magic received plenty of criticism from fans.
One fan who goes by Shamook on YouTube attempted to “fix” Lucasfilm’s footage of the scene using deepfake technology and did a spectacular job. He posted his version in a side-by-side comparison last December, and it went viral, gathering over 2.2 million views (above). It still has that uncanny valley vibe, but Luke looks more natural and alive in the post edit.
Shamook also took the deep fake brush to ILM’s version of Carrie Fisher in Rogue One.
Shamook’s work was so good that he just announced that ILM/Lucasfilm hired him to help with de-aging (making living actors look younger) and re-animating (bringing dead actors back to life) on future projects. In fact, Lucasfilm was so impressed that it gave him a senior-level position.
“As some of you may already know, I joined ILM/Lucasfilms a few months ago and haven’t had the time to work on any new YouTube content,” Shamook wrote in the comments of a recent upload. “[My position is] Senior Facial Capture Artist.”
Companies don’t generally hand out Senior designations like visitor passes. Either Shamook has a CV showing extensive work in the industry, or ILM was just that impressed with what they saw on his channel. Speaking of which, his channel contains a ton of deepfakes from a wide range of movies, including several Star Wars clips (example directly above). Perhaps that is Curriculum Vitae enough.