Deepfake Luke Skywalker Is Way More Convincing In The Mandalorian

A fan edited deepfake of Luke Skywalker’s cameo in The Mandalorian season 2 finale using young Mark Hamill is more convincing than CGI de-aging. The season 2 finale of the live-action Star Wars show shocked and delighted fans by revealing the Jedi that Grogu, aka Baby Yoda, had called out to earlier in the season was Luke Skywalker. The cameo, which The Mandalorian successfully managed to keep a secret, shows Skywalker fighting off a group of Dark troopers while hooded before revealing himself in front of Mando and his assembled compatriots.

Despite the character being almost 40 years younger than him, actor Mark Hamill was on set to shoot the scene, with his face getting de-aged using CGI, similar to the way Grand Moff Tarkin and Princess Leia were for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. The technology has definitely improved since that movie was made in 2016, but the scene still suffers from what is called the “uncanny valley” effect, where a CGI face looks plastic and inhuman, especially when seen next to real human faces. However, one YouTuber has proven this could have been fixed easily.

Related: How Old Luke Skywalker Is In The Mandalorian

Shamook, a deepfake expert, has posted a new video showing an improved version of de-aged Luke Skywalker using his deepfake technology. When compared side-by-side, there’s no doubt the deepfake version is more convincing, with Skywalker’s face looking less plastic and featuring more realistic-looking skin. His expressions, too, are more human, and his eyes are much more convincingly real. You can see the video, which compares all of the shots of Luke Skywalker in The Mandalorian season 2 finale, below:

The video yet again begs the question of why major movie studios are unable to replicate results that a YouTuber can in just a few days. There’s no doubt that the de-aging CGI on The Mandalorian is better than we’ve seen utilized in the Star Wars universe before, even improving upon the young Luke and Leia seen in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. But it’s also indisputable that software available for purchase for a few hundred dollars can do a better job. While CGI is catching up, surely it would make more sense for studios to use this technology instead.

That’s not to take away from the efforts of the technicians working on The Mandalorian. The virtual production technology being used on the show is astounding, and the CGI in general is flawless, but unfortunately the de-aging CGI fails to live up to the high standards set across the rest of the show. Hopefully the studios will begin to take notice of deepfake tech and implement its use soon, rather than spending money and time on CGI that isn’t as good yet.

Next: How Deepfake Technology Actually Works

The Mandalorian will return for season 3 on Disney+

Source: Shamook

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