Hayden Christensen’s Anakin Skywalker return was a high point of the Ahsoka Disney+ TV show, and now top VFX artists explain how it was possible.
- Hayden Christensen’s return in Ahsoka showcases the best de-aging technology from ILM to date, impressing VFX artists.
- ILM uses multiple cameras and infra-red filming to create incredibly detailed 3D models for de-aging.
- Speculation arises on whether Lucasfilm will use similar technology in future projects, potentially featuring original trilogy heroes.
Top VFX artists have explained how Star Wars perfected Hayden Christensen’s de-aging for Ahsoka. Hayden Christensen returned as Anakin Skywalker in the Ahsoka Disney+ TV show, leaving viewers thrilled at his interactions with Rosario Dawson’s Ahsoka Tano. An encounter in a mystical realm known as the World Between Worlds allowed Star Wars to show iconic moments from the Clone Wars, with flashbacks to Anakin as he was during the prequel era.
The newest video from Corridor Crew celebrates Christensen’s return, with a group of top FVX artists watching in amazement at ILM’s best de-aging to date.
As they note, ILM has been working on de-aging and deepfakes for some time – with a Princess Leia cameo in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, Mark Hamill’s Luke Skywalker in The Mandalorian season 2 and The Book of Boba Fett, and Indiana Jones in Indiana Jones & the Dial of Destiny. But Christensen’s return is easily the most impressive to date.
How ILM De-Aged Anakin Skywalker
Corridor Crew provide an excellent summary of the latest technology used by ILM. The VFX vendor has discovered that filming from multiple cameras at the same speed in infra-red won’t affect regular photography, while allowing for incredibly detailed triangulation to create 3D models. ILM first hit upon the idea during production of The Irishman, and improved it with the various Mark Hamill cameos. Ironically, fan reaction to the Luke Skywalker scenes led to their simply adding another layer of deepfake on top, which they seem to have done with Christensen’s Anakin Skywalker as well.
There’s intense speculation over whether Lucasfilm will use similar technology to ensure their upcoming movie set in The Mandalorian era, which will feature Grand Admiral Thrawn as the main villain, could also feature some of the original trilogy heroes. At present, it’s difficult to say, but this certainly seems more likely after a nod to Leia Organa herself in the Ahsoka finale. This is becoming increasingly likely as ILM perfect the de-aging and deepfake technology, hopefully making it a little cheaper and easier every time.
Source: Corridor Crew