The Mandalorian: Lucasfilm Taps YouTuber After Luke Skywalker Deepfake

It seems like Hollywood still has ways to go when it comes to de-aging technology. Some amusing stories come from those who are able to undermine current works of the conglomerates whether if it's fraudster-turned-security consultant Frank Abagnale, as depicted in the film Catch Me If You Can (2002). Or in the case of YouTuber "Shamook", you use the technology known as deepfake to create an arguably more accurate portrayal of a de-aged Mark Hamill than the VFX artists at Industrial Light and Magic for Lucasfilm's The Mandalorian. Indiewire confirmed the studio's hiring after the user released a video that featured side-by-side comparison shots from ILM to his own work in the season two finale and interaction between Hamill's Luke Skywalker and Pedro Pascal's Din Djarin that went viral with nearly two million views on YouTube.

The Mandalorian: Mark Hamill Thanks Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni
© 2020 Lucasfilm Ltd. & ™. All Rights Reserved.

Shamook's Deepfakes on The Irishman, Rogue One, and The Mandalorian

"[Industrial Light and Magic is] always on the lookout for talented artists and have in fact hired the artist that goes by the online persona 'Shamook,'" a Lucasfilm representative said in a statement. "Over the past several years ILM has been investing in both machine learning and A.I. as a means to produce compelling visual effects work and it's been terrific to see momentum building in this space as the technology advances."

Shamook released his cut four days following the premiere of the Mandalorian episode "Chapter 16: The Rescue" on Disney+. "As some of you may already know, I joined ILM/Lucasfilm a few months ago and haven't had the time to work on any new YouTube content," the YouTuber wrote. "Now I've settled into my job, uploads should start increasing again. They'll still be slow, but hopefully not months apart. Enjoy!" While Star Wars fans largely rejoiced at the reveal, the execution has its share of critics. This isn't the first time the franchise used de-aging CG as it was famously used to recreate the late Peter Cushing's Grand Moff Tarkin with permission from his estate and Carrie Fisher's Leia Organa with the late actress' blessing in Rogue One (2016) with doubles standing in for the actors for their respective scenes. Shamook also released his own version.

Another notable work by Shamook is his deepfake rendition of The Irishman, showing off a more organic-looking Robert De Niro compared to his Netflix de-aged self, which hit 1.2 million views on YouTube.

daily dispatch
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About Tom Chang

I'm a follower of pop culture from gaming, comics, sci-fi, fantasy, film, and TV for over 30 years. I grew up reading magazines like Starlog, Mad, and Fangoria. As a writer for over 10 years, Star Wars was the first sci-fi franchise I fell in love with. I'm a nerd-of-all-trades.
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