Technological advances really shine in the film industry, especially for special effects-heavy projects like Star Wars. Disney Gallery: The Mandalorian gives a brand new look at the series and how it is made. That in-depth behind-the-scenes look has given fans a different perspective on how everything came together, especially for its epic finale that featured a young Mark Hamill (Invincible). While we have had some ideas from the obvious deepfake, there is more that was not known until now, like the nitty-gritty details and how his voice as his iconic character is completely synthesized.
Before anything, do know that Mark Hamill was there on set for some shots. While stuntman Matthew Rugetti (The Boys, Army of the Dead, Preacher) performed the action, much of what we saw was the original actor. The show’s creator, Jon Favreau (The Lion King), revealed that they used a new technology called Respeecher. This created the reenactment of his voice from the computer to make it sound truly like young Luke and not the older one we have seen recently from the sequels.
Star Wars sound editor Matthew Wood, who has been working on practically everything in the franchise since the 2004 editions of the original trilogy, gave extra insight into creating the voice for Mark Hamill. They fed the network, and from there, it starts to learn. By taking ADR from the original films and clear Star Wars radio sessions, he was able to get something usable for the machine.
It had to go beyond that to get a young Mark Hamill. The de-aging technology was the same as what has been seen in Marvel movies, like the impressive de-aged Kurt Russell (The Hateful Eight) in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. He agreed to this, and the work began to make him like his youthful self. A mix of deepfake technology and the de-aging effects created the visual of what audiences saw with the Respeecher application to seal the deal on making a recreation of the actor authentically.
It goes beyond bringing a young Mark Hamill to life for The Mandalorian. Star Wars has always innovated on technology across the board. For example, the making of the original trilogy broke new ground for special effects; the prequels went for CGI that was becoming popular through the 90s and early 00s. Even then, the Disney Plus series brought out virtual sets instead of green or blue screens, which has inspired other movies like upcoming Marvel blockbusters Thor: Love and Thunder to follow in those footsteps to use video game technology to create a set that looks real and can be seen in realtime as production is underway.
The Mandalorian Season 3 is on its way. Now that The Book of Boba Fett wrapped filming, it should get Pedro Pascal’s (Wonder Woman 1984) bounty hunter series on the road to production. No word if we will see more Mark Hamill, and since he took Baby Yoda with him, we have no idea of what to expect for the story moving forward.