Star Wars fan ‘fixes’ The Mandalorian season 2 finale with a deepfake video – CNET

The Mandalorian mixes live-action with both practical and special effects. But would the series be even better by using sophisticated deepfake software?
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The season 2 finale of The Mandalorian was an emotional rollercoaster for a lot of fans (including me), but there was one big reveal that will most likely have fans debating until the hit show returns for another season in 2021 on Disney Plus.While Lucasfilm, via Industrial Light & Magic, is known for its cutting-edge digital mastery, one Star Wars fan thought the shocking cameo of you-know-who could use a touch-up using deepfake software. Deepfakes are fake videos that convincingly show people appearing to be doing or saying things they never did.

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In the season 2 finale, Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) shows up to save the day with his lightsaber in hand, after getting Baby Yoda/Grogu’s Force message. “Come, little one,” Luke says as he reaches out to Grogu. The digital re-creation of Hamill’s 1983 film face is impressive. (Luke in this episode is voiced by Hamill and played by English actor Max Lloyd Jones). But with deepfake software, the digital look to Hamill as a younger Luke looks even better. YouTuber Shamook posted The Mandalorian Luke Skywalker deepfake video on Monday to show how Hamill can appear more seamless and better composed in various scenes. 
The impressive deepfake shows the side-by-side comparison of Hamill as Luke with Lucasfilm’s original version on the left and the cleaner deepfake version on the right. In the deepfake version, Luke’s skin and eyes are much more detailed and textured than in the original take. The mouth movement is also more convincing in the deepfake.

This raises the question of whether the future of human actors’ CGI movements could be better replaced with a much easier to use (and probably cheaper) method of deepfake video software.When the video posted on Monday, Star Wars fans offered up their thoughts on the uncanny deepfake of Luke. 
I knew this deepfake would be coming. We’re deepfaking the deepfakes now. (I don’t think we know for sure how they made Luke in The Mandalorian. It could be CGI or de-ageing or sth else.) Anyway, I think it’s an improvement; the detail on the face certainly seems a lot crisper.— (o_O) (@foomandoonian) December 22, 2020

MAJOR SEASON 2 SPOILERS – People with AI tech once again doing this better than the people paid to do the CGI. Mouth would have been more natural if the deepfake wasn’t relying on the CGI face to begin with.The Mandalorian Deepfake via @YouTube— SpiderLuke 🍒 (@SpiderLuke) December 22, 2020

@jonfavs please implement deep fake technology in the future for the mandalorian and other shows, it looks waaay better than what you guys used for episode 8 of season 2— LordHeadassSupreme (@Lord__Headass) December 22, 2020

Five days since it aired and there’s already a vastly superior deepfake of  in the Mandalorian finale— Huw / Littlepixel Total Landscaping™️ 僅 四角 光!® (@Littlepixel) December 22, 2020

So someone applied deepfake technology to Tarkin/Leia from Rogue One and Han Solo from, er, Solo, and even [redacted] from Mandalorian and I gotta say…it looks way way better than the original CG faces holy crap!— James Charlton (@famicomplicated) December 22, 2020

Of course somebody on YouTube has put up a deepfake of [REDACTED] in Chapter 16 The Mandalorian and made it look better.— Random Sleigh (@_RandomJ_) December 22, 2020

Deepfake tech is gonna be stupid in a few years.(Just saw a video showing it compared to what was shown in the Mandalorian season finale)— Santacyte (@sagacyte) December 22, 2020

If they use the same look he had in Mandalorian I’m out. Looked absolutely terrible. The deepfake floating around is miles better.— NINJA KNIGHT 🇮🇪 (@The_NinjaKnight) December 22, 2020