When Luke Vader appeared at the end of the Mandalorian’s second season, we were excited to see him, but disappointed that he wasn’t being played by Sebastian Stan and then a little more disappointed when we saw the very obvious CGI that they used to create Mark Hamill’s likeness. The initial thought was… wow, I bet someone could do a better deepfake online. And they could. The Youtuber, Shamook made a much more natural looking Luke using deepfake technology just a few days after the show was released.
When Shamook’s video went viral, it wasn’t just fans who were paying attention. The folks over at Lucasfilm also saw how he improved their work and now, they’ve offered him a job. Here’s what Lucasfilm told Indiewire:
“[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’. 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.”
Now that the news is public, Shamook has also put out a statement to his fans:
“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. Now I’ve settled into my job, uploads should start increasing again. They’ll still be slow, but hopefully not months apart. Enjoy!”
We are thrilled that Lucasfilm went the route of hiring this person and not just hitting them with a copyright strike like so many studios have been known to do. We’re looking forward to seeing how this new tech can help advance the look and feel of Star Wars and other ILM/Lucasfilm projects… but we also still wish Sebastian Stan was the new Luke.