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Is That Grand Moff Tarkin in the New ‘Rogue One’ TV Spot?

The late actor Peter Cushing, mainstay of Hammer’s horror films and erstwhile Star Wars cast member, cut a distinctive figure: cheekbones that could slice diamond, perfectly coiffed shock of grey hair, mouth permanently pursed into a single flat line. As the ruthless Empire commander Grand Moff Tarkin, Cushing left a lasting impression on generations of viewers, austerity coded directly into the lines on his face. He makes for an instantly recognizable silhouette — so is that really him, out of focus and in the foreground for a split second in the latest Rogue One: A Star Wars Story TV spot?

Entertainment Weekly posed the question with a new post earlier today, isolating a single shot from the :05-mark in the new clip embedded above. For a fraction of a moment, we see a grey-haired man in a dark-grey uniform from behind as he watches the Death Star’s construction near completion. It could be newcomer Ben Mendelsohn as the nefarious Empire official Orson Krennic, but something about the back of that head positively screams ‘Moff.’ Could it be?

Cushing died back in 1994, but that’s not the roadblock it used to be. For 2005’s Revenge of the Sith, actor Wayne Pygram donned prosthetic makeup to mimic Cushing’s famously gaunt countenance and made a brief cameo as Grand Moff Tarkin — what’s to stop Rogue One from pulling the same trick? Though even that may not be necessary; the same creepy digital processes that resurrected Marlon Brando in last year’s documentary Listen to Me Marlon could surely be used to create some computerized facsimile of Cushing.

Regrettably, no amount of intent staring will resolve the question of whether the back of that head truly belongs to Grand Moff Tarkin, so all fans can really do is wait. Wait, and tidy up the Peter Cushing love shrines we all have in our hallway closets.

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