Spoilers incoming for episode 6 of The Book of Boba Fett. The penultimate episode of the Star Wars series aired Wednesday night on Disney Plus. It featured the second appearance of a de-aged Luke Skywalker, played by Mark Hamill (with stand-in Graham Hamilton), after the season 2 finale of The Mandalorian. We see Skywalker mentoring Grogu, aka Baby Yoda, on an unnamed planet where Luke is setting up his training temple.
Aside from the cool cameo, the adorable armor Grogu is gifted, and Mando’s heartbreaking attempt to reunite with “the kid,” the episode brought another revelation. The CGI for Hamill, made to look like his 1983 self, has vastly improved since the heavily criticized version in The Mandalorian.
So what changed?
Why Luke Skywalker’s CGI is so much better
Aside from technological advancements, one possible explanation is the fact Lucasfilm hired a deepfake YouTuber whose impressive video showing his own de-aging of Skywalker went viral.
Shamook announced last year that he’d been hired as a “senior facial capture artist.”
Lucasfilm confirmed the new hire (via 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,'” a Lucasfilm representative said in a statement.
“Over the past several years, ILM has been investing in both machine learning and AI 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,” the representative said.
Shamook and Lucasfilm didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
While Shamook’s job title isn’t to be found in the end credits, the improved visuals are more than welcome.
“The CGI for a certain someone in this episode was so much better than it was the last time we saw them. They should honestly go back and redo that first sequence with said character,” tweeted one viewer.
Another thought the only explanation could be that Hamill had taken a “youth potion.”
See the final episode of The Book of Boba Fett on Feb. 9.