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Image via Disney

Image via Disney

Yes, right now most of the “Star Wars” excitement comes courtesy of J.J. Abrams’ upcoming “The Force Awakens” film, which hits theaters on December 18, 2015–just a few short months away! But we can’t forget about “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story,” the first in many standalone films set in the “Star Wars” universe. Sure, it won’t necessarily contribute to the overall episodic tale of the Skywalker/Solo clan, but they’re bound to build out the world in a big, bad way.

For those unfamiliar, this first entry takes place prior to the events of the “Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope,” and follows a band of Rebels in their mission to steal the Death Star plans. The film stars Felicity Jones as the lead, along with a terrific ensemble cast of Donnie Yen, Ben Mendelsohn, Forest Whitaker, Riz Ahmed, Diego Luna, Jiang Wen, Alan Tudyk, and Mads Mikkelsen.

Of course, since “Rogue One” is set back before the first film, we can expect to see the original stormtrooper helmets that we’ve learned to love from the original trilogy. But it looks like that may not be all the film has in store for us. Earlier today, actor Donnie Yen’s official Instagram posted an interesting photo displaying three different types of helmets.

"I am the force and I fear nothing. Going to put this in my company's display room." -Donnie Yen

“I am the force and I fear nothing. Going to put this in my company’s display room.” -Donnie Yen

Obviously at the center, we have the traditional stormtrooper helmet, but the helmets on either side that are what’s interesting. 

The one on the right seems to resemble the scout trooper helmet from “Return of the Jedi,” but obviously, it lacks the trademark white/black aesthetic of the Empire. Could this be some yet-unseen Rebel helmet? Based on the wear and tear, it wouldn’t surprise me, and the color seems to indicate that whoever wears the helmet would be based in some forest location. 

The helmet on the left isn’t quite so interesting, as there is a lot less information to go on. Call me a bad fan, but I can’t see a resemblance beyond maybe a stormtrooper TIE fighter pilot. The resemblance is ever so slight, but if you look closely, it can almost be seen as a more jagged reinterpretation of the pilots (yeah, that connection is quite the stretch, admittedly). That being said, since this takes place in the same time period, it’s unlikely it’d be a standard TIE fighter pilot. Perhaps there’s a new kind of pilot we’ll get to see this time around.

This wasn’t the only news to come out regarding “Rogue One.” While we know that Darth Vader will be one of the baddies in the film, we now know that Governer Tarkin will also make a grand return to the “Star Wars” universe. A statement like that begs a question: how? Peter Cushing, the man who portrayed Tarkin in “A New Hope” has been dead for over twenty years. 

A simple recast wouldn’t seem out of the question, but according to The Daily Mail it looks like the filmmakers are going one step further: recreating the character through CG! A source told the outlet the following:

“This is one of the most complex and costly CGI re-creations ever. Cushing is a pivotal plot line as he was the one to create Darth Vader and there’s a whole back story that will come out.”

One extra interesting tidbit is the extra emphasis they are having on the actor’s feet–as Cushing’s feet were never actually shown in “A New Hope” due to his wearing slippers.

“They are going through hours and hours of old footage from [Peter Cushing’s old] horror movies to recreate his legs and feet to produce realistic movements. It is eerie to see someone who has been dead for so long come to life on a screen.”

While this is all cool, one has to wonder how necessary all these extra measures are. While the prequel trilogy did have its strengths one of the main complaints was the overuse of CG. With Abrams’ “The Force Awakens,” it seemed like things were heading in a more practical direction. Will this CG recreation be one step too far in the reverse direction?

Let us know your thoughts below! What do you think of the helmets, and are you looking forward to a CG Tarkin?

“Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” hits theaters on December 16, 2016.

SOURCES: Donnie Yen, The Daily Mail