The Mandalorian season 2 finale was an occasion which offered countless highlights, though none came close to the closing minutes when Luke Skywalker made a surprise appearance, showcasing what the oft-mythologised Jedi Master was physically capable of at his peak. It was to the point where none of us minded the story had creeped into deux ex machina territory. The only detail which detracted from witnessing a de-aged Mark Hamill cut through a squadron of droids to rescue the titular bounty hunter / Din Djarin, Grogu / Baby Yoda, and co.? A touch of rather sub-par CGI. Thankfully, VFX YouTuber Shamook came in clutch with an assist after the fact.
Leveraging the power of deepfake technology, Shamook improved the existing footage over the course of just four days, gaining the attention of millions for their efforts – including the crew over at Lucasfilm’s visual effects arms, Industrial Light & Magic. But instead of getting salty about being upstaged at their own game and slapping a red-hot legal notice, ILM decided to reach out and hire Shamook as their new Senior Facial Capture Artist.
“Industrial Light & Magic is always on the lookout for talented artists and have in fact hired the artist that goes by the online persona ‘Shamook,’” reveals a Lucasfilm representative via 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.”
“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,” Shamook himself wrote in a comment earlier this month.
“Now I’ve settled into my job, uploads should start increasing again. They’ll still be slow, but hopefully not months apart. Enjoy!”
Now that’s a result… someone give Martin Scorsese this guy’s number.
Check out Shamook’s audition tape featuring an improved Luke Skywalker in The Mandalorian below – and be sure to check out some of the VFX artist’s other works here.