One of the more interesting aspects of “Rogue One” is the fact that one of its characters, the Grand Moff Tarkin, was played by Peter Cushing, who inconveniently has been dead since 1994. How the special effects wizards who created a universe of droids, spaceships, and the Death Star did it has profound implications for the future of movie making.

The filmmakers hired Guy Henry, a BBC soap opera, to play Cushing’s body double. Then the special effects experts changed him into Cushing as he existed in 1977, bringing back to life on of the more memorable characters from “Star Wars: A New Hope.” The commander of the Death Star, servant of the Empire responsible for the massacre of billions of living beings, struts across the stage once again to terrorize and fascinate a new generation of fans.

To be sure, this kind of CGI is nothing new. Actors have been playing younger versions of themselves for years. Andy Serkis has been playing creatures such as Gollum from “The Lord of the Rings” as a career niche. But bringing back Peter Cushing from the dead is the first, at least in a major motion picture, when a classic actor was cast in a movie without being around to collect a paycheck.

Imagine a future in which beloved, dead players are brought back to appear in new films. We could have John Wayne westerns again despite the fact that the Duke has been dead for decades.

Olivier, Gielgud, and Guinness could do Shakespeare again, though the latter could also return as Obi-wan Kenobi, a role that he grew to be annoyed with. Classic “Star Trek” could return despite the fact that much of the cast has gone to that final frontier. “Firefly” could be brought back without having to account for the passage of time.

The technology has profound implications for acting, a profession that is already highly competitive.

Why hire an A-list actor who has to be paid an outrageous amount of money and might have prima donna demands when one can hire a nobody and superimpose the features and manners of a dead actor? Audiences wouldn’t mind, but one suspects that the Screen Actors Guild will have something to say about it.

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