Star Wars Deepfake Casts Star Trek’s William Shatner as Luke Skywalker

An impressive new Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back deepfake turns a young William Shatner into a rather enchanting Luke Skywalker.

Hello, and welcome to yet another edition of “looking at the internet’s constant supply of disturbing deepfakes and rating them according to both their objective skill and existential horrors.”

Today’s offering is Star Wars-themed, and d’you know what? Not sure we’ve ever covered a Star Wars deepfake before, so this will be a unique entry into the Den of Geek library. It’s a very silly library. We don’t enforce a ‘no talking’ rule, so feel free to yell in the comments as standard.

“What if a young William Shatner had been cast as Luke Skywalker?” certainly isn’t a question we thought we’d be asking ourselves this week, but a new Empire Strikes Back video from DeepFaker has brought the question to our attention, much like a cat might bring a dead mouse to your doorstep on a brisk autumn morning. “What are we supposed to do with this?” Well, stare at it, ponder the circle of life and then lob it over the fence for some other poor soul to deal with.

1980’s The Empire Strikes Back is still considered by many to be the best Star Wars movie – though plenty of Lucasfilm installments have tried to improve on it in the last 40 years – and Mark Hamill’s performance as Luke Skywalker during the climax of the sequel fast became an iconic cinematic moment. This new deepfake gets there in the end, after pulling Shatner in for some essential Dagobah-based training with Master Yoda.

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Take a look…

“In the original Star Wars trilogy Luke Skywalker was played by Mark Hamill,” DeepFaker noted in their latest upload. “What would it look like if William Shatner played the part instead in this ultimate Star TrekStar Wars crossover?”

Well. We. Assume. Luke would. Talk like this. And not. Like Mark Hamill. But these deepfakes can only go so far without either a really good impressionist or the replacement star’s involvement, neither of which are likely to be forthcoming, so the creators make do.

Look, maybe we just haven’t had enough coffee today, but this kinda …works? It’s up there with some of the better deepfakes we’ve seen in the last year, and it feels like Yung Shatner would have made for a pretty good Luke Skywalker. Perhaps a little too cocky, perhaps not as whiny, and almost certainly radiating less of that quite essential innocent vibe that Mark Hamill brought to the role, bearing in mind Shatner would have been a LOT older than Hamill at the time, but it doesn’t feel totally wrong.

What do you think?

Until next time.