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Today in Rogue One: Behind the red carpet, weapons, and fashion

The Star Wars Show goes behind the scenes at the Rogue One red carpet and takes a look at the film’s weapons.


→ Entertainment Weekly has a roundup of the major publication reviews. They’re a little more mixed than seems the standard, but there are honestly so many reviews out there that I lost track. (Lots of “best Star Wars since Empire!” Again. A new yearly tradition?)

→ Speaking of traditions, Lining Up is still at it (and sold out,) though only for 48 hours this time.

→ Ben Mendelsohn is all about the cape. The real world fashion is all over the blogs: Although they think she started strong, Tom and Lorenzo are increasing disappointed in Felicity Jone’s dresses. (And the men get dinged for showing up in jeans while she’s in full formalwear, which is pretty par for the course.) The Fug Girls cast a wider, but less critical, net. No one likes the lavender.

→ FYI, I know the film was shown in some international markets today, and I’ll have a discussion post up on the site tomorrow, just ahead of the first U.S. showings at 7 p.m. EDT.

Today in Rogue One: (Almost) everyone’s on The Star Wars Show


ro-teaser1-stardestroyerThe cast was on The Star Wars Show! And here’s even more interviews: Gareth Edwards on how they filmed the X-wing battle. John Knoll is also talking space battles and the full-size X-wings and the (not so full-sized) Star Destroyer models. Ben Mendelsohn on where Krennic ranks on the Star Wars villain scale and addresses his relationship with Tarkin. And finally, Mads Mikkelsen on fighting Darth Vader.

→ Entertainment Weekly’s Anthony Breznican on the origins of K-2SO. Speaking of the Brez, check out his interview on the latest Steele Wars, a must-listen for anyone curious about Star Wars journalism.

→ The film has a release date in China: January 6, 2017.

→ More takes on the Rogue One press event from /Film and Fangirl Blog.

→ Shockingly, Reddit Neo-Nazis are pissed about Rogue One. More seats for us, dude.

Today in Rogue One: The first 28 minutes, new clips

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Some journalists got a look at the first 28 minutes of Rogue One last night, and USA Today’s Brian Truitt is surprisingly forthcoming about what he saw. The veil of secrecy is so thin this time! (Yes, that’s a spoiler warning.) Underworld rounds up some more reactions.

→ A good portion of the Rogue One cast – Felicity Jones, Diego Luna, Donnie Yen, Riz Ahmed, Alan Tudyk, Ben Mendelsohn, and Mads Mikkelsen, plus director Gareth Edwards – will appear on Jimmy Kimmel Live on December 9. Some of The Force Awakens cast did a similar appearance last year, so expect it to go something like this.

→ Even more clips! There’s a new TV spot, a Jyn featurette and a scene at the Yavin base featuring a familiar face.

Cast, director Gareth Edwards talk Rogue One live on Twitter, Facebook

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The live Rogue One event on Twitter turned out to be, basically, a live press conference at Lucasfilm. In attendance were director Gareth Edwards and stars Felicity Jones, Diego Luna, Ben Mendelsohn, Donnie Yen, Riz Ahmed, and Alan Tudyk.

Here’s the chat:


The new scene:


And the Lucasfilm tour, which was quite honestly the highlight of the whole thing:


They also did a Facebook chat yesterday. The highlight? Gareth Edwards stole the Death Star plans.

SWCE: Rogue One poster, behind-the-scenes clip debuts!


The first surprise at the Rogue One panel was Gwendoline Christie hosting. The second was the poster, and the third is the behind the scenes clip we see above.

ro-posterJohn Knoll revealed that he first came up with the idea of a the story when he first heard rumblings of the live-action series, during the filming of Revenge of the Sith. He put it away when he learned more about George’s concept for the series, and pulled it out again when the spinoffs were announced. Check out the original concept art of the team.

Director Gareth Edwards talking about meeting Mark Hamill (and later, George Lucas!) on set, barely keeping it together.

Edwards also confirmed that the beach planet is named Scarif, and later cast revealed another planet, Jedha. Apparently people make Force-based pilgrimages there – Edwards compared it to Mecca. This appears to be the market planet, and where we meet Chirrut Imwe (Donnie Yen,) Baze Malbus (Jiang Wen) and Bodhi Rook (Riz Ahmed.) Edwards had more to say on Jedha in a post-panel interview – it’s certainly an intriguing addition to the galaxy.

We learned a bit more about several characters, including our first look at Mads Mikkelsen’ Galen Erso. He invented something “so fantastic it might change the universe.”

Jones also got her first look at the Jyn Erso action figure direct from Christie. Here’s a closer look at her from the floor:

Ahmed said his pilot character Bodhi works for but is questioning the Empire:

He also got quite a few zings in. On that note, Alan Tudyk also shared what Anthony Danials said when he told him his droid was CGI: “You shit.”

Ben Mendelson called Orson Krennic “smarter” than his Imperial predecessors, and “a little sexier than some of them, not quite as sexy as some of the others,” with a wink to Christie.

Christie concluded the panel with a group selfie:

And now, days later, you can watch it all for yourself!

What we’ve learned about Rogue One from Entertainment Weekly: Vader, the Ersos and a Clone Wars import

ew-rogueoneThe publicity blitz for Rogue One begins with an Entertainment Weekly cover, introducing more of the story to mainstream movie fans, getting the word out that this is set before A New Hope, involves the Death Star, and all the other things your less-obsessive friends and family need to know. (Or, well, a few things you couldn’t tell them after the teaser trailer.) Here’s what we learned today:

Darth Vader is back
It feels like rumors about Darth Vader being in the film have been running rampant since day one, so it’s not at all a shock that EW comes straight out with it. (Also confirming that James Earl Jones is back to voice him, though multiple people will be donning the suit.) And hey, remember the mainstream? The mainstream LOVES Darth Vader. The marketing for Rogue One is absolutely going to use the guy, even if he just appears in 5 minutes of the film. It’s happening. Plus, it’s nice not to have to write around the utterly obvious any more. We also learned that Vader will only be used “sparingly.”

A Clone Wars character comes to the big screen
ro-sawBut the big surprise today wasn’t Vader, it’s the reveal of who exactly Forest Whitaker is playing. He’s Saw Gerrera, a character who was introduced on The Clone Wars but was originally created by George Lucas for the live-action series that never happened. Pablo Hidalgo talks a bit more about that on the latest Star Wars Show, and how Saw ended up in the movie. Dave Filoni talked to Comicbook.com about the character’s jump to the big screen.

Of course, there’s even more from Pablo on Twitter. The key quotes, I think: “The idea, and we talked about this in Season 5, is that Saw was a key architect of the rebellion. But he’s definitely not Mothma or Organa,” and “Think of Saw as the uncle mom and dad don’t talk about. Something bad went down. He’s ‘disowned’ to some degree.”

StarWars.com also put up a feature on Saw: Ten things to know about the character, by our pal Amy Ratcliffe. Note that his hme planet, Onderon, originates in an early Legends source, the 1993 Tales of the Jedi comics.

New (to us) Imperials

ro-w-krennicBen Mendelsohn is confirmed to be playing Director Orson Krennic. He’s trying to crush the Rebels while avoiding Vader’s wrath – and “palace intrigue” gets a mention, which is sure to please some.

He’s intended to be something of a contrast with the cold brand of Imperial epitomized by Grand Moff Tarkin, “Krennic runs a little hotter than that, so that’s kind of fun and it’s a little bit different,” Lucasfilm head of story development Kiri Hart tells EW. “He is unpredictable and volatile.”

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The new black deathtroopers are “a new, deadlier breed of commando stormtrooper” who are “asked with hunting down and destroying the fragmented Rebel uprising.” There’s still a lot of questions about their purpose (and why we don’t see them again) but you can’t deny that they look pretty cool.

Welcome to the jungle

Rogue One introduces a new tropical paradise planet – as yet unnamed – that’s evokes the South Pacific and World War II. It was partially shot in the the Maldives.

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Another location glimpsed in the new photos has tundra.

Meet the Ersos
Lead Jyn Erso (Felicity Jones) has “a checkered past,” Kathleen Kennedy says. “She has been detained [by the Rebellion] and is being given an opportunity to be useful. And by being useful, it may commute her sentence… She’s a real survivor. She becomes a kind of Joan of Arc in the story.” The decision to have a female lead was made by John Knoll before he knew about Rey.

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The beans were already spilled by Mads Mikkelsen, but it’s confirmed that he’s playing Galen Erso, Jyn’s father. EW describes him as “the galactic version of nuclear pioneer J. Robert Oppenheimer,” and Lucasfilm isn’t sharing many details just yet. Interestingly, they’ve also not released a photo of Mikkelsen in costume.

The rest of the gang
We also get a few details on the rest of the principal cast. Some of these we saw partially in that book leak from few weeks back. The group’s diversity is intentional. “People are coming to the Rebellion because something has happened that has galvanized or politicized them,” says Hart. “The question just becomes: What are those triggers for different people in different places?”

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Diego Luna is Captain Cassian Andor, “a by-the-book Rebel intelligence officer.” He’s a bit weary but has a commitment to the long fight.

Chirrut Imwe and Jiang Wen (LFL)

Chirrut Imwe and Jiang Wen (LFL)

Donnie Yen’s Chirrut Imwe “very much still believes in everything the Jedi were about,” and that sounds very much like the tenets of the Church of the Force, the group led by Lor San Tekka that we saw briefly in The Force Awakens. Jiang Wen’s heavily armored Baze Malbus is a friend of Chirrut’s who’s supportive but not so much into all that Force business. The two are inspired by The Hidden Fortress, ala Threepio and Artoo, Kennedy says. Besides his staff, Chirrut also carries a brand-new weapon that could spark some debate until we see it in action.

Riz Ahmed’s Bodhi Rook is the group’s lead pilot. “He flies a lot of cargo, one of his key jobs,” Kennedy says. “And he tends to be a little tense, a little volatile, but everybody in the group really relies on his technical skills.” Here’s another photo.

Alan Tudyk’s droid K-2SO (Kaytoo) is described by director Gareth Edwards as “a little bit like Chewbacca’s personality in a droid’s body. He doesn’t give a s— about what you think.” Looks like Chopper is getting some company in the ‘cranky droid’ department. Here’s a full body shot.

Edwads also confirms that there are two background aliens who fight with the group, but “they’re not necessarily front-and-center.”

Head to EW for more details.

Rogue One character names, new starfighters revealed in Visual Guide preview

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Jedi Bibliothek spotted preview pages for Rogue One: The Official Visual Guide Story on Edelweiss, which reveals several character names and new vehicles – plus our first clear look at two new aliens and the droid glimpsed briefly in the trailer. These may be considered spoilerly, so check out what we’ve learned under the cut.

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Rogue One announces cast; Adds Mads Mikkelsen, Alan Tudyk

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We got our first look and additional cast and crew for Gareth Edward’s Rogue One at D23 today. In addition to Felicity Jones, who was announced previously, the Lucasfilm confirms rumors of Ben Mendelsohn, Diego Luna, Donnie Yen, Jiang Wen, Riz Ahmed, and Forest Whitaker. They also added Hannibals’ Mads Mikkelsen and Alan Tudyk (Firefly, A Knight’s Tale) whose role is performance-capture.

Additionally, it appears that the ‘Anthology’ branding has been somewhat dropped: The official logo for the film now says “A Star Wars Story.”