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Please take this bushel of Rogue One links


Rogue One is all over the place, so let’s mop this up before more comes along. Above, the Rogue One VHS commercial by Damien Kazan.

→ Gareth Edwards shares some (ancient) Jedha history, about how the city got it’s high density of kyber crystals.

→ Entertainment Weekly’s final infodump on all the scenes that weren’t, Dantooine not making the cut, cameos and plot holes..

John Knoll is nursing another spinoff idea, but he’s not sure if he’ll pitch it.

Mads Mikkelsen on how much of Galen’s backstory he knew, Felicity Jones, Oppenheimer and more.

→ A look at a featurettes about Donnie Yen and Jiang Wen, Saw Gerrera.

Christopher Scarabosio and Matthew Wood talk about the film’s sound.

→ Gareth Edwards on Darth Vader’s final scene.

Today in Rogue One: Hey, was that…?

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Twitter had a nice freak-out this afternoon as a ship resembling the Ghost from the Star Wars Rebels cartoon was spotted in a new TV commercial. (There’s more evidence on the Tumblr.) Easter egg? Cameo? Only time will tell.

And that was only one of several new commercials dropped today. Here’s one, and here’s one and here’s one that’s actually on the official site and in high res! Of course it’s the one with the least new footage.

Speaking of new footage, there are two new scenes as well: One with Orson Krennic and Galen Erso (which seems to answer a question I asked in my Catalyst review) and another from the call sign scene. There’s also a new Chinese trailer, introduced by Donnie Yen and Jiang Wen.

ro-cassian-vert→ So many more interviews today! John Knoll on how they approached the film and changes to Darth Vader’s costume. Gareth Edwards addresses the reshoots and George Lucas’ review. Riz Ahmed on being an ‘average Joe’ in the GFFA. And finally, Diego Luna on his research into being a soldier and why Cassian isn’t a typical hero. He’s really happy to be here, you guys.

→ Could something in the background of the recent creature featurette have given us a hint at that mysterious kneeling scene from the very first teaser?

→ Thanks to both The Force Awakens and Rogue One, Star Wars was Twitter’s top trending movie topic of 2016.

→ Here’s Epcot’s Spaceship Earth being transformed into the Death Star.

→ A new Rogue One collection launched at Hot Topic and Torrid today. I’m not sure this one really translates…

Rogue One emojjis are now in the Star Wars app!

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 catchup: A character name for Felicity Jones?

rogue-one-detail1Making Star Wars has a few bits for Rogue One: A name or codename for Felicity Jones’ character. (Remember, most sources for The Force Awakens were calling Daisy Ridley’s character ‘Kira’ – we didn’t hear the name ‘Rey’ until it was officially revealed just after the first teaser trailer, which could also be the case here.)

They also have a bit on Jiang Wen’s character, and a pair of posts on new trooper types we may see.

→ At Toy Fair, Jedi News heard from several licensees that Force Friday will return to launch Rogue One merchandise on September 30, 2016.

→ Scottish model Eunice Olumide has a part in the film, and she described a scene to the Edinburgh News. (via)

→ On Today last week, Forest Whitaker described the film as a “little edgier” for Star Wars.

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.”