Tag Archives: john knoll

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: 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!

Today in Rogue One: More press, John Knoll, and another footage review

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There was another press conference in San Francisco today. StarWars.con liveblogged it, and here’s a collection of the live-tweets. Perhaps the biggest news to come out of it: Kathleen Kennedy said that her earlier comments on female directors were taken out of context. She also said that they’re not nessarily planning to bring more cartoon characters into the standalones, ala Saw Gerrera, but they may come in more organically. Also: George Lucas saw and liked it.

Wired has a great profile of ILM’s John Knoll, who pitched the idea that became Rogue One to Kennedy.

→ Here’s another take on those 28 minutes of footage, this time spoiler-free.

Spaceship Earth, aka the big round thing at Epcot in Orlando, is being turned into the Death Star for a Rogue One event happening Monday. The Disney Parks blog will be livestreaming.

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!

Catching up with Rogue One: Post-trailer madness

Rogue One (Phil Noto)As is quickly becoming tradition, Phil Noto (on his own) did a post-trailer poster. (Also on his Tumblr.) Revelist has collected some of the first wave fan art. (You can also keep an eye on the Rogue One tag on our Tumblr.)

→ Here’s one for any of your less-than-obsessive friends who might be confused about where Rogue One fits in, from our pal Bryan Young. (On that note, as I was writing that last sentence, my mom texted me asking about “the Jedi in the white cape.” That said, I have no doubt that Lucasfilm is already well aware of the issue and has planned marketing accordingly. We’re still most of a year away from the movie, remember?)

→ A look at the new (and old) stormtroopers we see the trailer, from a 501ster.

→ Naturally, our first official announcement post-trailer was the toy packaging.

→ Second official announcement: Rogue One director Gareth Edwards, co-producer John Swartz, and executive producer John Knoll will pick the Filmmaker Select award for the Star Wars Fan Film Awards. (Seems like this replaces the ‘George Lucas Selects’ category of previous years.) Submissions are open through April 24.

→ Of course, you can’t have a new Star Wars movie trailer without folks jumping to conclusions about certain characters, and ‘Jyn Erso is Rey’s mom!’ has been popular enough to warrant pieces arguing against it from Birth Movie Death’s Devin Faraci and IGN’s Terri Schwartz, both of which I very much agree with. (I also find the oh-so-related ‘Jyn is the new Mara Jade!’ speculation deeply distasteful, which I may go into further detail on soon. As for the Jan Ors comparisons, Pablo has it covered.)

Today in The Force Awakens: A familiar inspiration for Snoke

tfa-snoke-crop-vert2Supreme Leader Snoke’s appearance in The Force Awakens was inspired by the Lincoln Memorial and he is indeed a hologram, Roger Guyett and Pat Tubach confirm to Cinemablend. (Wait, people actually thought he… Wasn’t a hologram? Oh, internet.) And here are a few more new interviews with Guyett, Tubach, Neal Scanlan and Chris Corbould. The two half-hour interviews are a must-listen.

→ Industrial Light & Magic received the Genius Award at last night’s Critics Choice Awards, and BB-8 made an appearance during John Knoll’s acceptance speech.

The Force Awakens has passed $1B internationally, even as it fell to #3 domestically for the weekend.

→ The Hollywood Reporter takes a look at the Altus Sports Institute, which Bad Robot turned to to help get – and keep – the cast of into shape.

Celebration Anaheim: Gareth Edwards, Rogue One and the ‘Anthology’ films

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We got a decent look ahead at Rogue One today, as Lucasfilm gave us a description and a brief teaser trailer for Rogue One. We even got an official name for what we’ve been calling ‘spinoffs’ and ‘standalones:’ They’ll be ‘Anthology’ movies. The panel consisted of Pablo Hidaldo (doing his best Letterman act,) Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy, Story Group lead Kiri Hart, director Gareth Edwards and ILM’s John Knoll, who originated the idea.

The trailer isn’t online yet and isn’t likely to (not officially, anyway) but here’s the description:

A band of resistance fighters unite for a daring mission to steal the Death Star plans in Star Wars Anthology film, Rogue One.

Felicity Jones’ character is a Rebel soldier, and it’s set in the ROTS/ANH gap, though closer to ANH.

The teaser, which was produced by ILM since they won’t start filming until the summer, featured a pan across a forest, a TIE fighter, and a glimpse at the Death Star through the atmosphere. The voiceover was Obi-Wan’s lines about the Jedi from A New Hope, and “the absence of the Jedi is omnipresent in the film,” Edwards said. “It comes down to a group of individuals who don’t have magical powers that have to somehow bring hope to the galaxy.”

This will be very much a war movie, and the crew has people who’ve worked on Zero Dark Thirty, Saving Private Ryan, and Blackhawk Down. Edwards said he doubts he’ll ever be able to work with so many high caliber people again; Folks will drop anything to come work on Star Wars.

Pablo asked Edwards about his ‘geek cred,’ and Edwards revealed that he spent his 30th birthday going to Tunisia – even drinking blue milk at the Hotel Sidi Driss, where the Lars kitchen was filmed. There were pictures. They were adorable,

Josh Trank, who’s helming the next Anthology film, was “under the weather,” so we didn’t get anything for that.

It’s Tatooine! NASA finds planet orbiting two stars

Why was John Knoll at a NASA press conference? Because the space agency has discovered a real-life Tatooine: A planet that orbits two stars at once. The New York Times writes:

The official name of the new planet is Kepler 16b, but astronomers are already referring to it informally as Tatooine, after the home planet of Luke and Anakin Skywalker in the George Lucas “Star Wars” movies, which also had two suns. Indeed, a representative from Mr. Lucas’s production company, Lucasfilm, expected to participate in a news conference at NASA’s Ames Research Laboratory in California, Kepler’s home office.

So, not a moon. Or a space station. I’m so relieved.

I hope it’s just a (forest) moon: ILM rep to be at NASA press conference Thursday

ILM visual effects supervisor John Knoll will be at a NASA press conference on Thursday. The presser is regarding a discovery made by the Kepler misson.

Kepler is the first NASA mission capable of finding Earth-size planets in or near the “habitable zone,” the region in a planetary system where liquid water can exist on the surface of the orbiting planet.

What could it be?

WonderCon: Report from Sansweet’s panel

StarWars.com has a partial transcript of WonderCon’s biggest Star Wars event, Steve Sansweet’s presentation. First part a look back at ’99, featuring John Knoll; Part two introduced a new character from The Clone Wars, Cad Bane; Part three has Pablo and Steve going head to head with the Force Trainer and more TCW stuff.