Disney CEO Bob Iger doesn’t expect Rogue One to do quite as well at the box office as The Force Awakens, but he says the audience interest they’ve seen has been just as high for the new film. (Did anyone expect that? You don’t get a $2B film every year.) “We love what we’ve seen,” he told investors of the Rogue One rough cut.
He also revealed that they have a writer for the third Star Wars standalone due in 2020, and he recently met with Lucasfilm’s Kathleen Kennedy to plot out beyond that as well.
We’ve known since the Disney purchase that Lucasfilm plans to take the saga films beyond 2019’s Episode IX, but it remains to be seen if they’ll keep to the current schedule to leave only a year between the current and next trilogy.
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.
John 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.
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.
Star Wars directors Rian Johnson, Chris Miller and Phil Lord will join Lucasfilm’s Kathleen Kennedy, Kiri Hart and Pablo Hidalgo for the Celebration Europe’s Future Filmmaker Discussion, followed by the con’s Closing Ceremony.
Johnson’s Episode VIII is expected to wrap very soon, while Miller and Lord’s Han Solo standalone will be next up. Is it here that we’ll get the official title for VIII? Will Alden Ehrenreich be confirmed as the young Han Solo? Both, maybe? StarWars.com promises “some surprises” and ending “the weekend on a high note.”
The news was first revealed on today’s new The Star Wars Show:
Their Rogue One issue should be on sale (and in mailboxes) today, but Entertainment Weekly still has more to reveal. This morning, it’s all about Rebel leader Mon Mothma, whose role here will be bigger than her first appearance in Return of the Jedi.
“We actually see quite a bit of her,” Kathleen Kennedy says. “The Rebel alliance is in disarray. Pretty panicked. Up against it. And she is trying the best she can to provide the leadership, in amongst a wide variety of Rebel soldiers that have very differing opinions as to what to do.”
Exactly how much Darth Vader will there be in Rogue One? “He will be in the movie sparingly,” Kathleen Kennedy tells Entertainment Weekly. “But at a key, strategic moment, he’s going to loom large.”
James Earl Jones is returning to voice one of his most iconic characters, with “a variety of large-framed performers” inside the suit.
But as iconic as he is to the audience, in-galaxy Vader is “still a background player.” To the Rebellion, he’s more of a legend than a fact:
“Within the Rebellion, it’s not commonly spoken about,” says director Gareth Edwards. “Within the Empire, there is the culture of knowing of the existence of Darth Vader. There’s definitely an underlying feeling that there is a power – a dark power – available to the Empire and that if you overstep your mark, you will suffer the consequences.”
The article also looks at where Ben Mendelsohn’s Director Orson Krennic fits in, and Vader’s first day on set.
And nope – no stills yet. Will Vader make his Rogue One debut at Celebration?
Although it was never officially announced, it appears that The Making of Star Wars: The Force Awakens book from Mark Cotta Vaz and J.W. Rinzler has been canceled. A listing for the book appeared before the movie – usually a reliable indicator – and it was pushed back to October before the film’s release. However, it now it no longer appears on the publisher’s site, and Florian at Jedi Bibliothek found a listing on BookManager that says it’s been canceled..
All-out cancellations are rare, but I don’t expect we’ll get any word on the reasoning anytime soon. (Again, it was never actually announced.) My only guess is that it may have something to do with the lawsuit over Harrison Ford’s on-set injury. Note the incident isn’t mentioned in the official behind-the-scenes documentary on The Force Awakens Blu-ray – and may be off-limits until the legal issues have been worked out. Everyone loves the original trilogy Making of books, but here’s hoping we won’t have to wait 30 years for this one.
Vanity Fair has a new interview and profile of Kathleen Kennedy in the wake of The Force Awakens. The most interesting part, perhaps, comes from writer Tony Kushner (Angels in America:)
“She talked about the way in which the conventional approach to these things is that a script starts from an outline, and that’s what everybody focuses on before there’s a word of dialogue.” In Kushner’s recollection, Kennedy was urging the writers to turn their focus to the characters. She kept saying to them, “Who are these people? I don’t know who these people are.” Kushner felt that “she was expressing an impatience about character being secondary to story line, which violated something very essential for her.”
He went on: “We had an interesting conversation about how a lot of playwrights start with outlines because it gives you something to hold on to, but that you know the characters are likely to derail the outline once they start doing what they do.” He and Kennedy talked about how “there’s no telling what will happen once you have invented a person. They may be willing to do what the outline says to do, but they may have very different plans in mind.” The sense Kushner got was that Kennedy “was pushing people to be unafraid of being lost for a while. It was good to see her holding the banner of complexity in the middle of this huge enterprise of Star Wars.” The machines, in other words, have not won.
She also addresses Leia’s slave bikini:
Referring to a notorious scene in Return of the Jedi, I asked Kennedy if she would ever have put Princess Leia in a golden bikini—the famous “slave Leia” costume that is embedded in the collective unconscious of legions of men who were adolescents in the 80s. “With a chain around her neck?,” Kennedy asked, arching an eyebrow and laughing. “I don’t think that would happen.” She quickly added that she didn’t think George Lucas would put her in that bikini today.
Lucas’ wife, Mellody Hobson, on the other hand, says “George is not apologetic about that bikini.” I don’t doubt it.
The article notes that there isn’t a ban on the slave bikini – but I’ve always suspected the real story is that there’ll be less bikini, as opposed to a blanket ban, considering the source of the ‘banning’ brouhaha is a pinup artist.