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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: (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: Interviews galore

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Interviews from the Rogue One junket have begun coming in. Today, we have director Gareth Edwards and Alan Tudyk at /Film, while Birth Movies Death talked to Mads Mikkelsen and Riz Ahmed. More Edwards interviews at IGN and AICN. Full of Sith has a recording of the panel yesterday.

→ Thought that Zootopia scene in front of The Force Awakens was torturous? Well, with certain showings (70mm IMAX) of Rogue One, fans will be getting a whooping 7 minutes of Christopher Nolan‘s new film Dunkirk, per a new report from /Film.

→ Another reaction to the half-hour of footage screened over the weekend.

→ Two new TV spots: Surrender and Save The Rebellion.

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.

The catchup: Rogue One bits, bobs and analysis

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There have been a number of minor reveals in the wake of last week’s Rogue One trailer, mostly via (of course) Entertainment Weekly. We learned that Alistair Petrie’s Rebel officer is General Draven. (And that there apparently was a fan theory that he was Rebels’ Agent Kallus turned turncoat, which is news to me.) We also got a bunch of minor characters via Topps cards, including a blonde X-wing pilot that folks think might be Evaan Verlaine from the comics.

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→ If you’re still poring over the trailer, here are breakdowns from EW, io9, and /Film. Plus the latest Full of Sith, which features EW’s Anthony Breznican

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→ Also out in recent days is a Hollywood Reporter profile of Felicity Jones, which is pretty informative if you know enough to roll your eyes at the line about anyone expecting Rogue One to match The Force Awakens box office. Meanwhile, Mads Mikkelsen talks to GQ.

→ And finally, here’s a new Rogue One-inspired Duracell commercial that’s getting some attention today:

Catching up with Rogue One: New Bodhi Rook picture

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Lucasfilm shared a new picture of Riz Ahmed’s Bodhi Rook in Rogue One. Don’t forget to act surprised when his hairstyle prompts a new wave of theories as to Rey’s parentage!

Mads Mikkelsen says the film’s reshoots “will be done soon,” and calls director Gareth Edwards “a real actors’ man.”

→ Also making waves this week is some 100% official confirmations of who won’t be in Rogue One, as spotted by Star Wars Underworld.

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.

Spoilerphobes beware: Mads Mikkelsen keeps the Rogue One details coming

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After admitting that he’s playing Jyn Erso’s father in Rogue One the other day, Mads Mikkelsen had even more to say to the Evening Standard on Friday. He teases the presence of “iconic characters” – more than Mon Mothma, that is – and a bit more about his interactions with the Jyn character.

Mothma’s trailer appearance was a complete surprise, but there have been plenty of rumors regarding other characters from the original trilogy era showing up.

Video: Mads Mikkelsen spills (some) beans on his Rogue One character

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Mads Mikkelsen told Sky News that his character in Rogue One is the father of Felicity Jones’ Jyn Erso.

This does confirm part of an earlier report from (who else) Making Star Wars. Here’s the direct link, but be warned MSW goes into far more detail regarding the plot and his role in it.