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Today in Rogue One: Michael Giacchino on his last-minute call to compose

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Entertainment Weekly’s Anthony Breznican has the most extensive interview yet with composer Michael Giacchino on Rogue One. Giacchino says the film is “in many ways a really great World War II movie” with “this huge, huge heart.” He reveals that he does use “little moments” of the classic John Williams, but ” the score is 95 percent original.” Read

→ While EW gives us extended chunks of coverage, Empire magazine dribbles out a new photo and a few quotes regarding Gareth Edwards’ being hands-on with filming. But hey, they do have a bunch of character covers.

Rogue One is tracking for a big debut – in the range of $120M-150M. If this bears out, it could be the second-biggest December opening – after The Force Awakens.

Riz Ahmed profiled by the Wall Street Journal.

Spoiler corner: The first twenty minutes of the film was shown on the promotional tour in Mexico, and Making Star Wars has a few (though not extensive) details about the film’s title card.

The catchup: Rogue One commercials, why the movie’s message matters

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First off, there are two new Rogue One commercials out this week:



Anyone seen them in the wild yet?

→ CBR’s Brett White on why, after the presidental election. Rogue One matters more than ever. The film’s screenwriters Gary Whitta and Chris Weitz are also showing solidarity for those fearful of a Trump presidency.

→ Over at Entertainment Weekly, there’s a new excerpt from Catalyst featuring Galen and Jyn Erso. Meanwhile, Jennifer Heddle has 6 reasons the novel is essential.

→ Interviews with Riz Ahmed and Gareth Edwards.

This week in Rogue One: Yet more toys, Riz Ahmed makes the rounds

I'm no collector, but this is honestly pretty neat.

I’m no collector, but this is honestly pretty neat.

The Rogue One product parade continues with the official list from StarWars.com (nothing in the book lineup we didn’t already know about) and io9’s toy roundup. The official site also has an interview with the creators of the Go Rogue video series that debuted Wednesday.

→ Riz Ahmed appeared on Stephen Colbert, and of course he wasn’t allowed to get away without some Star Wars talk. He also appeared during Good Morning America‘s toy reveal, where he got to see his first Bodhi Rook action figure.

Dave Filoni talks Saw Gerrera to /Film, and the character’s journey from The Clone Wars to an actual film.

→ Technically a rumor: The Emperor will not be in Rogue One. Okay then. (Were we really expecting him? Really?)

Director Gareth Edwards on the Rogue One title. I’ve been sitting on this one a while, because it basically looks like Edwards trying to dodge the real answer.

→ And finally, Jalopnik’s Jason Torchinsky on droid names (as inspired by Wednesday’s C2-B5 reveal) and how they make no sense. Long story short: It ain’t that kind of franchise, nerds.

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.

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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Catching up with Rogue One: Who’s in the mystery tank?

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Making Star Wars had a big post today about an old friend who’s probably showing up in Rogue One (you know the one) and who exactly is in that tank from the trailer.

In less (possibly) spoilery news, Riz Ahmed talks to Entertainment Weekly about Star Wars, and “level of attention to detail and care that goes into building that world.” MSW chimed in with a tidbit they’ve heard about weapons.

And finally, the Rogue One teaser trailer in LEGO:

First character name from Rogue One?

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The BBC’s Lizo Mzimba found that Riz Ahmed is listed as playing ‘Bodhi Rook’ in Rogue One on both his Spotlight and agent’s listings.

His castmate Mads Mikkelsen did sign a poster as ‘Galen’ earlier this year, but this is certainly looks like our first full name. (And who even knows if that one stuck, considering how much fans love to cling to and conspirify on random EUisms?)

Gareth Edwards’ Rogue One is currently filming for a December 2016 release.