Rogue One nabbed two Oscar nominations today, for Visual Effects and Sound Mixing. Big Shiny Robot has a couple of statements from John Knoll and sound designer Chris Scarbosio. As for Star Wars alumni, Natalie Portman has received her third nomination, this time for lead in Jackie. She won the category for Black Swan in 2011.
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.
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.
→ 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?)
→ 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.)
Supreme 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.
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.
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.