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.

Today in Rogue One: Kennedy doesn’t feel a need to ‘cater’ to those backlashing female leads

ro-ew-jynFelicity Jones is profiled by The New York Times – but there’s a very interesting quote in there from Kathleen Kennedy on the recent backlash to female leads in Hollywood:

“I have a responsibility to the company that I work with,” she said. “I don’t feel that I have a responsibility to cater in some way.”

She added, “I would never just seize on saying, ‘Well, this is a franchise that’s appealed primarily to men for many, many years, and therefore I owe men something.’”

Jones has quite a lot to say about her character, Jyn Erso, in Glamour:

She’s a bit of a wounded animal when you meet her. There were moments when she’s been blown over, she’s scrambling to get up, and she falls. It’s important that she’s not perfect.

She describes Jyn to a blend of Luke Skywalker and Han Solo. She also addresses being a feminist, how Jyn isn’t sexualized, and being paid fairly.

ro-bistanRogue One ticket sales gave both Fandango and Movietickets.com their biggest sales day of the year, selling “hundreds of thousands of tickets.”

→ The Rogue One cast will be live (on Twitter?) this Friday.

→ The StarWars.com Databank has some new Rogue One entries, including Bistan, Moroff, Pao, Edrio Two Tubes, and the TIE Striker.

→ We may joke about Rogue Two every time someone brings up Bothans, but don’t expect a sequel to Rogue One, Kennedy tells Empire Magazine. (Of course, there’s always A New Hope.)

→ Another new TV spot, ‘Contact.’

Looking behind Rogue One: Han Solo, Boba Fett, and what’s after IX?

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As part of Entertainment Weekly’s latest Rogue One feature, Anthony Breznican talks to Lucasfilm’s Kathleen Kennedy and Kiri Hart about what’s ahead after Han Solo and Episode IX. Hart calls Rogue One “a really good template” for launching this new kind of Star Wars film.

But overall, there’s not really that much to say right now about the future. Because even Lucasfilm isn’t sure yet:

“There are [possible movies] that we have been talking a lot about,” Kennedy says. “But we are planning to sit down in January, since we will have had The Force Awakens released, now Rogue One, and we’ve finished shooting Episode VIII. We have enough information where we can step back a little bit and say, What are we doing? What do we feel is exciting? And what are some of the things we want to explore?”

It’s certainly an interesting question. I doubt we’ll be waiting 10 years for Episode X, but how long should they wait? Will the fanbase stand for an uninterrupted string of non-Episode films?

And which standalones? Perhaps the most interesting parts of this piece look back. First, it confirms the long-standing rumors that Josh Trank’s canceled standalone was about Boba Fett. (Ugh.) They even had a teaser reel ready to show us at Celebration Anaheim in spring 2015. A Fett film still might happen – Breznican calls it “backburnered” – but it’ll no doubt have to wait until the right director comes along. (And yes, the possibility of an Obi-Wan Kenobi film is mentioned. Again, Lucasfilm knows you want it.)

Secondly, Kennedy also mentions that the idea for the Han Solo standalone wasn’t one that George Lucas mentioned as a spinoff. We’ve previously heard otherwise, which makes me wonder if the original idea came from George in a different context, like the never-produced live-action series. (After all, Saw Gerrera made the jump from there to The Clone Wars to Rogue One – why not a major character like Han?)

In another article, this time at Variety, Kennedy talks about some of the Han film’s inspirations:

“This moves closer to a heist or Western type feel,” says Kennedy. “We’ve talked about [Frederic] Remington and those primary colors that are used in his paintings defining the look and feel of the film.”

She also talks about her desire to bring in more women to direct Star Wars films.

“We want to make sure that when we bring a female director in to do “Star Wars,” they’re set up for success,” says Kennedy. “They’re gigantic films, and you can’t come into them with essentially no experience.”

Bob Iger doesn’t expect Rogue One to do TFA numbers; Third standalone has a writer

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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.