The final day of Star Wars Celebration today brought was suppose to bring in Star Wars spinoff directors Josh Trank and Gareth Edwards. Unfortunately, Trank fell ill and was unable to make the event. However, Edwards was there to talk about his film, and how it would impact the Star Wars Universe as a whole. During that time, we learned that the new teaser trailer for Star Wars: The Force Awakens had been viewed an impressive 88 million times in the 24 hours since its debut. During this panel, we also learned about what these films should be considered, what Star Wars: Rogue One really is, and more. So to learn more about this spinoff, and to hear what Edwards, LucasFilm president Kathleen Kennedy, and moderator Pablo Hildago, and a few other creative minds had to say, hit the jump.
Kathleen Kennedy said that there were talks with Star Wars creator George Lucas on what they should consider these new spinoffs and how they would fit in the Star Wars universe. According to her, Lucas “was really interested in exploring all the stories that existed inside the universe.”
“The idea behind these movies that Star Wars — as much as it’s a series of events and characters that we have come to know — is a place,” said Kennedy, adding that these new films should be considered an anthology.
When talking about watching the new The Force Awakens trailer for the first time, Gareth Edwards said that a tear ran down his face after seeing Han for the first time.
While Edwards said he had no actual footage from Rogue One to show, he did say that they were in preproduction. But the director was able to provide a proof of concept video to the audience. In it, we see a tracking shot of a Tie Fighter flying through the jungle heading over to what is revealed to be the Death Star. The Death Star has an ominous look as we only get to see it as if it was a half moon. But it is the Death Star. Then the official title came up: Star Wars: Rogue One, which would be a part of the confirmed Star Wars Anthology title. Of course, the footage got a standing ovation, and only got louder as they were able to see it a second time.
Edwards confirmed that part of the early rumors are true. The film will take place in between the events of Episode III and Episode IV, where a band of resistance fighters unite to steal the plans to the Death Star. It was first thought that the Rebel Alliance would hire a group of bounty hunters to steal it, but that doesn’t appear to be the case. He added that there will be no Jedi, and that it would focus on a class of hero “without magic powers.”
Hiladgo says that having the anathology series allows the writing team to expand the Star Wars Universe, and “tell stories that may not involve Jedi.”
In terms of tone, Edwards said he was going for something that was “real.” He added, “this is a real place that we’re really in… The thing that interests me about it, is Star Wars was basically very black and white. Our movie is gray.”
Felicity Jones is the only actor confirmed for this first spinoff film so far, and while the cast has yet to grow, Edwards said that the actress would be playing a Rebel soldier who has “fear, humor, and warmth.” Concept art of Rebels charging on the ground was also revealed, giving the audience an idea of what to expect from the film. Check out that image here below, courtesy of StarWars.com.
Based on that, Edwards wants us to get the feel that the film will borrow influences from movies like Black Hawk Down and Zero Dark Thirty. Basically he wants Rogue One to represent the gritty war aspect of the universe that has never been seen before in the saga. Greig Fraser, who had shot Zero Dark Thirty, will be the cinematographer for Rogue One.
The panel also introduced ILM’s John Knoll, who initially came up with the story. The teaser was also produced at ILM. Knoll told his idea to the people at ILM, and they were so impressed they told him to pitch it to the company. This would actually help start LucasFilm launch the spinoff films.
Kennedy said that she had only been the President of LucasFilm for about 20 minutes before Knoll pitched the idea to her. She couldn’t find a reason to say no to him.
But as they were looking for directors, Kennedy and Kiri Hart said that Edwards came with high recommendations. And when the idea was pitched to him, he was almost scared to read the synopsis adding, “I couldn’t sit in a cinema and knowing somebody else made this film.”
Some extra fun tidbits, Edwards spent his 30th birthday in Tunisia, where he spent time in the Owens/Skywalker home/moisture farm, drinking milk with blue dye in it.
Star Wars: Rogue One is currently in preproduction, with the crew scouting new locations for the film. It currently is aiming for a December 2016 release, with no exact date in mind, yet.
Star Wars Rogue One – First Look
A band of resistance fighters unite for a daring mission to steal the Death Star plans in Star Wars anthology film, Rogue One #RogueOne.