New “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” footage and an official poster were released at Star Wars Celebration Europe on Friday.
The video clip features snapshots of the film, with behind-the-scenes footage and voiceover. The poster shows a battle taking place on water and land with the Death Star fading into the sky.
The poster includes the tagline: “A Rebellion Built on Hope.”
Before proceedings began at the London convention, emcee Gwendoline Christie paid tribute to the victims of the Nice attacks. Akin to a moment in “Casablanca,” pockets of the audience broke out into a version of “La Marseillaise” before the 4,000-person crowd bowed their heads in quiet reflection.
“Rogue One” director Gareth Edwards, Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy and key cast were also on hand to give fans a first look at Darth Vader in the film’s second trailer, which premiered to fans at London’s ExCel centre on Friday evening.
An action packed trailer, exclusive to Celebration, ended on a tilt up to Vader, seemingly in front of a Death Star screen, accompanied by his trademark breathing. Edwards said, “I got a very early Christmas present. I went to New York to do a voiceover with an actor called James Earl Jones. He said the word ‘Power.’ I just had a nerdgasm.”
The trailer also plays up the idea that this iteration of the “Star Wars” universe is no longer dominated by the Jedi or the Force. This is full-on warfare, full of huge battle sequences captured in a kinetic style. Kennedy said, “Gareth just puts the camera on his shoulder. It’s going to be an incredibly immersive experience.” Mostly taking place on the new paradise planet of Scarif (shot in the Maldives), the trailer suggested the new film is more “Apocalypse Now” than “Return Of The Jedi.”
This second trailer goes deeper into the mission by the newly formed Rebel Alliance to steal the Death Star plans, the quest that kick-starts the story in “Star Wars: Episode IV — A New Hope.”
Felicity Jones plays Jyn Erso, a runaway whose street skills and insight into the Galactic underworld puts her on the radar of the Rebellion, which offers her a simple trade off: a shortened sentence in return for help with the daring heist. “There is one major difference between Jyn and Rey,” Jones said, comparing “Star Wars” protagonists. “She is not asking ‘who am I and where do I come from.’ Where she comes from propels Jyn’s story. She has had a full life.”
Jones was also presented with the very first Jyn Erso action figure by Christie, saying, “I feel very privileged to join the ‘Star Wars’ toy universe.”
Jyn’s wild spirit is at odds with Captain Cassian Andor (Diego Luna), the steadfast Rebel officer assigned to keep her in line. Said Luna, “The team starts being just the two of them but the team grows. There are issues but Cassian keeps them together.”
The Force-fueled crowd were also treated to a first look at Mads Mikkelsen’s Galen Erso, Jyn’s estranged father, a scientist armed with potentially dangerous knowledge. “A lot of things are revolving around him. He has invented some something so beautiful it might change the universe,” Mikkelsen said.
Representing the evil Empire this time round is Director Orson Krennic, played by Ben Mendelsohn, who is looking to crush the rebels, while trying to stay clear of the ire of his superior, one Darth Vader. Mendelsohn walked through the crowd in full costume flanked by bodyguards. Said Mendelsohn, “He’s a different kind of ‘Star Wars’ villain. He’s smarter and more inventive than most of his predecessors. He is sexier than some of his predecessors too.”
Hardcore “Star Wars” fans also got a kick from learning more about Forest Whitaker’s Saw Gerrera, a character that first debuted in the animated series “The Clone Wars”. As Whitaker put it, “Saw Gerrera is a rebel fighter. He’s been, for years, a guerrilla fighter. By any means necessary, he will do what he needs to do to save the world.”
Saw Gerrera was a character created by George Lucas, who swung by the set one day, much to Edwards’ panic.
“I spent the whole weekend crapping myself about it. He’d start criticizing stuff and we’d have a heart attack. You realize he just has a very dry sense of humor.”
“Rogue One” also stars martial arts icon Donnie Yen as Warrior Monk Chirrut Îmwe; Jiang Wen as Îmwe’s sidekick Baze Malbus (“He’s a thinker, I’m a doer.”); Riz Ahmed as hot-headed pilot Bodhi Rook (“He works for the Empire for a living; people work for big organizations and don’t agree with everything they do”) and Alan Tudyk as K250 aka Kaytoo, an Imperial droid rewired by Cassian for the rebellion. “I’m seven-foot-one and black. Which is really my inner person,” Tudyk quipped. “He speaks his mind. He’s honest. If you’ve known any old people, he’s like that.”
Edwards described the film as “the most insane surreal experience you can ever have. There’s a million memorable days. Someone said ‘Do you wanna meet Luke Skywalker?’ and Mark Hamill was there. I went over to him and he was wearing a Godzilla t-shirt. All I could think of was. ‘Please lord let there be a photographer.’”
Fans were also treated to a sizzle reel that highlighted the practical nature of the production, an exhibition of props and costumes from the film including new look Stormtroopers called Imperial Death Troopers and Shoretroopers, plus a model of new AT-AT vehicles (from “The Empire Strikes Back”) named Cargo Walkers.
“Rogue One: A Star Wars Story,” the first in a series of standalone films, hits theaters on December 16.
Rebels set out on a mission to steal the plans for the Death Star.
Director: Gareth Edwards
Writers: Chris Weitz (screenplay), John Knoll (story) |
Stars: Ben Mendelsohn, Felicity Jones, Mads Mikkelsen
SWCE 2016: 15 THINGS WE LEARNED FROM THE ROGUE ONE: A STAR WARS STORY PANEL
ALL THE BIGGEST NEWS AND HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE ROGUE ONE: A STAR WARS STORY PANEL IN LONDON!
The filmmakers and cast behind the upcoming Rogue One: A Star Wars Story came together tonight — in a special panel hosted by Gwendoline Christie — at Star Wars Celebration Europe 2016. They talked about their characters, their experiences making the movie, and much, much more. Here are 15 of the biggest insights, highlights, and surprises from the panel.
Star Wars Celebration – Rogue One Panel
Left to right: John Knoll, Kiri Hart, Gareth Edwards, Kathleen Kennedy, Forest Whitaker, Mads Mikkelsen, Alan Tudyk, Wen Jiang, Donnie Yen, Felicity Jones, Riz Ahmed, Diego Luna, Ben Mendelsohn and Gwendoline Christie. (Photo by Ben A. Pruchnie/Getty Images for Walt Disney Studios)
1. Rogue One will look and feel unique from all other films set in a galaxy far, far away. “It’s a style that is unlike any other Star Wars movie,” Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy said. She recounted seeing director Gareth Edwards, camera on his shoulder, testing shots guerilla-style as sign that this movie would be different. “I think that’s what’s so amazing about his style,” she said. “This is going to be an incredibly immersive experience when you see Rogue One.”
2. Gareth Edwards was star struck when he met a certain Jedi. “It’s just been the most insane, most surreal experience,” Edwards said. One day, someone nudged him and asked, “Do you want to meet Luke Skywalker?” Mark Hamill was visiting the set and wearing a Godzilla tee shirt; Edwards had directed 2014’s Godzilla. “I don’t know what I said to him,” Edwards said. But he had one thought: “Please Lord, somebody be taking a photograph of this.” Later, Edwards revealed that one George Lucas also paid a visit, and took a moment to pay tribute to the Star Wars creator. “None of this would be happening if not for George Lucas,” he said. “The guy’s a genius.”
3. The concept for the film — the Rebels’ theft of the Death Star plans — dates back to the once-planned live-action Star Wars TV show, discussed around 13 years ago. The idea came from John Knoll, digital effects innovator at Industrial Light & Magic, who thought a Mission Impossible-style tale would be a good fit for the show. He dropped the idea, however, when he heard the timeline for the series, which wouldn’t fit with a pre-A New Hope story. But when Lucasfilm announced the standalone series of movies, Knoll recalled his story. “I was thinking, ‘That original idea could make a good standalone film,’” he said. The more people he told the idea, the more he was encouraged to formally pitch it. Finally, he did, and the rest is Star Wars history. Knoll thought, “If I don’t [pitch], I’ll always wonder what might’ve happened if I had.”
4. Prepare to visit the sunny beaches of Scarif — that’s the beach world seen in the teaser. And shooting in such a real-world location was (not) hard for everyone. “Just so happens it was set in paradise,” Edwards said. “So we had to go to paradise to film it.”
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story Teaser Poster
5. New poster revealed! See above. ‘Nuff said. (And everyone in attendance received one at the end of the panel!)
6. Director Krennic knows how to make an entrance. Ben Mendelssohn, who plays the film’s caped villain, took to the stage in full costume, flanked by death troopers. It was pretty awesome. He would return later, dressed for this galaxy.
7. Jyn Erso is making the leap from the big screen to your toy shelf: Gwendoline Christie revealed the 6-inch Black Series figure of the character, coming from Hasbro. “I feel very privileged to have joined the Star Wars doll universe,” said actress Felicity Jones. “She’s got a pretty cool Han Solo-style gun belt.” This is also the first Rogue One toy revealed!
8. Felicity Jones sees Jyn as a new kind of Star Wars hero. “I feel there’s one major difference between Jyn and other Star Wars heroes, Rey and Luke. She’s not a character asking, ‘Who am I and where did I come from?’” Rather, Jyn knows where she came from and that propels the story and her journey.
9. We now know Cassian’s job. The character, played by Diego Luna, is Rebel intelligence. Within the team assembled for the mission, he’s somewhat of a peacekeeper, smoothing things out when there’s friction. And he also has a rather strange “best friend.”
10. K-2SO, the droid voiced by Alan Tudyk, is close to Cassian — but he also may have a screw loose. Literally and figuratively. The droid was originally an Imperial, and was reprogrammed by Cassian. Yet something didn’t quite take.“He’s not quite all there,” Tudyk said. “He speaks his mind and says things that could be unsettling. Very honest. If you know any old people, he’s like that.” Which probably made the role all the more fun for the actor. “It was great to play him,” he added.
11. You wouldn’t think someone on this squad would wear the Imperial cog on his sleeve. But one does! Bodhi, played Riz Ahmed, sports the Empire’s insignia because he serves in the Empire, plan and simple. “Bodhi is a pilot and he works for the Empire to earn a living,” Ahmed explained. “You know, people work at big organizations, they don’t agree with everything they do. He’s kind of questioning things.” The city he’s from is an occupied planet, and the Empire’s actions there make him “question his career counselor.”
12. There were even more revelations on characters and planets. Jedha is another new world in Rogue One, and home to Chirrut, Donnie Yen’s staff-wielding, blind warrior. “I can’t see but I can feel with my heart and believe in the Force,” Yen said. Chirrut also has a friend — the gruff Baze. Of Baze, actor Jiang Wen said, “Baze has a gun. He has a huge gun.” Sounds like he and Chirrut will make a good combo. Forest Whitaker, playing Rebel veteran Saw Gerrera, described his character and his rebel faction as being extreme, willing to defeat the Empire by “any means necessary.” He added that he’s gone back and watched all of Saw’s episodes of Star Wars: The Clone Wars, which show his rise as a rebel leader and time fighting alongside Jedi.
13. Star Wars is often a story of family, and that theme will be present in Rogue One. Galen Erso, played by Mads Mikkelsen, is Jyn’s father. Yet he still remains a mystery. “He’s a scientist and he had invented something so beautiful, so fantastic, that it might change the universe,” Mikkelsen said.
14. Darth Vader will sound like Darth Vader: James Earl Jones is once again voicing the Sith Lord. Edwards recounted traveling to New York for the voiceover session with Skywalker Sound’s Matthew Wood. When Jones delivered the line, “POWER,” Edwards summed up their reactions succinctly. “We looked at each other and had nerdgasms.”