Movie News: Rogue One

http://variety.com/2015/film/news/star-wars-rogue-one-plot-details-death-star-1201475420/


The upcoming “Star Wars” standalone film, “Rogue One,” will follow a group trying to steal the Death Star plans, it was revealed at Sunday’s Star Wars Celebration, which also showed a special teaser for the upcoming spinoff.

“A band of resistance fighters unite for a daring mission to steal the Death Star plans in Star Wars anthology film, Rogue One,” the official Star Wars account tweeted on Sunday.

Felicity Jones, who was previously confirmed to star in “Rogue One,” will play a rebel soldier. The film will take place between Episode III and Episode IV, but closer to “A New Hope.”

The news was revealed at a panel with Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy, Lucasfilm SVP of development Kiri Hart and “Rogue One” director Gareth Edwards. Josh Trank was scheduled to appear at the panel to discuss his own standalone film, but wasn’t on hand, with moderator Pablo Hidalgo saying he was “under the weather.”

The “Rogue One” teaser opened with a somewhat idyllic bird’s-eye view of a lush forest planet, showing a TIE fighter soaring above the trees before the camera pulled back to reveal the Death Star in close orbit. The teaser utilized one of Alec Guinness’ lines from “A New Hope” in voiceover, as Obi-Wan Kenobi explained, “For over a thousand generations the Jedi Knights were the guardians of peace and justice in the Old Republic. Before the dark times. Before the Empire.”

The final moments of the teaser ended on a chilling note, as garbled distress messages from what sounded like soldiers or pilots crackled over a radio frequency, before the sound and title card fizzled out as if the signal had been abruptly cut off.

Since the film doesn’t begin shooting until this summer — where it will lens in the UK and other undisclosed locations around the world — the footage was wholly comprised of CGI wizardry from Industrial Light & Magic. Edwards also revealed a concept art image that showed a squad of soldiers on the muddy ground and in low-hovering crafts at night, faces covered and guns up as they ran towards an unseen threat in the rain.

Edwards emphasized that the film is first and foremost a war movie, “It’s called ‘Star Wars,'” he pointed out wryly. Below-the-line talent and production heads have previously worked on a number of combat films, with Edwards name-dropping “Zero Dark Thirty,” “Black Hawk Down” and “Saving Private Ryan” to give fans an idea of “Rogue One’s” inspirations.

Since “Rogue One” takes place in the aftermath of the destruction of the Jedi order, Edwards said, “The absence of the Jedi is omnipresent.” Instead of characters relying on the power of an unpredictable Force to save them, the film will center around “real,” grounded human issues. “It’s about the fact that God’s not coming to save us… we have to do this ourselves,” Edwards said. “It comes down to a group of individuals that don’t have magic powers… that have to bring hope to the galaxy.”

Edwards noted that what he loved about the original “Star Wars” trilogy was that it was a very “black and white” universe — with the lines between good guys and bad guys very clearly delineated. “Rogue One,” however, will focus on the shades of grey in the galaxy far, far away — the bad guys can be good and the good guys can be bad.

The film was described as an ensemble piece, despite Felicity Jones being the only announced cast member at this point. Edwards said he wasn’t interested in showing superhuman soldiers who are constantly strong and unfaltering throughout. “We wanted to see fear, humor, warmth,” he said, noting that Jones has embodied those qualities throughout her career.

Hart said the standalone movies are being called “anthology films” rather than spinoffs, and will delve into previously untapped corners of the established universe. “‘Star Wars,’ as much as it is a set of characters… is a a place that we can explore in terms of character, in terms of time frame… We really wanted freedom to do some films that would stand on their own — they can vary in scale, they can vary in genre, they can introduce new characters and new places, and they can still be ‘Star Wars.'”

Kennedy credited George Lucas with encouraging the idea for the anthology films. “It was really George’s idea, not only picking up the saga again — which he never envisioned he would do… he was really interested in exploring all the stories that might exist within the universe.”

The concept for “Rogue One” originated with John Knoll — visual effects supervisor and chief creative officer at Industrial Light & Magic — who pitched the idea to a number of colleagues at the company before taking it to Kennedy.

Kennedy admitted that she was worried about “opening the floodgates [for pitches] if I said yes,” but said that after hearing Knoll’s idea for “Rogue One,” she realized, “there is no way I’m going to say no, this is a really, really cool idea… ‘Star Wars’ stories are not a dime a dozen — this is really hard to do and really hard to get right.”

While fans know very little about the specifics of the mission to steal the Death Star plans from the Empire, Knoll noted that some parameters have been set by the previous movies. “You can’t just do anything — it has to logically fit into that framework,” which allowed him to “craft a good, solid, logical” story to explore this previously untold part of the “Star Wars” mythos.

Because the film is also taking place in the same timeframe as Disney XD’s “Star Wars Rebels” series, Hart hinted that there was possibility for crossover between the two properties. “We can look for ways for them to talk to each other, but we don’t mandate that… [executive producers] Dave Filoni and Simon Kinberg did an amazing job on ‘Rebels,’ and we are facilitating the development of ‘Rogue One’ as well, so we’ll be seeing what happens there. We’re very much aware that things are happening on the same part of the timeline,” she said.
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Comments

  • David_DDavid_D Posts: 3,431
    edited April 2015
    The Bothans who died getting the plans for the second Death Star need better Hollywood agents.
  • Mr_CosmicMr_Cosmic Posts: 3,068
    Felicity Jones :x
  • brydeemerbrydeemer Posts: 213
    This sounds incredible. If this is the bar for the spin-off films, then I'm even more excited than I was before.
  • WetRatsWetRats Posts: 6,314
    Sold!
  • matchkitJOHNmatchkitJOHN Posts: 973
    edited April 2015
    Sounds great so next I want a movie of the card game that Lando lost the Falcon.
  • David_DDavid_D Posts: 3,431

    Sounds great so next I want a movie of the card game Landon lost the Falcon.

    Should the Kessel Run also be in that one? Or should it get its own movie?
  • David_D said:

    Sounds great so next I want a movie of the card game Landon lost the Falcon.

    Should the Kessel Run also be in that one? Or should it get its own movie?
    I dunno, it'd be over in 12 parsecs.
  • DARDAR Posts: 801
    They had my curiosity, but now they have my interest
  • MattMatt Posts: 3,908
    I'm looking forward to seeing the spinoff to show the wampa's adventure leading up to Luke's capture.

    M
  • Mr_CosmicMr_Cosmic Posts: 3,068
    As long as they don't start explaining everything. For example I don't need an origin movie for Yoda or a movie that shows how Palpatine became a Sith, etc
  • MattMatt Posts: 3,908
    Mr_Cosmic said:

    As long as they don't start explaining everything. For example I don't need an origin movie for Yoda or a movie that shows how Palpatine became a Sith, etc

    Actually, I would be highly interested in Palpatine's origin. He was the most intriguing character in the prequel trilogy.

    M
  • Mr_CosmicMr_Cosmic Posts: 3,068
    Matt said:

    Mr_Cosmic said:

    As long as they don't start explaining everything. For example I don't need an origin movie for Yoda or a movie that shows how Palpatine became a Sith, etc

    Actually, I would be highly interested in Palpatine's origin. He was the most intriguing character in the prequel trilogy.

    M
    I'm one of those fans who likes a little mystery in characters. Once I know everything about them the less interesting they become.

  • Rogue One teaser from the Star Wars Celebration

    Just want to point out that it's the same exact teaser as Godzilla's first teaser:

    First Gozilla teaser
  • MattMatt Posts: 3,908
    Mr_Cosmic said:

    Matt said:

    Mr_Cosmic said:

    As long as they don't start explaining everything. For example I don't need an origin movie for Yoda or a movie that shows how Palpatine became a Sith, etc

    Actually, I would be highly interested in Palpatine's origin. He was the most intriguing character in the prequel trilogy.

    M
    I'm one of those fans who likes a little mystery in characters. Once I know everything about them the less interesting they become.

    I don't need the A-Z of his backstory. We got most of that for Anakin & I can't help but see Vader as a whiny little bitch.

    Having said that, I would like a little more of Palpatine's backstory.

    M
  • DARDAR Posts: 801
    I haven't read it yet and it's not considered canon but I believe the Darth Plagueis novel explores Palpatine's background
  • luckymustardluckymustard Posts: 874
    edited April 2015

    Rogue One teaser from the Star Wars Celebration

    Just want to point out that it's the same exact teaser as Godzilla's first teaser:

    First Gozilla teaser

    Not "same exact". I was expecting to see a plane flying from above it, camera tracking/following it, then camera stops while plane continue towards a pan up to Godzilla... in the sky.
  • DoctorDoomDoctorDoom Posts: 2,570
    Matt said:

    Mr_Cosmic said:

    As long as they don't start explaining everything. For example I don't need an origin movie for Yoda or a movie that shows how Palpatine became a Sith, etc

    Actually, I would be highly interested in Palpatine's origin. He was the most intriguing character in the prequel trilogy.

    M

    That's what makes the Darth Plageuis novel/audiobook so good. It's as much about Palpatine as it is the titular character. I think you'd enjoy it, or at least the audiobook, @Matt .
  • David_DDavid_D Posts: 3,431

    Matt said:

    Mr_Cosmic said:

    As long as they don't start explaining everything. For example I don't need an origin movie for Yoda or a movie that shows how Palpatine became a Sith, etc

    Actually, I would be highly interested in Palpatine's origin. He was the most intriguing character in the prequel trilogy.

    M

    That's what makes the Darth Plageuis novel/audiobook so good. It's as much about Palpatine as it is the titular character. I think you'd enjoy it, or at least the audiobook, @Matt .
    Seconded. It has probably been my favorite Star Wars audiobook (though, to be fair, I have probably only listened to 5 or 6 in total).
  • WetRatsWetRats Posts: 6,314
    I tried to listen to a Star Wars audiobook, and stopped because of the sound effects and music.
  • Just read the Darth Plageuis book then. It's well worth it.
  • mphilmphil Posts: 206
    I couldn't care less about Palpatine's back-story. To me he works well as the epitome of the corruption of power and doesn't need to have his motives explained.
  • MattMatt Posts: 3,908
    mphil said:

    I couldn't care less about Palpatine's back-story. To me he works well as the epitome of the corruption of power and doesn't need to have his motives explained.

    Part of my job is reverse-engineering. I know the outcome, it's the steps that let to the outcome that I have to figure out.

    Same with stories. You can tell me the ending of the movie before I see it because I'm more interested what the journey was.

    M
  • David_DDavid_D Posts: 3,431
    WetRats said:

    I tried to listen to a Star Wars audiobook, and stopped because of the sound effects and music.

    That part definitely took me some getting used to. I finally just told myself to pretend that it was an old-timey radio drama, and that helped.
  • nweathingtonnweathington Posts: 5,167
    David_D said:

    WetRats said:

    I tried to listen to a Star Wars audiobook, and stopped because of the sound effects and music.

    That part definitely took me some getting used to. I finally just told myself to pretend that it was an old-timey radio drama, and that helped.
    I didn't have a problem with the sfx and music at all. I don't listen to a Star Wars book expecting sparkling prose and interesting use of language, so I don't find it to be a distraction. The music and sfx are a big part of what makes Star Wars Star Wars for me anyway. Plus, before I ever listened to an audio book of any kind, I listened to the NPR Star Wars radio adaptations, so I just look at the audio books as an extension of that.

    All that being said, I haven't listened to many Star Wars audio books, but Darth Plagueis is far and away the best of the few I have.
  • David_DDavid_D Posts: 3,431

    David_D said:

    WetRats said:

    I tried to listen to a Star Wars audiobook, and stopped because of the sound effects and music.

    That part definitely took me some getting used to. I finally just told myself to pretend that it was an old-timey radio drama, and that helped.
    I didn't have a problem with the sfx and music at all. I don't listen to a Star Wars book expecting sparkling prose and interesting use of language, so I don't find it to be a distraction. The music and sfx are a big part of what makes Star Wars Star Wars for me anyway. Plus, before I ever listened to an audio book of any kind, I listened to the NPR Star Wars radio adaptations, so I just look at the audio books as an extension of that.

    All that being said, I haven't listened to many Star Wars audio books, but Darth Plagueis is far and away the best of the few I have.
    I guess for me it just took some warming up to the format as I was so used to audiobooks that were pure narration. With the text driving everything, and simply the vocal performance creating everything, including the atmosphere. The first SW book I tried, the opening with the music was fun, but when suddenly there were also sound effects, including a constant background noise that sounded like a ships engines or something, it was a lot at once. At least, for me. But I am glad I stuck with it, as there have been several I have enjoyed now, and the format and atmospherics is just what I have come to expect as part of the experience.
  • jaydee74jaydee74 Posts: 1,506
    Matt said:

    I'm looking forward to seeing the spinoff to show the wampa's adventure leading up to Luke's capture.

    M

    Dammit! I want that movie now.
  • David_DDavid_D Posts: 3,431
    jaydee74 said:

    Matt said:

    I'm looking forward to seeing the spinoff to show the wampa's adventure leading up to Luke's capture.

    M

    Dammit! I want that movie now.
    I don't want it just limited to that one wampa and Luke, though. I want a parellel text of the entire wampa experience of the Galactic Civil War. Finally, the wampa point of view.
  • David_DDavid_D Posts: 3,431
    edited April 2015
    Also, may I say, jokes aside-- I sort of don't want them to make too many movies that are outside of the main episodes. As, to me, Star Wars- despite the titular wars- is actually a saga about a particular, fated, family. It is not like Lord of the RIngs, that is a sort of pretend history of a war. It is a story about the Skywalker family, that intertwines with this huge, high stakes time for the universe.

    And therefore a Yoda movie, a Boba Fett movie, or even this Rogue One movie, are basically ancilarry. They are off of the spine of what Star Wars is.

    ... But who am I fooling? I will be there to watch them the first day. And be psyched that I am getting more Star Wars (even if it is stretched out, cashed-in Star Wars).
  • WetRatsWetRats Posts: 6,314
    David_D said:

    Also, may I say, jokes aside-- I sort of don't want them to make too many movies that are outside of the main episodes. As, to me, Star Wars- despite the titular wars- is actually a saga about a particular, fated, family. It is not like Lord of the RIngs, that is a sort of pretend history of a war. It is a story about the Skywalker family, that intertwines with this huge, high stakes time for the universe.

    And therefore a Yoda movie, a Boba Fett movie, or even this Rogue One movie, are basically ancilarry. They are off of the spine of what Star Wars is.

    ... But who am I fooling? I will be there to watch them the first day. And be psyched that I am getting more Star Wars (even if it is stretched out, cashed-in Star Wars).

    This is one of those rare times when I am in complete disagreement with you.

    My favorite Star Wars novels were the ones that shoved the Skywalkers and Solos off into the corner and focused on the other characters who were doing the real work while Luke, Leia & Han were getting all the glory.

    I'm thrilled to see a film that does just this.

    The constant focus on one family makes the Star Wars Universe seem small. This approach opens it up and makes it bigger.
  • WetRatsWetRats Posts: 6,314
    David_D said:

    And be psyched that I am getting more Star Wars (even if it is stretched out, cashed-in Star Wars).

    As far as stretching-out goes, a new main film every two years instead of every three is a nice "un-stretch". :)
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