This year's 'Star Wars Celebration' was, for lack of a better phrase, absolutely immense. There were reveals for the tear jerking second Star Wars: The Force Awakens trailer, EA & DICE's Star Wars Battlefront looks like the game that will finally tip me over into a fully reclusive state and the Star Wars universe's first standalone feature will be entering some very interesting territory...
Best weekend ever? It's most definitely up there.
Director Gareth Edwards (Monsters, Godzilla), Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy and the Story Group’s Kiri Hart were on hand to discuss new and tasty details about Star Wars: Rogue One, the juiciest of them being, of course, the plot! Which is nice of them. And what Academy Award nominated British actress Felicity Jones (The Amazing Spider-Man 2) will be getting up to in that far away galaxy.
Let's have a look at the best parts of Edwards and co's panel:
Star Wars Anthology: Rogue One
1. What's It About?
Taking place between Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope, Rogue One will focus on a group of rebels who will attempt to snatch something of vast importance from right underneath the Empire's snooty nose:
These were the same plans that allowed Luke Skywalker to destroy the first iteration of the Death Star in A New Hope.
Production on Rogue One will begin this summer.
2. Early Footage
Despite the feature not having started shooting yet, Edwards brought along a little clip and concept art (above) to show the lucky fans in attendance. The snippet, which has since been dragged offline by Disney, was created with the cooperation of Industrial Light & Magic and alluded to the tone of the piece.
Luckily though, /Film we're lucid enough, after all the SWC delights, to create a well detailed synopsis:
A card with “December 2016″ fades in and out, with a sound that is somewhere between a slow Inception horn and a lightsaber. Then a familiar voice: Alec Guinness as Obi-Wan Kenobi, saying “For more than a thousand generations, the Jedi Knights were the guardians of peace and justice in the old Republic. Before the dark times. Before the Empire.”
As he speaks, the teaser fades in on a tracking shot, high up through a forested canyon. We hear a TIE Fighter pass overhead, and see the ship move forward into frame as the camera continues to push forward. We see, dominating the sky, the outline of what could be a moon. But that’s no moon, it’s a… well, you know what it is.
The Death Star, under construction. Music swells and the screen goes black. The Rogue One logo comes up, and we hear radio voices, like troops communicating during combat. The chatter gets more frantic and loud as light strobes on the logo, which finally breaks up as the sound cuts out.
The hairs on my arms stood up just just thinking about it!
3. Felicity Jones Is Playing...?
Okay, so we knew that Jones would be heading up the cast of the Rogue One, but Gareth Edwards revealed that she will in fact be playing a yet unnamed Rebel soldier. Could she be the titular Rogue One?
4. No Jedi
During the time when Rogue One is set, the Jedi are basically extinct. There will be no magic and lighsabers on hand to inspire hope in the galaxy, as discussed by Edwards:
It’s about the fact that God’s not coming to save us, and we’re on our own. The absence of the Jedi is omnipresent in the film. It hangs over the whole movie.
Edwards sought to reaffirm the fact that Rogue One will be a straight up, unadulterated war movie:
It's the reality of war. Good guys are bad. Bad guys are good. It's complicated, layered; a very rich scenario in which to set a movie.
5. Rogue One Was Episode VII's Original Pitch
ILM wizard John Knoll, Rogue One's co-creator, originally posited his well loved idea internally, before taking it up the ladder to Kennedy and co:
I informally pitched it around… One of the people I pitched it to was Pablo, and he was pretty enthusiastic about it as well… I made an appointment with Kathy and Kiri, pitched the 20-minute version of this, and got a pretty good response.
Lucasarts then went on an internal search for other story ideas, which may have possibly led to Josh Trank's future Star Wars Anthology feature.
So there we have it, a little rundown of main nuggets of awesomeness to come out of Star Wars: Rogue One's SWC panel.
Star Wars Anthology: Rogue One will hit screens December 2016.