Rogue One Star Wars riz ahmed interview

Riz Ahmed has been having one hell of a 2016. Before audiences see him as Imperial pilot turned Rebel sympathizer Bodhi Rook in the upcoming Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, he played a key role in Jason Bourne earlier this summer and headlined HBO’s critically lauded miniseries The Night Of. Toss in major roles in modern gems like Four Lions and Nightcrawler and you’re left with one of the most interesting (and multi-faceted) young actors working today.

I was able to speak with Ahmed shortly after watching 28 minute of footage from Rogue One and we chatted about using fanboy feelings as on-set fuel, the importance of diversity in modern stories, and what it’s like to play an ordinary person in the Star Wars universe. Oh, and we wasted valuable Star Wars time chatting about Nightcrawler.

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diego luna interview

Everyone at the Rogue One: A Star Wars Story junket is tired, exhausted from days of press and hours of interviews. Except for Diego Luna. He’s alert and energetic and improbably cheerful for a man who has been answering questions from reporters and bloggers all day.

The actor I sit down with couldn’t feel more different from his character, Captain Cassian Andor, a Rebel intelligence officer who was seen making some very tough decisions in the Rogue One footage we saw the night before. Cassian is a pragmatic soldier not above living in shades of gray to get the job done. Diego Luna is positive, charming, and had to go camping with former Marines so he could learn the ins and outs of soldering. Our conversation was far too brief.

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Gareth Edwards Rogue One poster

Working on a Star Wars movie would be a dream come true for most filmmakers, so when Gareth Edwards had the chance to helm Rogue One he made the most of it. We’ve already shared our chat with Edwards, where he told us about all the big ways he tried to make Rogue One his own, but here we’re talking about the little things he did to get the full experience. Like leaving his mark on Industrial Light & Magic through a bunch of jokey “notes” on the Rogue One poster, and smuggling out a little memento for himself of his time on set.  Read More »

Rogue One Alan Tudyk Interview

Of course Alan Tudyk is in a Star Wars movie.

And of course the beloved character actor whose eclectic credits include Firely, Serenity, I, Robot, Death at a Funeral, Wreck-It Ralph, Tucker and Dale vs. Evil, and Frozen would play a seven-foot-tall, antisocial Imperial security droid reprogrammed to serve the Rebel cause and help steal the Death Star plans in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. After all, Tudyk has a knack for popping up in unexpected places, taking on the strangest roles, and stealing every scene he’s in.

I sat down with Tudyk the day after watching 28 minutes of Rogue One footage, which revealed his K-2SO (a digital character created through motion capture) to be an early contender for the film’s MVP. During our all-too-brief conversation, we spoke about bringing humor to a dark movie, avoiding getting typecast, and the importance of spontaneity on set.

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Star Wars Rogue One set - Diego Luna, Felicity Jones, Jiang Wen, Gareth Edwards

Gareth Edwards looks tired.

It’s the kind of fatigue you see on the faces of filmmakers after they’ve put the finishing touches on major motion pictures and have to summon a second (third? fourth?) wind to survive the press cycle. A stiff breeze could knock him over. But the director of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is smart and alert and clearly as much in love with George Lucas’ classic science fiction universe now as he was when he first signed to to make Lucasfilm’s first Star Wars spin-off movie. He’s also the kind of filmmaker who is comfortable naming The Battle of Algiers as an influence on his space opera.

I spoke with Edwards the day after watching 28 minutes of Rogue One and the director of (the wonderful) Monsters and (the divisive but brilliant) Godzilla shared his thoughts on moving from the independent realm to the world of blockbusters, why Star Wars still matters, and how the war-torn fictional moon of Jedha is like Nazi-occupied France.

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rogue one preview footage

While no audience outside of Disney and Lucasfilm has actually seen the entirety of director Gareth Edwards’ Rogue One: A Star Wars Story quite yet, we were among those invited to a sneak preview of 28 minutes of footage from the upcoming Star Wars spin-off…and what we saw was often spectacular.

“Often” may be the key word there. How do you judge a 133-minute movie based on 28 minutes? You can’t. That would be silly. To declare Rogue One a success or a failure after a half-hour preview would be a foolhardy endeavor. Without the context of the entire movie, it’s impossible to judge any decision as a good choice or a bad one. All you can do is talk about what you enjoyed in the preview and what concerned you.

And for those worried, this is a spoiler-free reaction to what was shown.

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Rogue One Creature Featurette

We are ten days away from Rogue One: A Star Wars Story hitting theaters and it already feels like the marketing for this film is reaching a fever pitch. Disney has released another featurette, this one focusing on the aliens and creatures featured in the first Star Wars anthology film. While the marketing for Star Wars: The Force Awakens was so laser-focused on convincing fans that this was a return to practical effects, locations, and creatures, we haven’t seen much of this angle for Rogue One. But this new featurette takes us into the Rogue One creature shop to take a look at the artistry behind the aliens and creatures in this film. Hit the jump to watch it now.

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Rogue One Footage Reactions

This weekend, our own Jacob Hall went to Skywalker Ranch for a special press event showing 28 minutes of footage from Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. You can check out his full, spoiler-free reaction over here. But since there were several more reporters and critics on hand, we thought we’d provide you a variety of reactions after the footage screened.

The Rogue One footage reactions have plenty of praise across the board with many praising the action and loving the new droid K-2SO. There’s also plenty of confirmation that there is no opening crawl, as we already heard. And director Gareth Edwards has been paying attention to the early buzz, and he reacts to the good word of mouth coming from this sneak preview.

For more Rogue One footage reactions, all of them spoiler-free, hit the jump. Read More »

Rogue One Clip

The clips are starting to pour in for Gareth Edwards‘ Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. After plenty of welcomed secrecy, just two short weeks before the movie finally comes out, we’re seeing more and more footage. Yesterday brought us a clip in which Stormtroopers have yet to master the art of simply aiming, while today brings us a new clip showing Jyn Erso (Felicity Jones) and Cassian Andor (Diego Luna) trying to get on the same page and another with a character you’ll remember from the prequels.

Below, watch the Rogue One clips.

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Cool Posts From Around the Web:

Rogue One A Star Wars Story - U-Wing Fighter

In this edition of Rogue One Bits:

  • Rogue One: A Star Wars Story‘s big space battle is teased.
  • A look at the design process of the U-Wing.
  • Yes, there will be plenty of available Rogue One tickets.
  • Jimmy Kimmel Live will dedicate an entire episode to Rogue One.
  • Alan Tudyk promises that K-2SO won’t be Jar Jar Binks.
  • A new interview with Gareth Edwards.
  • Take a VR tour of the Rogue One set.

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