Posted on Friday, July 15th, 2016 by Jacob Hall
By now, you’ve probably watched the new Rogue One: A Star Wars Story sizzle reel that premiered at Star Wars Celebration. Heck, maybe you’ve watched it twice. Three times. But did you go through it frame-by-frame and pick out every exhausting detail like an insane person? Because I did. And I did it all for you. Let’s take a look, shall we?
And please note that there are no direct spoilers here, but I ask questions and come to conclusion that could be seen as spoiler-ish. So use your best judgment here.
When society crumbles and everyone stops making Star Wars movies out of necessity, someone is going to be able to cut together a pretty fantastic supercut of every sunrise and sunset across the saga. This looks like it could be another one for that montage.
The key phrase that has been associated with Rogue One since the very beginning has been that it’s a “war movie.” This sizzle reel is full of images that back up that description, including this shot of soldiers charging forward as explosion erupt around them. There are a lot (a lot) of practical explosions on display in this footage.
Here’s a dramatic close-up of Riz Ahmed as Bodhi Rook, a pilot who signed up with the Imperials when they invaded and occupied his home planet. As Ahmed explained during the panel, working for an evil organization and actually seeing what they do firsthand encourages him to switch sides and offer his services to the Rebel Alliance.
Rogue One can’t lean as heavily on nostalgia as Star Wars: The Force Awakens (how can you compete with the Millennium Falcon and Han Solo?), but it can borrow some familiar imagery to sell that this is most definitely the universe you know and love. Case in point: that certainly looks like a moisture farm, or least similar technology.
And now: a series of stills offering new looks at several Rogue One characters. First up is Mexican actor Diego Luna as Cassian Andor, the seasoned Rebel captain tasked with keeping Jyn Erso and this motley band of freedom fighters in line.
Next up is actor and martial artist Donnie Yen as Chirrut Îmwe, a blind warrior who believes strongly in the power of the Force without being a Jedi himself. If the Star Wars Celebration panel is to be believed, Chirrut and his buddy Baze Malbus end up meeting up with the rest of the group while on a pilgrimage to the planet Jedha, which is a spiritual site for believers (and has been occupied by Imperial forces).
If you squint through the shadows, you’ll note that Felicity Jones‘ Jyn Erso is wearing an Imperial uniform in this shot, a plot point that was revealed at the end of the first trailer. Later in this footage, another shot will seemingly reveal exactly what’s going on here, so stick around.
During the Celebration panel, Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy noted that director Gareth Edwards could often be found operating the cameras on set himself. So here he is doing just that! Every director deserves a hero shot of some kind and this is as good as one of those can get.
One of the new main characters in Rogue One is K-2SO, a reprogrammed Imperial droid played by Alan Tudyk in a motion capture performance. While the size of that character demands CGI, we can rest assured that the film will be full of plenty of guys-in-suits, playing robots the old fashioned way (and probably sweating buckets).
We don’t know if everyone’s favorite Mon Calamari, Admiral “It’s a Trap” Ackbar, will show up in Rogue One. However, we can now see that a few of his people will pop up at some point, even if they’re just part of a background shot. I like how they’re different colors and how the one in the foreground appears older and a bit unhealthier than the others. Too often, sci-fi movies treat members of alien species as looking exactly like one another.
Is this Jiang Wen trying out his best steely stare or is he simply having a very long and very tiring day on set?
Same question for Felicity Jones.
This shot offers a good close-up of Chirrut’s staff, a weapon that we see him using to take down several Stormtroopers in this footage. Of course members of the most evil fighting force in the galaxy would underestimate a blind man.
Yep, that’s the always delightful Warwick Davis, who has played minor roles in Return of the Jedi, Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace, and Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Casting him in these movies has become something of a tradition, but you couldn’t ask for a more enthusiastic cheerleader for the franchise.
In both the first trailer and the sizzle reel, many shots take place in a bustling marketplace and we now know from the panel this is Jedha, the above-mentioned holy place. Anyway, here’s a shot of Jyn handing a child some food, which locks her down as a “crook with a heart of gold,” the same mold that gave us Han Solo.