Rogue One - Death Star Eclipse

In this edition of Star Wars Bits:

  • A deep dive in the other secret history of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story‘s aliens.
  • Did composer Michael Giacchino hide one of John Williams‘ most famous tracks in Rogue One?
  • Mark Hamill is reunited with one of the original trilogy lightsaber props.
  • Check out concept art from that cancelled Darth Maul video game.
  • Next week’s Star Wars Rebels will explore the origin of the Darksaber.
  • Some insight into Rogue One‘s unique filmmaking process.
  • A sneak peek at an upcoming issue of Marvel’s Doctor Aphra.
  • And more!

pao rogue one

StarWars.com has a fun conversation with Pablo Hidalgo of the Lucasfilm story group, where he explains the secret histories of many of the aliens seen throughout Rogue One. I especially enjoyed these details about Pao, the alien who joins Jyn and Cassian during the final ground assault on Scarif:

I think Pao may be a bit more gung ho than your average Drabatan, but I hope his people would be be proud to consider him a representative of their species. One story idea I wanted to put in the Ultimate Visual Guide was that he had a mild-mannered civilian life prior to joining the Rebellion. He was an engineer who felt he had to do something about the Empire.

gareth edwards on the set of rogue one

Variety has a fascinating look at how the Rogue One crew shifted typical production techniques to create the unique look and feel of the film. Here’s my favorite section:

To this end, Wilson and cinematographer Greig Fraser devised a setup that eliminated conventional slates to begin action, using a time-code-based system to sync everything. Red tally lights were removed from the cameras because “we didn’t want the actors to notice when they were rolling … so we could catch moments of spontaneity or exhaustion. You’re seeing real emotions on their faces,” notes the mixer.

For Wilson, this meant using lavaliers and overhead booms, and planting mics on the set to record the performances of the ensemble cast and the 30-plus creatures designed by creature effects specialist Neal Scanlan. “They were rigged for their dialogue but also for [supervising sound editor] Matthew Wood and his team so they could go into the tracks and bring the audience closer to the characters by bringing up their breathing or action sounds.”

You can read the rest at the link above.

Rogue One is the first live-action Star Wars movie to not have a musical score from John Williams, so it’s weirdly refreshing to hear Michael Giacchino do very much his own thing without leaning on the master’s themes too much. However, as you can hear in the video above, it sounds like he snuck in a clever tribute to one of the original trilogy’s most iconic pieces of music.

I don’t know if I’ll ever get around to actually watching Mark Hamill’s Pop Culture Quest series, but this clip from an upcoming episode, where the man behind Luke Skywalker is reunited with one of the old lightsaber props he wielded in the original trilogy, is very cool.

Comic Vine has debuted a cover and several interior pages for Doctor Aphra #4, an upcoming issue of Marvel’s newest (and so far, very good!) comic series. A spin-off from the Darth Vader series, writer Kieron Gillen and artist Kev Walker’s comic follows the rogue criminal/archaeologist of the title on her own solo adventures, blending black comedy and crazy adventure.

A few years ago, we learned that Darth Maul video game (possibly titled Battle of the Sith Lords or Star Wars: Maul) was secretly in development, but was cancelled when Disney acquired Lucasfilm. Some footage of the game exists and you can watch it above. Now, artist Thomas A. Szakolczay has revealed concept art that he created for the project, noting that the game was actually supposed to take place after Return of the Jedi:

Back in 2011, I was fortunate enough to work with Lucas Arts and Redfly Studios to help develop the look direction for a new Star Wars IP that centered around Darth Maul. It took place in a future time line sometime after Return of the Jedi and was meant to have a darker, grittier tone. Unfortunately the project was conceived around the same time as the Disney acquisition. it was cancelled after 1 year of development. Definitely dream of getting the opportunity to work on another Star Wars related project, so much fun!

I’ve included a few pieces in the gallery below, but you should follow that link above to check out a lot more art and tons of commentary on what could have been.

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