rogue one tarkin

Last week I had the opportunity to jump on the phone with the visual effects team behind Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. After the jump, you can read a transcript of my full interview with Rogue One executive producer / visual effects supervisor / writer John Knoll, animation supervisor Hal Hickel, and special effects supervisor Neil Corbould.

In the conversation, Knoll talks about his original low-budget pitch for Rogue One. We also find out just how many people and how much time it took to recreate Tarkin, just how much work was put into resurrected Gold and Red Leader from A New Hope, and if we’ll end up seeing more deleted scenes with finished visual effects on the home video release, and talk Princess Leia, miniatures, and much more.

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Future of Carrie Fisher in Star Wars

Family, friends and fans are still mourning the loss of not only Carrie Fisher, but also her mother Debbie Reynolds. However, once all the tributes have been made and the two actresses are laid to rest together, Disney and Lucasfilm have to think about what happens with Carrie Fisher’s iconic character Leia Organa, the princess turned general who returned in Star Wars: The Force Awakens and has a sizeable role in the still untitled Star Wars: Episode VIII.

We’ve already learned that Carrie Fisher completed her filming on Star Wars: Episode VIII before she passed away. However, news has surfaced that Leia was supposed to play an even larger role in Star Wars: Episode IX, and about how that will be handled when production begins on the sequel.

Find out more about the future of Carrie Fisher in Star Wars Episode 8 below, but beware of a couple spoilers regarding two future scenes in the next episodes of the saga. Read More »

Rogue One - Forest Whitaker - Saw Gerrera

Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy says that the character of Saw Gerrera, introduced in Star Wars: The Clone Wars before making the leap to live action in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, will probably be further explored in future Star Wars projects. And since he’s one of the most intriguing recent additions to the canon, this is something I hope they do end up exploring.

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‘Star Wars’ Actors and Filmmakers Mourn Carrie Fisher

Star Wars Actors and Directors Mourn Carrie Fisher

Carrie Fisher passed away yesterday at the age of 60. Although best known for her work as Princess Leia Organa in four Star Wars movies, she was so much more: a tremendous writer, an incredible wit, one of Hollywood’s most prolific script doctors, and a brutally honest personality whose openness about mental illness provided hope and inspiration for many.

The fact that we can build an entire article around her colleagues saying nice things about her speaks volumes.

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Rogue One scripts

Disney has released a bunch of books in connection with Rogue One: A Star Wars Story which give us some insight into John Knoll‘s original pitch for the movie and Gary Whitta‘s original screenplay, as well as how the story evolved under Chris Weitz. I’m always very interested in the evolution of the creative process on this scale, and learning what might have been.

We’ve already delved into the missing trailer footage to try to deconstruct what may have been reshot, now join me as we look at the original ideas for Rogue One, from pitch to shoot:

  • Discover the original title for Rogue One.
  • Find out which character was originally written to be a Jedi.
  • Learn which character was originally created for J.J. Abrams’ Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

Hit the jump to find out what I learned.

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When Will We See the Star Wars Episode 8 Trailer?

Our wait is finally over. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story finally opens tonight in the U.S., paying off literally years of rumors, hype, reporting, and marketing. But we Star Wars fans are kind of a greedy bunch, aren’t we? We can never get enough. Sure, Rogue One is here at long last — but what about the next Star Wars movie, Episode 8? When will we see the first trailer for that?

Well, if it were up to star Adam Driver, the answer would be “never.” But it’s not, and Kathleen Kennedy definitely has other plans. The Lucasfilm chief recently fielded a question about when we’d see the first Episode 8 footage. Find out what she had to say below.  Read More »

Rogue One Reshoots

The morning after watching 28 minutes of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, I joined the rest of the gathered press as we reconvened at Lucasfilm for a full day of interviews (which you can read right over here). But before that, we assembled for the group press conference, moderated by StarWars.com’s Andi Gutierrez. In attendance were Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy, director Gareth Edwards, visual effects supervisor (and story creator) John Knoll, and actors Felicity Jones, Diego Luna, Ben Mendelsohn, Alan Tudyk, Donnie Yen, Mads Mikkelsen, and Riz Ahmed.

The result was a sprawling morning that covered everything from the genesis of the film’s unique look, to George Lucas’ reaction to the final cut, to Kathleen Kennedy addressing her previous comments about women directing Star Wars movies…to Alan Tudyk’s very, very tight motion capture jumpsuit. Here’s everything you need to know.

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rogue one pao

We’ve already begun to learn about the success of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. Fandango sold hundreds of thousands of tickets in the first few minutes, and last week box office tracking services estimated the opening weekend box office could hit the high $120 million range to the near $150 million range. But no matter how successful this movie is, don’t expect a Rogue One sequel.

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Star Wars female directors

In a lot of ways, the Star Wars franchise is more female-friendly than ever. Rey and Jyn are positioned as the first new protagonists of the Disney era. Women like Kathleen Kennedy and Kiri Hart are in charge behind the scenes at Lucasfilm, and women make up half the executive team. But there’s one area of Star Wars filmmaking that shows a disappointing lack of progress: even now, every single filmmaker who has directed or is slated to direct a Star Wars movie is male.

And although Kennedy has insisted we will see some female filmmakers join the Star Wars franchise someday, it sounds like that day might still be a ways off. In a recent interview, Kennedy said the difficulty so far has been finding female filmmakers with the right experience.  Read More »

Cool Posts From Around the Web:

Star Wars kylo ren

When Disney acquired Lucasfilm from George Lucas, they announced they would be making three new Star Wars films continuing the Skywalker saga, as well as revealed plans to develop stand-alone anthology movies set outside of this overarching story. As we near the first “Star Wars Story” Rogue One, it occurs to us that Colin Trevorrow‘s Star Wars Episode IX isn’t that far off in the distance (currently scheduled to hit theaters on May 24th, 2019). Will that be the finale in the Skywalker movies? Will the Star Wars saga continue after Episode 9? Find out what Lucasfilm head Kathleen Kennedy says, after the jump.

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