Rogue One Bits: Forest Whitaker Details, A Villain Revealed, And A Possible Meaning For The Title

The deeper we get into the box office run of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, the more prevalent the Rogue One: A Star Wars Story news becomes! In today's edition of Rogue One Bits:

  • A few toy codenames just gave away some interesting character points.
  • Details on Forest Whitaker's character, revealed!
  • A taste of the new, non-Darth Vader villain of the film.
  • Take a closer look at the lead characters' costumes.
  • A big hint about what the title of the film could maybe, possibly mean!

The first interesting news of the day concerns the first wave of Rogue One "Black Series" toys, which were given some strange codenames. The names "Green Seal Leader," "Shark Trooper," "Blue Seal Communicator," and "Seal Droid" all came to light and, like all good codenames, they tell you nothing about they actually represent. However, someone has broken the code:

Felicity Jones' character is codenamed Green Seal Leader by the production.

Seal Communicator Blue is Jiang Wen's character (the guy with the red armor on behind Donnie Yen in the cast photo).

Eel Commander is Forest Whitaker's character. This faction destination has led me to speculate he's a bounty hunter affiliated character.

Seal Droid is Alan Tudyk's character.

The bad guys have codenames related to sharks.

The factions when coded amount to seals, eels, and sharks.

If "Seal" is the codename for Rebel soldier characters, then this essentially confirms that rumors that Alan Tudyk's mo-cap character is a battle droid of some kind, which just sounds great. And does this mean that the "Shark Trooper" figure may represent Ben Mendelsohn's mysterious villain?

forest whitaker

The next scoop comes to us courtesy of Making Star Wars, whose track record with this kind of stuff has been a little more solid than most. But you know what they say about rumors and salt and so on and etc. The gossip today concerns the character played by Oscar-winner Forest Whitaker, who, like everyone else in the cast, is an enigma shrouded in shadow cloaked in secrets and locked in a Mystery Box. But here's what they've been hearing about this guy:

Forest Whitaker's character uses a cane.

It appears he has one leg and uses a cane as a crutch to walk.

He appears to be a veteran of some battles, but it isn't clear if he lost his leg fighting in the Clone Wars or against the Empire.

Based on a differentiated code name from the rest of the rebels in the movie, it appears he is likely good but maybe a bounty hunter affiliated type...

He seems to be a "good guy" in Rogue One. 

He has a cape and his costume is a hodgepodge of different things (think of someone you might see at Maz's castle).

Whitaker is one of those solid working actors that seemingly takes whatever job comes his way and does everything he can with the material. So him being in a Star Wars movie, which surely offers him a great deal more to chew on than Taken 3, is exciting stuff. Plus, if you are going to cast Forest Whitaker in a Star Wars movie, making him a grizzled war veteran with connections to the criminal underworld sounds like the way to go. Plus, the rest of the article mentions that he may have a robot leg, which means that Forest Whitaker is playing a cyborg with a cape and oh-my-god-where-is-the-trailer-for-this?

ben mendelsohn

Speaking of capes and rumors from Making Star Wars, the site revealed another splash of minor details that may prove interesting to those who want a few puzzle pieces early. They offer a spoiler warning and we will too: just head to the next page if you don't want to know anything that could possibly be considered a spoiler. Still, nothing here feels that extreme or deals heavily in plot, so feel free to make up your own mind.

Still with us? Okay, so this report spills a few beans about the main villain of the film, who is reportedly played by the great character actor Ben Mendelsohn. It seems that he is also a member of the Rogue One cape club:

There is a bad guy or person of some importance to the Empire. His main feature is a huge majestic white cape with a slit in the back. In the film there is a beautiful shot of this Imperial treading through a shallow body of water with said cape trailing him. The figure that wears it appears to be an older male. I'm told he has a badass sidearm and a really cool name. We're fairly certain this is Ben Mendelsohn's character but that's not 100% or verified at this time.

Making Star Wars also claims there are shots of this character walking through legions of Stormtroopers, so he's obvious some kind of Big Deal to the Empire. We're officially intrigued – who is this guy? He's certainly not a Sith, but he has a "badass sidearm and a really cool name." He certainly doesn't seem to be wearing Imperial garb. Maybe he's a high-level criminal, a powerful crook with a stake in the Death Star? Theorize away!

slave one

Last week, a few costumes from Rogue One were revealed at previews for the Nuremberg Toy Fair. Now that the event is actually open to the public, more photos have arrived, giving us an even better look at these outfits. And we're impressed – these actually look like what a struggling group of rebel soldiers would actually wear. Check them out below: hastily assembled armor, modified casual wear, blasters that look like they're being held together with spit and a prayer.

Are you ready to squint at more photos shared on Twitter? Of course you are. You're a Star Wars fan. These are the sacrifices you make. Someone managed to snap a photo during a presentation on upcoming Star Wars LEGO sets and as you can see in the image below, one of the preview images is labeled "Rogue 1" and it has a release date of October.

But of course there were going to Rogue One LEGO sets! What's more interesting here is the ship in that picture: that's a Firespray-31. It may look familiar because the infamous bounty hunter Boba Fett pilots a Firespray-31, named Slave 1. Let's round up the rhetorical questions. Does this mean Bob Fett is in this movie? Or does it mean that someone else pilots a different Firespray in the film, as the color scheme does appear to be different? Does "Rogue 1/One" have anything to do with "Slave 1/One?" Our theory: Boba Fett is not in this movie. Our heroes probably fly a Firespray-31 of their own, which means it gets a similar call sign. This way, Lucasfilm can introduce a "hero" version of one of their most famous ships... which means they won't have to try to sell a toy with the awkward name of "Slave 1" to kids.