EW is squeezing all the anticipation they can out of their cover article this week on Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. Yesterday, they confirmed Darth Vader (click here to read), earlier today they offered even more details on the Sith Lord and his rivalry with Ben Mendelsohn’s character (click here to read), and now they’ve dropped 15 never-before-seen pictures from the first Star Wars spin-off film, along with some excerpts from the piece offering more information. The film looks stunning. Everything is Episode IV but shinier, and as much as I love The First Order Stormtrooper design, it’s nice to see the classic model back in action. No real spoilers here, just some more character names and beautiful shots from Gareth Edwards’ first spin-off film from the Star Wars Saga.
“[Krennic] understands the system and he knows how things work, but he also is not above trying to bend it to get what he needs or what he thinks he wants,” says Kiri Hart, Lucasfilm’s head of story development. Krennic is intended to be a contrast to Imperial officers we’ve seen before, like Peter Cushing’s Grand Moff Tarkin. “Tarkin is the model for these really cool, icy types, you know?” Hart says. “Krennic runs a little hotter than that, so that’s kind of fun and it’s a little bit different. … He is unpredictable and volatile.”
NOTE: If you’re unfamiliar with Mendelsohn, he has a small role in The Dark Knight Returns, but to see what he can really do as an actor, check out his Emmy-nominated performance in season one of Netflix’s Bloodlines.
“[Baze and Chirrut are] inspired, again, by what inspired George in [Akira Kurosawa’s] The Hidden Fortress,” [Kathleen] Kennedy says. “You could even say to some extent it’s, you know, R2 and C-3PO, a little bit of that.”
A new planet with a tropical atmosphere and beaches (a topographical first for the series) is going to be revealed as being kind of as close to the first Death Star as Endor was to the second. It’s where we see the AT-ATs shooting at the team on the beaches in the trailer. Seeing the Death Troopers for the first time (the black ops branch of the Stormtroopers) and the striking visual of the iconic Stormtrooper armor in water is seriously cool.
“There’s this sort of South Pacific, tropical paradise planet that subconsciously leads into some of the imagery associated with World War II,” director Gareth Edwards says. “We went to lots of different places around the world, and one of them was the Maldives. When you’re shooting Stormtroopers in paradise, you have the best job in the world, you know? You can’t really deny it at that point.”
All Edwards would say about this is the Death Trooper is holding a Stormtrooper doll. What parent gives his kid the equivalent of a Nazi Beanie Baby to play with?
Here’s our best look yet at Alan Tudyk’s droid character K-2SO (Kaytoo Esso), who Edwards describes as having “a very dry delivery. He doesn’t realize what he’s saying is very funny.”
Is it just me or are these creepy eyes? The rest of the pictures released were character portraits. I especially love Donnie Yen’s look. Is he blind? Is he fighting with the Force?
Finally, one of the nuggets of information released yesterday was that one of the listed cast members was going to be a character we had already seen somewhere in the saga. That character is Forrest Whitaker’s Saw Gerrera. This character appeared in The Clone Wars (though I, honestly, don’t recall him). Here’s what they had to say about the veteran warrior
“A lot of people know him from The Clone Wars, but he actually started off before that. George Lucas had him in mind for his live action [Star Wars] TV series that he had in development. That never happened, but he found a place to put Saw into a story in Clone Wars.”
“Think of Saw as the uncle [that] mom and dad don’t talk about. Something bad went down. He’s ‘disowned’ to some degree. Saw was militarized by the Republic to fight a proxy war against their worst enemy. A generation later, he becomes their worst enemy.”
This EW article has already generated three posts, so let’s see if there’s any info left when the full text is released tomorrow. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story opens December 16, 2016.