Details on 'Star Wars Anthology: Rogue One' from SW Celebration
"For more than a thousand generations, the Jedi Knights were the guardians of peace and justice in the Old Republic. Before the dark times, before the Empire…" Plenty of new details about the expanded Star Wars universe revealed, as the Star Wars Celebration event in Anaheim ended with a panel featuring director Gareth Edwards. After bring us Godzilla, Gareth is next set to direct the first "spin-off" solo Star Wars movie after Disney bought Lucasfilm and brought back Star Wars. It was revealed recently that the title of the December 2016 film would be Rogue One, but during the panel they played a very early, brief teaser trailer for Rogue One that featured a different title. Star Wars Anthology: Rogue One is what the title card shows in that, but we also know more details about the plot - and it's not really about X-Wings.
As was tweeted out by @StarWars this afternoon, Rogue One is actually about a band of resistance fighters who "unite for a daring mission to steal the Death Star plans". The teaser they showed at the event included voiceover of that quote at the beginning, as well as a shot that pans through a jungle and as it continues (a tie fighter flies by) and suddenly the Death Star appears on the horizon in the background. So, as far as we know, this is a non-Jedi rogue mission movie about stealing the Death Star (plans). The title card actually comes up as Star Wars Anthology: Rogue One, so that seems be the official title. Though it seems easier to just call it Rogue One. Aside from Felicity Jones as a Rebel Soldier, no other casting was announced yet.
A band of resistance fighters unite for a daring mission to steal the Death Star plans in Star Wars anthology film, Rogue One #RogueOne.
— Star Wars (@starwars) April 19, 2015
Our friends at SlashFilm covered the panel and provided some of the best updates. They posted one piece of concept art for the film (seen below embedded in the tweet) along with more descriptions and quotes. Peter Sciretta tweeted out photos of director Gareth Edwards revealing to his Mom when he got the job, as well as some more details throughout the event. "Gareth Edwards got hired for Rogue One during filming Godzilla. He kept the secret for six months. He didn't even tell his parents." Gareth is a die-hard Star Wars fan and proved it with photos of him visiting the set of the Skywalker's home. But where did the original idea for Rogue One come from (and what is it really about)? From inside VFX studio ILM, now working on the films.
Rogue One was originally pitched by John Knoll, Chief Creative Office of ILM, who got other co-workers onboard as well. They made a pitch reel for the project, Kathleen Kennedy loved it and it developed from there. SlashFilm explains the plot straight from the panel: "Rogue One is set in a time when the Jedi are basically extinct — there are no warriors with 'magical powers' to save the day. 'It’s about the fact that God's not coming to save us,' said Edwards. 'The absence of the Jedi hangs over the movie.' So this could be a very different Star Wars movie, one that features more 'reality' than we've ever seen, and potentially some slightly morally murky characters, from a moral perspective." That clears up a bit of the confusion, but also poses some new questions. I'm definitely intrigued, and I love the plot. A Star Wars heist movie? Yes.
This is what the Rogue One logo looks like, giving you an idea of how the stand alone movies will be presented pic.twitter.com/JW5wl5qixZ
— Peter Sciretta (@slashfilm) April 19, 2015
— Peter Sciretta (@slashfilm) April 19, 2015
The only other interesting quotes are about Felicity Jones and her character, which is all they've revealed so far. "We wanted to see fear, humor, and warmth" in the character, Gareth said, "not just a cliched image of a warrior." It's set between Episode III and IV, and will feel closer to the original Star Wars than anything. Gareth Edwards is directing, with Chris Weitz (The Golden Compass, Cinderella) on the screenplay along with Gary Whitta, plus Greig Fraser (Let Me In, Zero Dark Thirty, Foxcatcher, The Gambler) as cinematographer, and Neal Scanlan (Prometheus, The Golden Compass, Babe) doing creature design and effects work. "This film is about moral grey areas and realities of war." Sounds like a good fit for Gareth after Monsters and Godzilla, I'm already looking forward to seeing what they're working on. The plot sounds exciting, the director is talented, this is a Star Wars spin-off that might actually turn out quite awesome.
We'll be keeping an eye out for more Star Wars updates form here, but this is the biggest news to come out of Celebration in regards to this first spin-off due December 2016. Watch The Force Awakens trailer again.