“Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” is looking like a sure-fire good time. While we’ve already seen footage in a previously-released trailer and have seen several stills from the film, there were still some worries among some fans that the next “Star Wars” outing had some problems, especially when rumors came out that the film was having extensive reshoots (which the filmmakers assure are minor).
But fear not, boasting a new poster and, most notably, a stellar behind-the-scenes reel from the film at Star Wars Celebration Europe in London, it looks like there’s nothing to worry about. The film looks to offer a bold new take on the “Star Wars” mythos that puts a unique — yet, true to classic “Star Wars” — spin on familiar concepts from the franchise. Boasting action and some surprising heartfelt moments, the reel assured us that there’s a lot to look forward to in the first “Star Wars” anthology film.
CBR News has chronologically broken down the biggest takeaways from the “Rogue One” behind-the-scenes reel, offering some analysis on the glimpses and teases that were offered in the exciting sneak peek. From new aliens, badass money shots and sweet character moments, there’s a lot to mine from the footage — so before you proceed, be sure to check out the reel for yourself.
If there’s anything you noticed that we didn’t point out, be sure to sound off in CBR’s TV/Film forum with your thoughts!
10. Good Old Star Wars with a New Spin
The behind-the-scenes reel kicked off with various stunning shots of the core team, along with some subtle, familiar visual elements from the original “Star Wars” trilogy to ease fans into the world of the new film (which is set just before “Episode IV,” AKA the original “Star Wars”). We caught a glimpse of a moisture evaporator — which we’re used to seeing on Tatooine — this time, on a grassy plain, serving as a visual indicator that this is very close to the time period in “Star Wars” history that many viewers hold dear.
Plus, the footage debuted a look at what appears to be a new race of Mon Calamari — the fishy alien species Admiral Ackbar is a part of — recapturing the solid practical effects work we saw in “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.”
9. Warwick Davis In the House
James Earl Jones isn’t the only original “Star Wars” actor returning for “Rogue One.” The behind-the-scenes reel confirmed that Warwick Davis — the actor who portrayed Wicket in “Return of the Jedi” — is back in the “Star Wars” universe. While Davis hasn’t been gone for long (considering he appeared in “The Force Awakens,” and before that, in “The Phantom Menace”), the actor’s presence in “Rogue One” is surely an added bonus for fans of the franchise. Warwick’s role hasn’t been revealed for the film, but we can’t wait to watch the classic “Star Wars” actor bring his unique screen presence to a presumably new alien character from the galaxy far, far away.
8. It’s Not All War
Though the fight sequences and evocative military imagery have gained the most attention from the “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” footage released this far, the reel showed off a more personal moment from the film, indicating that the latest “Star Wars” has more to it than cool battle scenes. The behind-the-scenes look included a moment that saw Jyn Erso give a small child a toy or some food in a busy market. The brief interaction stands out among all the grizzled war footage as one of the more heart-warming things we’ve seen from “Rogue One.” Behind all the destruction and explosions, it looks like Gareth Edwards’ “Star Wars” flick has some personal flourishes tucked between the flashy action scenes.
7. New Stormtroopers on the Scene
Watch out, Rebels — there are new stormtroopers geared up and ready to throw down. The behind-the-scenes reel debuted a fresh take on the classic armor, showcasing a more angular helmet that recaptures the look of the original stormtroopers, with a cool (and, kind of scary) spin on the helmet. The Empire’s armed forces are, obviously, factoring in “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” in a big way, so there’s a good chance there are even more helmet designs we’ve yet to see from the film. While it’s nice to know how many stormtrooper designs there are in “Rogue One” for the sake of collecting action figures, it’ll also be interesting to see how this particular stormtrooper ranks among other ‘troopers in military status.
6. Are Those the Death Star Plans?
The behind-the-scenes reel showed off a shot of Felicity Jones’ Jyn Erso and Diego Luna’s Captain Cassian Andor running on a beach of the planet Scarif and dodging fire from the Empire in slow-motion, and… damn, how cool was that? Aside from serving as a gorgeous action shot in its own right, we noticed that Jyn is holding something in her hand as she runs. We’re guessing these could very well be the precious Death Star plans Jyn and her team are trying to get their hands on over the course of the film. If those are indeed the plans, it’s possible we’re seeing a glimpse of a major climactic moment in the film — and we can’t wait to see how it plays out.
5. A Lot of New Aliens
Just because “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” is set very close to “A New Hope,” that doesn’t mean it’s merely recycling the aliens we saw in that film. The behind-the-scenes reel showcased many, many new alien faces that we can’t wait to get to know. Most of the creatures revealed in the footage look like they’re being brought to life using practical effects, much like the new alien additions in J.J. Abrams’ “The Force Awakens.” The presence of our new alien buddies assures that “Rogue One” will build on the “Star Wars” mythos in strange (and likely adorable) new ways, while serving as an ode to the classic “Star Wars” aesthetic.
4. Jyn Erso is a Force to Be Reckoned With
We saw a lot of characters in the “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” Celebration Reel, but we still came away from the footage recognizing that Jyn Erso is (deservedly) the shining star of the film. In particular, the reel boasts a scene that sees Jyn crawling under a severe rain fall. The brief sequence revealed a few things about the film — most notably, that Jyn is going to be quite the badass. Between the practical effects shot in the rain, and the one (near the 1:56 mark) that sees Jyn jumping in front of a blue screen, “Rogue One” looks to bring more traditional and physical action scenes to “Star Wars.” In the same way that every injury is felt by audiences when they watch John McLain make his way through Nakatomi Plaza in “Die Hard,” it looks like we’ll have a very grounded, relatable lens into Jyn Erso’s struggle over the course of “Rogue One.”
3. Stormtrooper Money Shot
The slow-motion footage of the classic stormtroopers strutting through the beach of Scarif makes us take those guys very seriously. This kind of shot provides exactly the kind of stylistic gravitas we hoped “Godzilla” director Gareth Edwards would bring to “Rogue One.” No longer do stormtroopers appear to be the goofy, often useless, henchmen of the Empire. Instead, they look like a killer squad of soldiers that’s not to be taken lightly. It’s nice to see Edwards managed to elevate the dangerous elements of the Empire’s iconic soldiers, since it makes Jyn and the Rebels’ struggle that much more engaging. Based on the depiction of the stormtroopers in the behind-the-scenes reel, we’re not so sure Jyn’s entire team will be able to make it out of this one alive…
2. Who’s This Little Guy?
Really, who is that guy, and when can we get his action figure? The new “Rogue One” behind-the-scenes footage introduced an adorable-yet-frightening new alien character (presumably a Rebel) that, based on one scream, has the potential to be one of the breakout characters of the film. The practical effects-based, Gremlin-esque creature operates a gun on a battleship in the footage, giving off a very Rocket Raccoon vibe in the brief sequence. It’s nice to see that among all the seriousness and gritty action, there are still some little aliens to root for in “Rogue One,” in the way that Ewoks brought a touch of dark humor to the Battle of Endor in “Return of the Jedi.”
1. Alan Tudyk Dons the Mo-Cap Suit
The behind-the-scenes look includes footage of Alan Tudyk in a mo-cap suit, filming a scene as his android character K-2SO — a good friend of Luna’s Captain Andor. Described by Edwards (via Entertainment Weekly) as the “antithesis of C-3PO” and “Chewbacca’s personality in a droid’s body,” the droid will have a more confident edge than most other robot characters we’ve seen in “Star Wars.” “He doesn’t give a s— about what you think. He doesn’t fully check himself before he says things and does things. He just speaks the truth.”
Notice anything else worth pointing out from the “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” behind-the-scenes reel? Sound off in CBR’s TV/Film forum with your thoughts!
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