Felicity Jones on ‘Rogue One’ Reshoots

In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, actress Felicity Jones discusses her upcoming films Inferno, A Monster Calls, and Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.

 

In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, actress Felicity Jones discusses her upcoming films InfernoA Monster Calls, and Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.

Only two short months from now Jones will lead Lucasfilm into their first outing from the Skywalker saga with the experimental spin-off.

The film tells the story of Jyn Erso (Jones) and a band of rebel spies as they embark on a mission to steal the plans of the original Death Star described in the first paragraph of the opening crawl to Star Wars Episode IV: A New HopeRogue will serve as a direct prequel to the original classic and lead right up to the moments before Princess Leia’s Tantive IV is captured by Darth Vader’s Star Destroyer, “The Executor”.

Jones told THR her biggest inspiration for Jyn was Florence Welch of the british rock band Florence + The Machine. She spent hours watching music videos by the group as she crafted who the character was and describes the physicality Florence brings to her performances as her inspiration for the physicality she brought to the role.

So much of Jyn is movement. It became a very important part of finding her. She walks almost a bit like a caged animal. Her fight sequences become like dances.

In the trailers, Jones can be seen as she storms a beach crawling with AT-AT’s. The film has her taking on stormtroopers head to head, leaping from one piece of a set to another, and even coming face to face with a TIE Fighter as she smuggles the plans that the Rebel Alliance will later use when Luke Skywalker makes his attack run on the Death Star.

THR also managed to slide in a burn about the the film’s notorious reshoots which is getting old at this point and is just flat out ignorant. Jones commented on the controversy surrounding the film going back into production this past June.

Obviously when you come to the edit, you see the film come together and you think, ‘Actually, we could do this better, and this would make more sense if we did this. I’ve done it so many times. I mean, you wouldn’t just give your first draft on this story, would you?

Every blockbuster has reshoots.

What may have once been a reaction to pieces of a film not working is now part of the production, built into the schedule and the budget from the beginning. The difference with Rogue and what makes it concerning is that director Tony Gilroy was brought in to handle the reshoots rather than the film’s director Garreth Edwards. There was a lot of talk about Lucasfilm being dissatisfied with the tone of the film saying it wasn’t Star Wars enough. Rogue  from its initial conception was to be a war film. The trailers released for the film thus far evoke vibes of Saving Private RyanPlatoon, and Apocalypse Now. My fear is that the film will suffer from a tonal clash. One train being derailed by another because of bad feedback from a focus group. At what point does Edwards’ vision and intention become compromised? Will the levity Star Wars is known for mix well with what Edwards has crafted?

To read the full interview with Jones where she also discusses her reluctance to join Inferno as well as the loss of her former co-star Anton Yelchin, head on over to THR.

Rogue One hits theaters December 16, 2016.

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‘Star Wars Rebels’: Hera’s Heroes Clip

Admiral Thrawn finally makes another appearance. After getting teased with him in the premiere it looks like he will be featured prominently in the next episode titled “Hera’s Heroes.” Released in a clip by DisneyXD today, we see that Thrawn has managed to capture Hera. The chilling villain is impressed with The Ghost’s captain as he divulges his approach to war and reveals his knowledge of Hera’s identity and her history.

Star Wars Rebels airs Saturdays at 8:30 p.m. ET/PT on DisneyXD.

‘Star Wars Rebels’: “The Antilles Extraction” Spoiler Review

Star Wars Rebels continues to flesh out the universe in ways we have never seen on screen before.

Star Wars Rebels  continues to flesh out the universe in ways we have never seen on screen before. The third episode of the season introduces us to our old friend Wedge Antilles as he struggles with the choice he made to join the Empire. After Wedge reaches out to the Rebellion, Sabine is chosen to lead a mission to recruit Wedge as well as a couple other pilots.

Last year we were introduced in the new canon novel Star Wars: Lost Stars  to several characters in the Empire who weren’t bad people. Some were actually pretty average—just trying to make ends meet to get by in the galaxy. Others were fully committed to the Empire’s cause no matter what but the galactic civil war was a dividing point for many within the Empire. It’s fascinating to see conflicted individuals who serve the Empire as they make their escape to join the Rebellion and that’s exactly what we got in this episode. Fortunately for the Rebellion, they are recruiting some of the most elite Imperial pilots.

Sabine, Wedge and Hobbie were able to make their escape with a little help from Agent Kallus. It was a nice callback to last season and possibly foreshadow’s Kallus’ defection. Kallus has been on the edge since the end of last season and in this episode he seems to be even closer as he goes out on a limb and nearly compromises himself to help the defectors escape.

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Wedge Antilles in Star Wars Rebels (Disney XD)

This was no doubt a smaller episode than the last two. My only issue is that we didn’t get to see Admiral Thrawn again. To say there was a lot of hype going into this season for him would be an understatement. It’s a bit frustrating having him absent for the last two episodes considering we only got but a few scenes with him in the premiere. Other than that, it was a fun and exciting episode that explored how the Empire operates internally and we even got a few good space battles. We also learned a key piece of information in that Fulcrum isn’t just used as a codename to refer to Ahsoka, but actually anyone who is a secret informant for the Rebellion.

Oh and, Wedge quoting Poe Dameron as they were boarding the TIE Fighter to escape was also a nice touch. I can fly anything. We know Wedge, we know.

3.6/5 – SOLID

Young Han Solo Tests Female Lead

Three months ago Alden Ehrenreich was confirmed to star in the second Star Wars spin-off as Han Solo himself. Variety now reports that Lucasfilm is currently circling three different actresses for the films female lead.

Tessa Thompson (Creed), Naomi Scott (Power Rangers), and Zoe Kravitz are all said to be in London testing for the film right now. The film will be directed by The Lego Movie  directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller with a script penned by Lawrence Kasdan. Filming is set to being sometime in early 2017.

Tessa Thompson had a break out performance in last year’s Rocky sequel/reboot Creed and will also be seen in the upcoming Thor: Ragnarok. Given that she is already a part of the Disney family it seems likely she will land the role.

With Thompson and Kravitz in the mix, it’s possible they could be up for the role of Sana Starros. Sana is a human smuggler who made her first appearance in the 4th issue of Marvel’s Star Wars comic series. She claimed she was married to Han although he denied it.

It is also rumored that Donald Glover could be playing the role of Lando Calrissian, however. It is still unclear where Lucasfilm is at with the casting process for Lando. Apparently Glover already tested for the role but they wanted him to go back in for an additional round of testing. That shouldn’t come as any surprise though, we are talking about Lando Calrissian. These actors go through multiple screen tests before they’re cast in the roles. In press interviews last December, actor John Boyega spoke about the long and arduous audition process he went through before cast in the role as Finn in Episode VII.

The young Han Solo Star Wars spin-off is set to hit theaters May 25, 2018.

SOURCE: VARIETY

Wedge Antilles Has A New Backstory

Wedge Antilles is about to make his debut in the third episode of Star Wars Rebels season three. The episode titled “The Antilles Extraction” will see Wedge and a few other Imperials defect from the Empire with the help of Sabine.

Wedge Antilles is about to make his debut in the third episode of Star Wars Rebels season three. In the clip released by Lucasfilm and DisneyXD today, Wedge is seen on a catwalk inside an Imperial hangar. The episode titled “The Antilles Extraction,” will see Wedge and a few other Imperials defect from the Empire with the help of Sabine.

The Lost Stars vibe is strong in this clip. Along with Rogue One, Lucasfilms focus right now seems to be fleshing out the space between good and evil within canon. It presents unlimited possibilities and it’s extremely exciting.

If you haven’t read Lost Stars you have missed out. The young adult novel follows two star crossed lovers on opposite sides of the conflict during the galactic civil war and intersects with the events of the original trilogy brilliantly.

Wedge’s appearance in Rebels makes his small scene in Lost Stars even more meaningful as (spoiler alert) he was then the one recruiting members of the Empire for the Rebellion.

Star Wars Rebels airs Saturdays at 8:30 p.m. ET/PT on DisneyXD.

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‘Star Wars Rebels’: Holocrons of Fate Spoiler Review

Season 3 continues with the return of Darth Maul and includes some very intriguing developments. The episode which airs tonight at 8:30 p.m. ET is already available on DisneyXD and Xfinity On Demand.

Season three continues with the return of Darth Maul and includes some very intriguing developments. The episode which airs tonight at 8:30 p.m. ET is already available on DisneyXD and Xfinity On Demand.

After Maul takes the Ghost Crew hostage, Kanin and Ezra must work together to retrieve the Sith Holocron back from the Bendu. The two share a touching moment when Kanin helps Ezra to forgive himself for the events on Malachor, seemingly restoring the balance in their relationship.

Ezra took a step in the right direction when he refused to open up the Sith Holocron. Is there still Hope for Ezra? Or is it already too late? Once down the dark path, forever will it dominate your destiny.

We also learn Holocrons are more than just libraries of information. When joined together, a Jedi and Sith Holocron provide clairvoyance. They can reveal the answer to any secret, provide wisdom, and reveal every destiny through the force. But the Bendu warns such knowledge comes with a price…

The episode was solid as a whole but what makes this one special was the end. Maul and Ezra work to join the Sith and Jedi Holocrons together. Maul seeks hope while Ezra wants to know how to defeat the Sith. They struggle to see what the force is showing them as Kanin attempts to stop the two from learning anything that could come with a price. But before he can reach them Ezra speaks the words “Twin Suns”. Ezra has to be seeing Luke as he looks out at the binary sunset from his homestead.

Maul and Ezra lose control of the Holocrons connection resulting in a burst of energy that blasts everyone back. Maul uses this opportunity to escape. As he does he seems shook. He repeats the words “He lives” twice as he boards his ship and takes off. If Ezra was seeing Luke on Tatooine then its seems likely Maul saw Obi-Wan Kenobi.

Maul also revealed that he knows Kanins true identity to Hera. What kind of repercussions could this have for Kanin?

The only negative for this episode is that it was completely implausible for Kanin to survive when Maul ejected him out the airlock. He would have been dead in seconds. Other than that it was a fine episode that advanced the story nicely.

3.9/5 – Solid

‘Star Wars Rebels’ Season 3 Premiere Spoiler Review

Star Wars Rebels kicks off the season with a fun and exciting mission developed and lead by Ezra to save Hondo, who is in possession of valuable information that could help the rebels to recover a fleet of Y-wings.

Enter Thrawn! Well, sort of…

Star Wars Rebels kicks off the season with a fun and exciting mission developed and lead by Ezra to save Hondo, who is in possession of valuable information that could help the rebels to recover a fleet of Y-wings. We’re welcomed back into the Star Wars universe quickly as we’re reminded that Stormtroopers still can’t hit anything and it feels great! Right off the bat we are shown just how strong Ezra has grown since we last saw him as he ruthlessly cuts down several Stormtroopers and sends an AT-DP plummeting to its demise. It’s clear he’s chosen the quick and easy path and there’s most certainly going to be consequences for him and the team.

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A blind Kanin Jarrus meets The Bendu in the Season 3 premiere of “Star Wars Rebels”. (Disney XD)

Kanin is off meditating, being summoned by an unknown voice later to be revealed as the Bendu. It is a real treat when Kanin meets the Bendu face to face. The scene was fantastically written and extremely well performed. Most definitely one of the best scenes in the series to date. The only thing negative I’ll say about this encounter is that it seems a bit convenient that the Bendu happens to be on the same planet as the current rebel base but the force works in mysterious ways, right?

As someone who doesn’t have a strong attachment to Grand Admiral Thrawn, I have to admit I was underwhelmed by his introduction. The scenes he was in were absolutely chilling. This calm and calculated genius could very well be the demise of our beloved rebels. My issue was that I wanted more of him. Maybe it was the marketing that made me think he was going to be featured front and center this episode rather than looming from the shadows, mostly…

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Grand Admiral Thrawn makes his debut in the Season 3 premiere of “Star Wars Rebels”. (Disney XD)

The opening and closing action sequences were some of the best action sequences I have ever seen in animation, however. The best thing about this episode was that it featured some great character development for Ezra and Kanin. I found it surprising, T.V. shows don’t normally pack this much character development into a season premiere. Obviously, Ezra has grown a lot in the last few months but he still has a long way to go and he definitely got an idea for just how much on the mission to recover the Y-wings. Kanin reached an incredible turning point with his lesson from the Bendu. Healing from his loss and moving forward. I am so excited to continue on his journey with him! Freddie Prinze Jr. does a truly incredible job conveying the doubt a great warrior would feel after the loss of their sight.

Oh, and one last thing…

Never trust Hondo.

4/5 – Awesome

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‘Rogue One’ Celebration Reel Impressions

Hold on to your butts. In just three months we’ll be fully engrossed in another Star Wars Christmas season being yet again introduced to a slew of new characters, ships and planets never before seen in the ever expanding Star Wars galaxy.

Hold on to your butts. In just three months we’ll be fully engrossed in another Star Wars Christmas season being yet again introduced to a slew of new characters, ships and planets never before seen in the ever expanding Star Wars galaxy. Only time will tell whether or not Garreth Edwards was the right choice to helm the first of many Star Wars spinoffs but as it stands Edwards looks to have crafted what could be the most immersive experience yet in the film franchise. Even the biggest skeptics, including myself, who were left bored by Edwards’ other films are scratching their heads wondering how the hell this film could be boring after that action-packed sizzle reel.

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Felicity Jones as Jyn Erso and Diego Luna as Cap. Cassian Andor in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. (Lucasfilm)

The reel opens showcasing a battle scene that is no doubt the Star Wars version of Omaha beach. The film looks to have pulled many visual influences from war films such as Saving Private Ryan, Apocalypse Now, and Platoon. Yet the film still feels unquestionably Star Wars. This has many of us wondering what other kinds of genres could be blended into the Star Wars universe going forward. The possibilities really are endless.

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Garreth Edwards behind the camera. (Lucasfilm)

As with any Lucasfilm production, you would expect there to be some incredible filmmaking behind this project and Rogue One looks to be no different. In much of the reel Garreth Edwards can be seen being a boss behind the lens during sequences featuring practical effects. In some shots, rather than using green screen, Edwards has chosen to use projection screens giving the actors something to look at as well as act off of. This will surely help to avoid the wooden performances captured in the blue screen vacuums the prequels were filmed inside of.

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Ben Mendelsohn as Director Orson Krennic. (Lucasfilm)

What might be most exciting is how many new things we will see for the first time in the Star Wars universe. In the Skywalker Saga things are usually black and white. However, some of the new canon novels have delved into grey area of the galaxy. As we learned in Lost Stars, there are good people in the empire. Good people who end up on the wrong side. Rogue one will explore the grey area. Fans of the Clone Wars are familiar with the character of Saw Gerrara but in December, Forrest Whittaker will introduce a wider audience to a rebel freedom fighter whose tactics are considered too extreme for the rebellion.

We will also be treated to the first hand to hand combat action scene in the franchise. In past Star Wars films we have experienced the most jaw dropping and breathtaking action sequences in history. From the trench run to the lightsaber duel on Mustafar, the action has always been epic. Maybe that’s what makes the action in Rogue One look so refreshing. Sure, punches have been thrown throughout lightsaber duels in the past but never has anyone just ripped off their gloves and gone fist for first.

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Felicity Jones and Diego Luna taking on Stormtroopers. (Lucasfilm)

While Godzilla and Monsters weren’t very good, one impressive quality about both films is how Edwards managed to hone in and focus on the characters against the backdrop of something large and fantastical. Judging from the teaser trailer and the celebration reel, it certainly seems Edwards has managed to do that again. Maybe that’s why he was Kathleen Kennedy’s choice to helm the first spinoff of the franchise.

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story hits theaters December 16, 2016.