Gareth Edwards on The Incredible CGI Accomplishment in ‘Rogue One’

Full spoilers ahead.

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(SPOILER WARNING)

Die hard Star Wars fans had heard rumblings of a CGI version of Grand Moff Tarkin appearing in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story for a while now. Considering Tarkin is in command of the Death Star during A New Hope, it made sense that his character would be around during the direct prequel to the original Star Wars. Without him, Rogue One could have felt neutered in the way Marvel and especially DC limit or completely restrict their television series from connecting with their respective cinematic universes.

Tarkin’s inclusion in the film presented a major risk for Lucasfilm. Not only would the Grand Moff appear, he would be featured as a key character in Rogue One. Gareth Edwards told IGN how nerve-wracking it was to take the risk of resurrecting Peter Cushing (who passed away in 1994) through CGI to play a major role in the first Star Wars spinoff:

“We were all very nervous about it and kind of, ‘Can we do this? Is it crazy? Because we can’t get it wrong, it has to be spot-on.”

And it was spot on. The risk has paid off in some major ways. Not only is it a groundbreaking accomplishment in computer graphics animation but it also serves to inform his character in the original Star Wars in some quite remarkable ways. John Knoll and the wizards at Industrial Light and Magic didn’t just recreate the likeness of Peter Cushing, they truly brought him back to life in the film so well that he was actually able to give a performance. While I could still tell he was CGI because my brain was telling me so, I was in shock because I didn’t want to believe it. I wanted to believe he was real because he looked it. Some of the people I saw the film with who weren’t Star Wars fans wouldn’t even have known he was CGI had I not told them.

But the risk didn’t just pay off in the form of a technical accomplishment, it also provided new context to a film Star Wars fans have known and loved for years. I would strongly recommend watching Rogue One and A New Hope as a double feature. The direct prequel serves to inform the classic Star Wars on so many levels from raising the stakes even higher in the opening scene to plot holes to smaller moments like when the high-level Imperial officers are sassing back at Grand Moff Tarkin after he informed them the Imperial Senate had been dissolved. Originally it had been a bit odd that the Imperial officers were being rather insubordinate to Tarkin but now it makes a lot more sense. Considering Tarkin had taken Krennic’s command away from him, those officers had to have been harboring some serious resentment over a position they most certainly had ambitions of attaining themselves.

Whether you thought Tarkin looked perfect or fell into the uncanny valley, there’s no denying that Lucasfilm has delivered exactly what audiences wanted this year. Summer 2016 saw every reboot, remake, and sequel rejected by audiences at the box office. It is clear people are sick of the risk-averse nature of Hollywood. People want brave and bold chances taken in the cinema again and the biggest franchise of them all just took some major risks and delivered a film that manages to be one of the greatest Star Wars stories ever told even with some pretty major flaws with its lack of characterization and sometimes sluggish pacing.

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SOURCE: IGN

‘Captain Marvel’ Won’t Find a Director Until Next Year

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Originally, Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige expected to have selected a director for the upcoming Captain Marvel film starring Brie Larson by the end of 2016 but it seems that is no longer the case. The studio has already met with filmmakers who could potentially direct the project, however, it was when Marvel only had an idea of what film they were going to make. Per a tweet from Variety reporter Justin Kroll, we now know the Marvel has a treatment being developed with plans to continue the selection process to choose the right director after the new year.

It’s good to know the studio is taking their time, making sure they develop a plan and get things right as opposed to other franchises that make their decisions based on audiences reactions to their films. The character of Captain Marvel is an incredibly important character as she will be Marvel’s first female superhero leading a film within the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Marvel is looking for someone who can do more than just look good while in action.

With Larson in the role, she will no doubt bring an emotional depth that could help the film transcend the superhero genre (even as fantastical as the character is — flying around blasting energy from her hands as she defends the earth from alien threats) and make the first female lead Marvel feature stand out as something more than just another comic book movie.

Captain Marvel is slated to hit theaters March 8, 2019.

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Kathleen Kennedy Hints at When We’ll See The First Trailer For Episode VIII

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With Rogue One: A Star Wars Story finally here, it’s already time to start getting hyped for the next chapter in the Skywalker saga, Star Wars: Episode VIII. Rey’s adventure is just beginning, Star Wars fans are eager to get back to Ahch-To so they can pick up with Rey after she confronted Luke to return to the galaxy and help restore balance to the force. There were rumors of an Episode VIII trailer dropping with Rogue One, but that would have been a mistake as it would have taken away from the event of Rogue One and the masters of this new era of Star Wars know better than that.

That, however, will not stop the press from trying to get a scoop on just exactly when Star Wars fans can expect the first trailer for Episode VIII which is still currently without a title. Recently at an event for Rogue One (h/t Slashfilm),  Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy told BBC News Lizo Mzimba when we’ll get to see that trailer:

“Well, pretty soon. We’re giving [Rogue One] a little bit of breathing room, and then probably heading into spring, you’ll start to see things.”

If the marketing campaign for Rogue One is any indicator, we can expect the trailer to arrive as soon as Rogue One hits shelves on Blu-ray about 16 weeks post it’s theatrical release. Lucasfilm wasted no time with the first teaser for Rogue One which dropped the day after The Force Awakens hit Blu-ray. But it is also possible they could push the teaser or trailer back a week to give fans in attendance at Star Wars Celebration 2017 the first look at the next chapter of Rey’s adventure.

A rough cut of the film written and directed by Rian Johnson is most certainly in order as legendary composer John Williams began scoring the project two days ago.

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SOURCE: LIZO MZIMBA

‘Rogue One’: “Tonight” TV Spot Teases The Most Exciting Blockbuster in Years

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Tonight is the night! The upcoming Star Wars spin-off Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is set to hit theaters tomorrow with early screenings beginning tonight. The Lucasfilm marketing machine has delivered another masterful campaign ramping up to the film’s release and it all culminates tonight! With critics reviews in, the film is currently sporting a certified fresh rating of 85% on Rotten Tomatoes but there is really only a few peoples whose opinions truly matter and you can check them out below.

The film stars Felicity Jones, Diego Luna, Ben Mendelsohn, Mads Mikkelson, Donnie Yen, Alan Tudyk, Jiang Wen and Forest Whitaker. Written by Chris Weitz and Tony Gilroy. Directed by Gareth Edwards.

From Lucasfilm comes the first of the Star Wars standalone films, “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story,” an all-new epic adventure. In a time of conflict, a group of unlikely heroes band together on a mission to steal the plans to the Death Star, the Empire’s ultimate weapon of destruction. This key event in the Star Wars timeline brings together ordinary people who choose to do extraordinary things, and in doing so, become part of something greater than themselves. In theaters December 2016.

‘Rogue One’ IMAX Featurette Teases The Films Massive Scale

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Lucasfilm has released a new featurette teasing just how crucial seeing the upcoming Star Wars spin-off Rogue One: A Star Wars Story in IMAX truly is. The word going around is that the climactic space battle over Scarif is the greatest space battle since the Battle of Endor in Return of the Jedi and you won’t want to miss your chance to see it on the biggest screen possible. If you live in Los Angeles, I would strongly suggest seeing the film on the IMAX screen at the AMC Theater in Universal City. It would no doubt be one of the greatest cinematic experiences of your life.

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

The film stars Felicity Jones, Diego Luna, Ben Mendelsohn, Mads Mikkelson, Donnie Yen, Alan Tudyk, Jiang Wen and Forest Whitaker. Written by Chris Weitz and Tony Gilroy. Directed by Gareth Edwards.

From Lucasfilm comes the first of the Star Wars standalone films, “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story,” an all-new epic adventure. In a time of conflict, a group of unlikely heroes band together on a mission to steal the plans to the Death Star, the Empire’s ultimate weapon of destruction. This key event in the Star Wars timeline brings together ordinary people who choose to do extraordinary things, and in doing so, become part of something greater than themselves. In theaters December 2016.

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SOURCE: IMAX

New ‘Rogue One’ Featurettes Take You to Paradise and Give You the Origin of K-2SO

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Lucasfilm debuted two new featurettes last night on the live stream for the red carpet premiere of the upcoming Star Wars spin-off Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. The featurettes give insight to K2SO’s backstory and take us inside the production from the shoot in the Maldives which serves as the setting for the tropical planet of Scarif, the host to Emperor Palpatine’s most valued Imperial base.

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

The film stars Felicity Jones, Diego Luna, Ben Mendelsohn, Mads Mikkelson, Donnie Yen, Alan Tudyk, Jiang Wen and Forest Whitaker. Written by Chris Weitz and Tony Gilroy. Directed by Gareth Edwards.

From Lucasfilm comes the first of the Star Wars standalone films, “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story,” an all-new epic adventure. In a time of conflict, a group of unlikely heroes band together on a mission to steal the plans to the Death Star, the Empire’s ultimate weapon of destruction. This key event in the Star Wars timeline brings together ordinary people who choose to do extraordinary things, and in doing so, become part of something greater than themselves. In theaters December 2016.

(via Comicbook)

Reactions to ‘Rogue One’ Are Overwhelmingly Positive

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The upcoming Star Wars spin-off Rogue One: A Star Wars Story premiered in Los Angeles tonight and for months the film has been under tremendous scrutiny after rumors began to swirl that up to forty percent of the film was going to be reshot. Not only that but director Tony Gilroy was going to helm the reshoots rather than Gareth Edwards due to executives at Lucasfilm reportedly being dissatisfied with the overall tone of the film. There were claims the film was too dark and lacked the levity the Star Wars franchise is known for but if there’s anything we can deduce from the trailers it’s that the film most certainly brings the comedy with K-2SO (Alan Tudyk).

While there is still an embargo on the film, many have taken to twitter to share their reactions to the film. The verdict? It’s good. Really good. It seems anyone who still has trepidations regarding the reshoots or the rather last minute addition of Michael Giacchino to compose the score doesn’t have anything to worry about. Those who have seen the film are lauding almost every element to the film from the immersive cinematography to the ways in which it expands the universe. It seems Rogue One has everything fans could have hoped a fresh take on the franchise could offer while still remaining true to the original Star Wars.

All the reactions are incredibly encouraging and relieving. But at the same time knowing the film exceeded the expectations of most who saw it leaves me feeling even more sick to my stomach in excitement than I already was as I sit here stuffing my face with chocolate covered pecan bark at three in the morning while I watch Star Wars Rebels wondering how the hell I’m going to make it until Thursday.

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My emoji, ladies & gentlemen.

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