New ‘Rogue One’ Empire Cover Spotlights The Death Star Plans

In addition to the onslaught of trailers, international trailers, and TV spots part of the marketing campaign for the upcoming Star Wars spin-off Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, Empire Magazine has revealed a new cover that is exclusive to its subscribers ahead of it’s second Rogue One issue set to hit newsstands next week. The cover puts the spotlight on the films McGuffin itself, the death star plans. The blueprint reveals the complete technical specifications for the superweapon though you’ll have to be able to read aurebesh as well as understand the science of the Star Wars universe. Good luck!

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

Produced by Lucasfilm, the film stars Felicity Jones, Diego Luna, Ben Mendelsohn, Mads Mikkelson, Donnie Yen, Alan Tudyk, Jiang Wen and Forest Whitaker with a script penned by Chris Weitz and Tony Gilroy. Directed by Garreth 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: EMPIRE

Cinematographer Bradford Young Teases Upcoming Han Solo Spin-off

Cinematographer Bradford Young has already made quite the name for himself with his masterful work on A Most Violent Year and Selma. He creates exceptionally wide cinematography with stunning color that strikes a delicate contrast between light and darkness. Collider recently sat down with Young to discuss his work on the upcoming Denis Villeneuve-directed drama, Arrival. Naturally, the conversation shifted to the highly anticipated ‘Untitled Han Solo Star Wars Story’ which Young has been hired on to shoot with directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller.

Cinematographer Bradford Young has already made quite the name for himself with his masterful work on A Most Violent Year and Selma. He creates exceptionally wide cinematography with stunning color that strikes a delicate contrast between light and darkness. Collider recently sat down with Young to discuss his work on the upcoming Denis Villeneuve-directed drama, Arrival. Naturally, the conversation shifted to the highly anticipated ‘Untitled Han Solo Star Wars Story’ which Young has been hired on to shoot with directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller.

Young came as a surprise when he was announced for the project considering his dramatic vision as the Han Solo spin-off is to be helmed by Lord and Miller who are best known for their humorous outings with The Lego Movie and both 21 Jumpstreet and 22 Jumpstreet. From what it sounds like, it seems like it would be best to take all of our assumptions for what the Han Solo film will be like and chuck them straight out the window. Young assured Collider that he is very much in sync Lord and Miller:

“It’s funny, here’s the thing about Phil Lord and Chris Miller: don’t let their track record fool you. Don’t put those guys in a box because they have a vision, they know exactly what they want. They have no hidden agenda, but they do have an agenda; they have a way of seeing that’s very special, and their collaboration is genuinely unique. So I have to say I had to get converted into that. I respect their work, I respect them as filmmakers, but I wasn’t quite sure if there would be a good marriage between what I’m trying to pursue and the work that I’m doing and what they’re doing, but they helped make that real clear to me early on by expressing some real interesting story [and] photographic ideas that really resonated with me. So once they started really pulling me into that world, I realized how much these cats have come from the same pedagogy of filmmaking—in the visual sense for sure, and definitely from an approach in terms of how we want to make movies, they come from the same school.”

While Han and Chewie are the biggest and best source of comic relief in the entire franchise, Young teased that the film is going to much more dramatic and tense than we think:

“These cats are subversive, don’t let it fool you (laughs). They are prepared to say exactly what they wanna say and it’s complex, it’s layered, it’s smart, it’s visual, it’s dramatic, it’s funny, it’s uneasy, it’s unexpected. These cats are—I’m honored to have them in the list of directors I’ve worked with, that’s for sure.”

It sounds like Young is going to be the perfect cinematographer that will allow Lord and Miller to find the right balance between humor and drama as we are introduced to a young Han Solo (Alden Ehrenreich) along with a young Lando Calrissian (Donald Glover). While details on the plot have yet to be revealed, one can imagine if there was ever going to be an origin for Han Solo it would involve saving the life of Chewbacca which earns Han the life debt from Chewie. With the recently announced addition of Lando, it would be a perfect opportunity to see Lando lose the Millenium Falcon to Han. Last but not least, it would be a shame if the film didn’t include the infamous Kessel run, which Han completed in less than twelve parsecs.

With Young on board, there is no doubt the film will have some of the best cinematography seen in the franchise since The Empire Strikes Back. While it sounds like the picture will have a bold look and feel, they have to be careful so that it still feels like a Star Wars film. As Disney is expanding and fleshing out the universe of the franchise, it’s clear from the reports about the Rogue One reshoots that it is still very important to them to remain close to the tone of the original trilogy while also standing out on its own as something fresh and different. It’s a tricky balance but it sounds like Lord, Miller, and Young are the perfect fit for the second spin-off in from the Skywalker saga in the franchise.

To read the full interview head on over to Collider.

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SOURCE: COLLIDER

What Have We Here? Donald Glover is Officially Lando Calrissian

It’s official! After being long rumored, and reported to be circling back to Lucasfilm for his second screen test just a few weeks ago, Donald Glover has officially been cast as the young Lando Calrissian in the upcoming Star Wars Han Solo spin-off film.

It’s official! After being long rumored, and reported to be circling back to Lucasfilm for his second screen test just a few weeks ago, Donald Glover has officially been cast as the young Lando Calrissian in the upcoming Star Wars Han Solo spin-off film.

Announced today via the Star Wars Instagram, the actor will join Alden Ehrenreich in the film written by Lawrence Kasdan and son, Jon Kasdan and directed by Christopher Miller and Phil Lord (The Lego Movie).

You can also check out the shortlist for the female lead yet to be cast here.

The Untitled Han Solo Star Wars Story hits theaters May 25, 2018.

‘Rogue One’: Final Trailer Breakdown

The biggest moments from the incredible final trailer for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.

This morning we were delighted to the final U.S. trailer for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. The new trailer gave us more insight to the story than previous trailers and confirms the rumor that Jyn Ero’s father, Galen is the scientist who invented the original Death Star — which was alluded to by Mads Mikkelsen at the panel during this past Star Wars Celebration.

Here is a break down of the trailers most remarkable moments.

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The trailer opens with some gorgeous cinematography that screams Saving Private Ryan. Director Orson Krennic (Ben Mendelsohn) arrives on an unknown planet via a delta class shuttle to collect the scientist Erso against his will. Krennic is flanked by his squad of Deathtroopers and he’s not taking no for an answer. Considering Jyn’s mother is nowhere to be seen but is rumored to appear in the film, my guess is that she does not make it off the planet alive and that Galen is forced to do whatever he has to in order to protect the only family he has left.

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Next we get see Jyn being broken out of Imperial jail by the rebel alliance. Things are starting to make a lot more sense now that we understand the familial connection she has to the Death Star. It’s smart for the rebellion to exploit this and it doesn’t hurt that Jyn is already a bit of a rebel herself.

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Giant Jedi statue people. It has been said that the planet Jedha will serve as the Mecca for the Star Wars Universe. Nothing could symbolize the fall of the Jedi Order in the galaxy better than this.

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Jyn is escorted by the rebels to the base on Yavin IV where she is briefed on the current crisis. Through Star Wars Rebels and the new canon novels, Lucasfilm has been shaping things up so that the Empire was on the verge of annihilating the rebellion before it could pose a real threat. It would add a lot more weight to Luke Skywalker destroying the technological terror in A New Hope if the Rebel Alliance really is on the brink of complete destruction just before Jyn steals the plans to the Death Star.

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Not much is known about the planet we see next other than the fact it will serve as the location for a major action set piece in the film. In previous trailers, rebel soldiers can be seen making a ground assault with X-Wings providing air support. This unknown facility seems like it could be Galen’s base of operations.

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The Death Star looms over what is most likely the tropical planet Scariff where the super weapon was constructed.

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Next we’re treated to the moment the rebel spies are given their callsign. It’s a little cheesy but I love it anyway. We also get to see the shot from the celebration reel from inside the U-Wing cockpit just as it enters into hyperspace. Rather than using a green screen and CGI for this, director Garreth Edwards opted for a composite screen to give the actors something tangible to interact with.

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“The power that we are dealing with here is immeasurable,” Krennic says to Darth Vader. No doubt the scenes featuring Vader are the most anticipated moments of this film. From what we see Krennic does not fear Vader. He better check his tone before he gets force choked.

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There is a lot of speculation going around the internet that this is Tarkin. It’s definitely possible. My theory is that Tarkin will make an appearance in the film, however. This shot is most likely a red herring.

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My personal favorite moment from the trailer. While I love the new U-Wing, as well as the new tie strikers and AT-ACT’s, I can’t wait to see things from the original trilogy. Seeing this chicken walker as it lays waste to a city street was like reuniting with an old friend.

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It’s a bit poetic that Saw Gerrara is now part man, part machine and in need of a life support system to keep him alive just like the man who trained him — Anakin Skywalker. My hope is that we get to see Gerrara come face to face with Vader, however. For their connection to resonate with general audiences, they need to take the time to explain his past connection with Vader within Rogue itself. Otherwise they run the risk of alienating a lot of people.

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Rebellions are built on hope. Donnie Yen’s Chirrut Imwe is all smiles in this trailer and I love it. The Jedi worshiper can feel the force is with them as they embark on their mission to steal the Death Star plans.

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I find this shot particularly interesting. This is no doubt the manufacturing facility on Scariff where the Death Star was constructed. But it has me wondering whether this trench or tunnel seen in the photo is the same tunnel we see in the other trailer where Jyn, Cassian and K-2SO are being chased by stormtroopers on the train platform. My first thought was that it was the train that runs across the Death Star itself (described in Lost Stars) but this shot has me thinking otherwise. The bunker at the bottom is also where the rebels will come out of just before they charge towards the AT-ACT’s.

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Cough, cough Platoon

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Jyn, Cassian and K-2SO infiltrate the Imperial manufacturing facility on Scariff. We’ll have to wait until the third act to see Felicity Jones in her badass undercover gear but what has me pumped is that this is just before they throw down and go fist for fist with some stormtroopers as they steal the plans for the Death Star. With K-2SO at their side, chances are we will get to see him kick some ass as well. He certainly looks like he could hold his own.

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Chirrut — the blind force worshiper — tears it up with some sort of Bowcaster in this glimpse from the films climactic action sequence. As we just learned on Star Wars Rebels, someone who can harness the force does not need their sight to be able to see. While it has been said there will be no Jedi in the film, this seems to tell us that Chirrut is a force user.

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Space battles! This was no doubt the moment Star Wars fans cheered during the trailer. While I loved The Force Awakens to pieces, the lack of space battles was a bummer for me. Not only are we going to get a space battle, we’re going to get a space battle that features the original X-Wings from the classic trilogy. The facility they are attacking is most likely in space just over Scariff. Chances are this facility was used to assemble the Death Star.

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Could this be Jedha being destroyed by the Death Star? It certainly seems like it and with the fall of the Jedi in the galaxy it would make sense, however. The destruction of Aldeeran was the dividing point in the galaxy. Causing many within the Empire to defect to the Rebellion even if they didn’t agree with the rebels — they knew the Empire had to be stopped by any means necessary. The destruction of Jedha has never been mentioned before so if it was destroyed by the Death Star, it isn’t something widely known in the galaxy.

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Vader is on a mission. If I saw the Sith Lord walking towards me like that I would kiss my ass goodbye.

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Given the rain, it’s possible this is from the same scene on the mysterious planet where Krennic confronts Galen. My best guess is that it’s actually from the scene pictured just above where Vader is stepping towards Krennic. Chances are Krennic isn’t getting the job done and Vader has come to handle things himself.

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The rebels can be seen making their last ditch effort to escape Scariff with the Death Star plans during the films climactic action sequence.

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Up close and personal. Baze and Chirrut make their escape nearly getting crushed by the foot of an AT-ACT. This moment gave me some serious Jurassic Park vibes. It also shows Edwards’ strength as a director as he hones in on the characters with the background of something epic and fantastical.

While this is said to be the final official trailer for the film I would expect an international trailer (or two) to drop before we start getting bombarded with TV spots ramping up to the film’s release.

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

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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