Come join us for a Behind the Scenes look at Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.  Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, or simply Rogue One, is an upcoming American epic space opera film directed by Gareth Edwards and written by Gary Whitta and Chris Weitz, from an idea by visual effects supervisor John Knoll. It will be the first stand-alone Star Wars Anthology film, and the ninth theatrical feature film in the series. Set in the Star Wars universe shortly before the events of A New Hope, the story will center on a group of Rebel spies on a mission to steal the plans for the Galactic Empire’s new weapon, the Death Star. It will star Felicity Jones, Diego Luna, Riz Ahmed, Ben Mendelsohn, Donnie Yen, Jiang Wen, Forest Whitaker, Mads Mikkelsen, Alan Tudyk and Jonathan Aris.

The film is produced by Lucasfilm and will be distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures. Principal photography began at Elstree Studios, near London during early August 2015. Rogue One will be released on December 16, 2016.

Premise

Following the foundation of the Galactic Empire, a wayward band of Rebel fighters come together to carry out a desperate mission: to steal the plans for the Death Star before it can be used to enforce the Emperor’s rule. Edwards stated that the style of the film will be similar to that of a war film, stating, “It’s the reality of war. Good guys are bad. Bad guys are good. It’s complicated, layered; a very rich scenario in which to set a movie.”

Cast

Felicity Jones as Jyn Erso:
Screen Shot 2016-07-17 at 6.18.51 PMPutting behind a checkered past by lending her skills to a greater cause, Jyn is impetuous, defiant, and eager to bring the battle to the Empire. Used to operating alone, she finds higher purpose by taking on a desperate mission for the Rebel Alliance.

Diego Luna as Cpt. Cassian Andor:
Diego LunaAn accomplished Rebel Alliance Intelligence Officer with combat field experience, Captain Andor commands respect from his Rebel troops with his ability to keep a cool head under fire and complete his missions with minimal resources.

Riz Ahmed as Bodhi Rook:
A former Imperial pilot, Bodhi has strong piloting and technical skills to use as the pilot of the Rebel squad. Ever practical, but highly anxious, Rook must gather his courage to bring the battle to the Empire.

Ben Mendelsohn as Dir. Orson Krennic:
Ben MendelsohnAn Imperial Military Director  who is obsessed with the completion of the long-delayed Death Star project. A cruel but brilliant man, Krennic has staked his reputation on the delivery of the functional battle station to the Emperor.

Donnie Yen as Chirrut Imwe:
Donnie YenA deeply spiritual warrior, Chirrut believes all living things are connected through the Force. His sightless eyes do not prevent him from being a highly skilled fighter. Though he lacks Force abilities, Imwe has rigorously honed his body through intense physical and mental discipline.

Jiang Wen as Baze Malbus:
Jiang WenA freelance assassin who, with the harsh reality of his Imperial-occupied home world, has hardened into a pragmatic soldier and a crack shot with his heavy repeater cannon. Baze has a bravado that provides a marked contrast to the spiritual centeredness of his best friend and moral compass, Chirrut.

Forest Whitaker as Saw Gerrera, a veteran of the Clone Wars.
Forest Whitaker

The character previously appeared in the animated series Star Wars: The Clone Wars and was mentioned in the Star Wars Rebels episode “The Honorable Ones” and the novel Star Wars: Bloodline.

Mads Mikkelsen as Galen Erso, Jyn’s father.

Alan Tudyk as K-2SO, a Rebel-owned Imperial enforcer droid.

fan-favorite-actor-alan-tudyk-will-appear-as-a-cgi-character

Jonathan Aris as Senator Jebel.

Genevieve O’Reilly will reprise her role as Mon Mothma from Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith. Alistair Petrie, Eunice Olumide, and Warwick Davis have been cast in unspecified roles. Additionally, James Earl Jones will reprise his role as the voice of Darth Vader for the film.

Mon Mothma

Production

In February 2013, The Walt Disney Company CEO Bob Iger confirmed the development of two stand-alone films, each individually written by Lawrence Kasdan and Simon Kinberg. On February 6, Entertainment Weekly reported that Lucasfilm is working on two films featuring Han Solo and Boba Fett. Disney CFO Jay Rasulo has described the stand-alone films as origin stories. Kathleen Kennedy explained that the stand-alone films will not crossover with the films of the sequel trilogy, stating, George was so clear as to how that works. The canon that he created was the Star Wars saga. Right now, Episode VII falls within that canon. The spin-off movies, or we may come up with some other way to call those films, they exist within that vast universe that he created. There is no attempt being made to carry characters (from the stand-alone films) in and out of the saga episodes. Consequently, from the creative standpoint, it’s a roadmap that George made pretty clear.

In May 2014, it was announced that Gareth Edwards would direct the first stand-alone feature, to be released on December 16, 2016, with Gary Whitta writing the film. In October 2014, cinematographer Greig Fraser revealed that he would be working on the film and the film had a working title. In January 2015, it was revealed that Whitta had completed his work on the film and would no longer be with the project. Kinberg was considered as a replacement. Later in the month, it was announced that Chris Weitz had signed to write the script for the film. In March 2015, the title of the film was revealed to be Rogue One. Also in the month, Alexandre Desplat stated that he would compose the music for the film, though this has yet to be confirmed by Lucasfilm.

In April 2015, at Star Wars Celebration, it was revealed that the stand-alone films would be released under the umbrella of Star Wars Anthology. It was also confirmed that Rogue One takes place between Episodes III and IV, being closer to IV in the timeline. At Disney’s biannual D23 Expo in August 2015, it was announced that the film’s title was amended to Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.

Rogue One

Casting

In January 2015, The Hollywood Reporter stated that numerous actresses, including Tatiana Maslany, Rooney Mara and Felicity Jones, were being tested for the film’s lead.  Mara’s sister Kate also screentested for the role. In February 2015, it was announced that Jones was in final talks to star in the film, while Aaron Paul and Édgar Ramírez were also being eyed for the male lead role. In March 2015, Jones was announced as a part of the cast. In March 2015, Deadline.com reported a rumor that Ben Mendelsohn was being considered for the lead role. The next month, TheWrap reported that Sam Claflin was being eyed for a role, while Riz Ahmed was in negotiations to join the film. In May, Mendelsohn, Ahmed, and Diego Luna were added to the cast of the film to play the lead roles. Forest Whitaker was added to the cast of the film in June 2015. In July 2015, Jonathan Aris was cast to play Senator Jebel in the film. In February 2016, model Eunice Olumide revealed she had a part in the film. Genevieve O’Reilly was cast as Mon Mothma, reprising her role from Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith.

Filming

Principal photography on the film began at Elstree Studios in Hertfordshire in early August 2015. Some scenes were shot on Laamu Atoll in Maldives, as well as in Iceland and Jordan. Following the release of the first trailer, Star Wars fans using Twitter commented that Canary Wharf tube station had apparently been used for one scene. The film was shot using Ultra Panavision 70 lenses with Arri Alexa 65 cameras. On February 11, 2016, Disney executives stated that the film was “virtually completed”. Several weeks of pre-scheduled reshoots began in mid-June 2016.