Lucasfilm have released a 'sizzle reel' for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story to tie-in with the film's panel at Star Wars Celebration Europe 2016.The panel consisted of the film's director Gareth Edwards (Monsters, Godzilla) and Lucasfilm head Kathleen Kennedy, along with the cast members including Felicity Jones, Mads Mikkelsen, Ben Mendelsohn, Donnie Yen, Diego Luna, Riz Ahmed, Alan Tudyk and Forest Whitaker. The panel was hosted by Gwendoline Christie (Captain Phasma in Star Wars: The Force Awakens) and along with questions for the cast and crew, the panel also showed a 'sizzle reel' with plenty of cool behind the scenes footage.
Gareth Edwards talked about shooting in the Maldives, representing the planet Scarif in the film, and he mentioned that the local army extras were dressed up in stormtrooper outfits but no idea what they were filming. He also spoke about his desire to bring something new to the table or what's the point? Perhaps that is a slight aside to the reports that Disney executives didn't like the tone of his first cut and criticisms that The Force Awakens was too similar to the original Star Wars.
Kathleen Kennedy mentioned the hand-held approach that Edwards uses, which creates a more immersive experience, and everyone was at pains to stress that this film will be very different from what has been seen before. Edwards mentioned that although the Jedi are now gone, some people still believe in the Force and are looking for a degree of spirituality. As a result some of the events take place on an Imperial occupied planet called Jedda, which is the Force equivalent of Mecca.
Forest Whitaker talked about his character Saw Guerrera, who originally appeared in the Clone Wars animated series, he is a leader of a rebellion faction and was originally trained by the Jedi. Alan Tudyk spoke about playing a re-programmed Imperial droid called K-2S0 via motion capture, Mads Mikkelsen plays Galen Erso, the father of Felicity Jones character Jyn Erso, and Ben Mendelsohn plays the main villain Director Krennic. There will also feature some familiar faces from other Star Wars films, including the young Mon Mothma played by Genevieve O'Reilly (reprising her role from Episode III) and a certain Dark Lord of the Sith.
Rogue One, the first in a series of stand alone Star Wars Story films has been designed as a classic war film, with a group of heroes on a mission to steal the plans to the original Death Star. The film is based on a story by ILM Special Effects Supervisor John Knoll and Gary Whitta, with a screenplay by Chris Weitz (About a Boy, The Golden Compass). Along with the 'sizzle reel', the panel also revealed a new poster for the film which opens in UK cinemas on Friday the 16th of December.
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