Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is almost here, and the talents behind the film are gathered at Lucasfilm in San Francisco for a special discussion. Follow along with our liveblog for all the insights!
And that’s it! Thanks for following along!
Edwards on Michael Giacchino: “There’s particular moments in the film, musically, that’s stunning.”
Ahmed on getting his action figure: “My action figure is a lot better looking than I am. I think they modeled it on Diego Luna…It was a surreal moment.”
How did Mads approach a character in such a compromising position? Without spoiling, “There’s a grey zone here.”
Gareth talks about how he and Ben were both *very* excited when Vader first came on set… “When that helmet comes on, it’s too intimidating. You can’t give direction to Darth Vader.” When Vader would come on set, the crew would go quiet. “It’s probably one of the highlights of getting to do this film.”
The challenge of acting opposite Vader? Mendelsohn says it took a little while to get to the place where it felt like “they could have a conversation,” noting he’s a “first generation fanboy.” Edwards adds that between takes, Mendelsohn would sing Michael Jackson’s “Billie Jean” and selections from Frozen.
How did Gareth make sure this movie synced visually with Episode IV, which was made 40 years ago? Making inversions was a big tool. “[Episode IV] started with a guy in black surrounded by guys in white. We do the opposite.”
This film introduces Saw Gerrera into the films. Are there plans for more animated characters to make the leap? “We really are starting with the stories themselves.” If a character fits the story, then maybe, but there’s no list or drive to bring characters over.
Kennedy: “We’re looking at each of these movies without a rulebook…It very much is in the spirit of what George Lucas did to begin with.”
“A lot of the beauty of the film is down to the cameras of the film.”
Edwards says that they tried to make a period piece — they would not use aesthetics that wouldn’t look right in 1977. That went for the cameras, too.
Felicity Jones, Mads Mikkelsen, Riz Ahmed, and Ben Mendelsohn join Gareth Edwards and Kathleen Kennedy!
And now we’re taking a quick break. Stand by!
Luna: “We were interacting with an actor and making choices…The first month we couldn’t look at him, because he looked ridiculous.”
Edwards says that even though they could tweak Alan’s performance in the computer, they did not. “We shot the whole thing as if whatever Alan was doing was how it would be in the film.”
“I wore a suit that was very comfortable…it was very cool looking,” Tudyk says. “And then I was on stilts. I was like 7’1, so I towered over everyone.” All of that helped him get into character. “It was fantastic.”
What was is like for Alan to be on-set doing mo-cap, while everyone else was in costume?
“It’s a modern approach to Star Wars,” Luna says. He says if you revisit classic Star Wars, it’s a reflection of the times, and we have to do the same.
Is there more of a moral grey area than the traditional good versus evil of Star Wars?
Do casual fans need to revisit Star Wars to appreciate this? “This can be a whole introduction to the franchise,” Kennedy says. “It really does stand on its own.”
Edwards on the gritty tone: “We could be brave, and that’s what we did.” He notes that if they were aiming for anything it was Empire Strikes Back. “We just tried to make the most realistic version of Star Wars.”
Luna: “It’s a cool feeling…I like Alan’s because it doesn’t have his face.” Big laughs. “It’s a selling point, that’s for sure,” Tudyk says.
What did the cast think about becoming action figures?
What does the future of women in Star Wars mean for the future of women in culture?
How important was diversity in crafting the movie? “I think it’s incredibly important to Star Wars, I think it’s more important to the film industry,” Kathleen Kennedy says.
“His opinion means the world to me,” Edwards says.
Has George Lucas seen the movie? Two days ago they showed him the movie. Edwards: “I don’t want to put words in his mouth, but I can honestly say I can die happy now.”
Did Yen’s martial arts training influence his view of the Force? “Being a human being, you have the Force.”
Discussing the magic of the original trilogy, Edwards says it took a long time to “crack that code” and make sure Rogue One was true to it.
Gareth Edwards discusses how in the beginning they wanted to make this film unique. “The film crew became like the characters…we were all literally in the trenches together.”
“One way to think of the sequel to Rogue One is Episode IV. We’ve already made it,” John Knoll says.
This “stands on its own,” Kennedy says.
There won’t be a Rogue 2? “What??!” Diego jokes.
Audience questions begin.
Kathleen Kennedy, Gareth Edwards, Diego Luna, Alan Tudyk, Donnie Yen, and John Knoll take the stage!
And we’re off! Andi Gutierrez of The Star Wars Show greets the crowd and starts introductions.
Hello! We’ll be starting shortly. Stand by…!