During today’s panel with director Gareth Edwards (you may know him from a little film called Godzilla), we finally got more details on one of the planned standalone films in the Star Wars universe. The other planned guest for the panel, Josh Trank (who is directing the other announced standalone film), sadly couldn’t make it due to feeling under the weather. LucasFilm president Kathleen Kennedy and the Story Group’s Kiri Hart joined Edwards on stage instead. We learned a ton of stuff during the hour long-panel, let’s break it down:
First off, the movies will officially be referred to as “Anthology” films. Kennedy said the idea of non-episodic Star Wars films was actually suggested by George Lucas himself. He was “really interested in exploring all the stories that might exist within the universe,” said Kennedy. The new title logo reflects the anthology feel of the films:
This is what the Rogue One logo looks like, giving you an idea of how the stand alone movies will be presented pic.twitter.com/JW5wl5qixZ
— Peter Sciretta (@slashfilm) April 19, 2015
The details of the films plot was finally revealed as well, after months of speculation from fans and press, including our own Nerdist News. “Rogue One” will revolve around the “A band of resistance fighters unite for a daring mission to steal the Death Star plans” as revealed on the official Star Wars liveblog of the event. Felicity Jones will play a rebel soldier. The crowd at the panel got a small teaser of footage including shots of a TIE Fighter and the Death Star itself.
Gareth Edwards stressed the film is going for a realistic feel. The events in Rogue One will take place after Revenge of the Sith but before A New Hope. He said the film is going for the feel of war films such as Zero Dark Thirty and Saving Private Ryan. Greig Fraser will be Director of Photography for the feature. He previously worked as DP on films like Foxcatcher and Zero Dark Thirty. Production art was shown of rebel soldiers running from ships in the rain.
Rogue One concept art! pic.twitter.com/CGuLjz1IOC
— Bryan Bishop (@bcbishop) April 19, 2015
The panel brought out Industrial Light and Magic’s chief creative officer (and co-creator of Photoshop) John Knoll, who will get a story credit for the film. He came up with a story idea about stealing the Death Star plans and had been allegedly telling it to ILM employees for years. They suggested he pitch the story idea to Kennedy. After a 20 minute pitch, she loved the idea and agreed it would be great as a standalone film. Oh, and anyone who had doubts about Gareth Edwards directing the film? Set those fears aside. The director is a massive Star Wars fan just like the rest of us. Edwards revealed on stage that he went to Tunisia for his 30th birthday and even took along blue food coloring to drink true bantha milk. He showed the crowd photos of himself visiting the set of the Skywalker home. ONE OF US! ONE OF US! Welcome home, Gareth. I’m sure fans are super excited to see what you bring to the Star Wars universe.
Missed our Nerdist News special report on “The Force Awakens” teaser? Give it a watch below.
How excited are you for Rogue One to hit theaters? Let us know your thoughts on today’s revealing details in the comments below.