|Rogue One: A Star Wars Story|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Gareth Edwards|
by George Lucas
|Music by||Michael Giacchino|
|Distributed by||Walt Disney Studios|
|Box office||$1.056 billion|
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (or simply Rogue One) is a 2016 American epic space opera film directed by Gareth Edwards. The screenplay by Chris Weitz and Tony Gilroy is from a story by John Knoll and Gary Whitta. It was produced by Lucasfilm and distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures. It is the first installment of the Star Wars anthology series, set just before the events of A New Hope, and follows a group of rebels on a mission to steal the plans for the Death Star, the Galactic Empire's superweapon. The cast includes Felicity Jones, Diego Luna, Ben Mendelsohn, Donnie Yen, Mads Mikkelsen, Alan Tudyk, Riz Ahmed, Jiang Wen, and Forest Whitaker.
Based on an idea first pitched by Knoll, ten years before it entered development, the film was made to be different in tone and style from the traditional Star Wars films, including omitting the customary opening crawl and transitional screen wipes. Principal photography on the film began at Elstree Studios near London in early August 2015 and wrapped in February 2016. The film then went through extensive reshoots directed by Gilroy in mid-2016. The film premiered in Los Angeles on December 10, 2016, and was released in the United States on December 16.
The film received positive reviews and praise for its acting, action sequences, musical score, visual effects, and darker tone, but received criticism for its underdeveloped characters and digital recreation of actors from the original trilogy. The film has grossed over $1 billion worldwide, making it the 27th highest-grossing film of all-time, the second highest-grossing film of 2016, and the third highest-grossing film in the Star Wars franchise. It received two Academy Awards nominations for Best Sound Mixing and Best Visual Effects.
Research scientist Galen Erso and his family are in hiding on the planet Lah'mu when Imperial weapons developer Orson Krennic arrives to press him into completing the Death Star, a planet-sized space station with a superweapon capable of destroying entire planets. Galen's wife, Lyra, attempts to confront Krennic, but she is shot dead by Krennic's Death Troopers while their daughter, Jyn, escapes and is rescued by rebel extremist Saw Gerrera.
Fifteen years later, cargo pilot Bodhi Rook defects from the Empire, taking a holographic message recorded by Galen to Gerrera on the desert moon of Jedha. After learning about the Death Star from an agent at the Ring of Kafrene trading outpost, Rebel Alliance intelligence officer Cassian Andor frees Jyn from an Imperial transport at Wobani before bringing her to the Rebel leader Mon Mothma, who convinces her to find and rescue Galen so the Alliance can learn more about the Death Star. Cassian is covertly ordered to kill Galen rather than extract him.
Jyn, Cassian, and reprogrammed Imperial droid K-2SO travel to the moon of Jedha, where the Empire is removing kyber crystals from the holy city to power the Death Star. However, Gerrera and his partisans engage in a guerrilla battle against one convoy transporting kyber crystals, and then steal the aformentioned crystals just as Imperial reinforcements arrive. With the aid of blind spiritual warrior Chirrut Îmwe and his mercenary friend Baze Malbus, Jyn makes contact with Gerrera, who has been holding Rook captive. Gerrera shows her the message, in which Galen reveals he has secretly built a vulnerability into the Death Star and directs them to retrieve the schematics from an Imperial data bank on the planet Scarif.
On the Death Star, which has entered orbit above the moon of Jedha, Krennic orders a low-powered test shot which destroys Jedha's capital. Jyn and her group take Rook and flee the moon, but Gerrera remains to die with the city. Grand Moff Willhuff Tarkin congratulates Krennic before using Rook's defection and security leak as a pretext to take control of the project. Rook leads the group to Galen's Imperial research facility on the storm covered planet Eadu, where Cassian chooses not to kill Galen. Jyn makes her presence known moments before Rebel bombers attack the facility. Galen is fataly wounded and dies in his daughter's arms, before she escapes with her group on board a stolen Imperial cargo shuttle. Following the attack, Krennic is summoned by Darth Vader to his palace at Mustafar to answer for the attack on Eadu. Krennic seeks his support for an audience with the Emperor, but Vader instead orders him to ensure no further breaches occur.
Jyn proposes a plan to steal the Death Star schematics using the Rebel fleet but fails to gain approval from the Alliance Council, because many don't believe the Death Star exists, and those who do, most feel victory against the Empire is now impossible. Frustrated at their inaction, Jyn's group lead a small squad of Rebel volunteers to raid the databank themselves. Arriving at Scarif on the stolen Imperial shuttle, which Rook dubs "Rogue One", a disguised Jyn and Cassian enter the base with K-2SO while the other rebels attack the resident Imperial garrison as a diversion. The Rebel fleet learns of the raid from intercepted Imperial communications and deploy in support. K-2SO sacrifices himself so Jyn and Cassian can retrieve the data. Îmwe is killed after activating the master switch to allow communication with the Rebel fleet, and Malbus dies in battle shortly afterwards. During the battle, a shoretrooper throws a thermal detonator inside the stolen cargo shuttle, blowing it up and killing Rook just after informing the Rebel fleet that they must make an opening in the shield surrounding the planet to allow the transmission of the schematics. Jyn and Cassian obtain the schematics, but they are ambushed by Krennic, who is eventually shot and wounded by Cassian. Jyn transmits the schematics to the Rebel command ship. The Death Star enters orbit above Scarif, where Tarkin uses another low-power shot to destroy the compromised base, killing Krennic, Cassian, Jyn, and anyone still alive on the surface.
The Rebel fleet prepares to jump to hyperspace, but many of its ships are intercepted by Vader's flagship. Vader boards the Rebel command ship and attempts to regain the schematics, but a small starship escapes with them. Aboard the fleeing ship, Princess Leia declares that the plans will provide a new hope for the rebellion.
Jimmy Smits, Genevieve O'Reilly, and Anthony Daniels reprise their roles from previous films as Bail Organa, Mon Mothma, and C-3PO, respectively. James Earl Jones also reprises his role from previous films as the voice of Darth Vader, who is physically portrayed by Spencer Wilding during the meeting with Krennic and aboard the Star Destroyer, and by Daniel Naprous for the brutal end scene. Grand Moff Tarkin and Princess Leia Organa are played by Guy Henry and Ingvild Deila, respectively, with the digital likenesses of Peter Cushing and Carrie Fisher superimposed. Henry also provides the voice for Tarkin, while archival audio of Fisher is used for Leia. Angus MacInnes and Drewe Henley are featured as Gold Leader Dutch Vander and Red Leader Garven Dreis, respectively, via unused footage from A New Hope; MacInnes returned to record new dialogue for Vander, while new dialogue for the deceased Henley was assembled from archival material. David Ankrum, who voiced Wedge Antilles in A New Hope, reprises his role in a vocal cameo. Ian McElhinney, Michael Smiley, Andy de la Tour and Tim Beckmann play General Jan Dodonna, Dr. Evazan, General Hurst Romodi and Captain Raymus Antilles, respectively. Warwick Davis plays Weeteef Cyubee, a member of Saw Gerrera's Partisans. R2-D2 also makes a cameo appearance.
Additionally, Alistair Petrie plays General Davits Draven, Ben Daniels plays General Antoc Merrick, and Valene Kane plays Lyra Erso, Jyn's mother. Jonathan Aris, Fares Fares and Sharon Duncan-Brewster appear as Senators Nower Jebel, Vasp Vaspar, and Tynnra Pamlo, respectively. Simon Farnaby plays a member of Blue Squadron. Jordan Stephens appears as Rebel Alliance member Corporal Tonc. Nick Kellington plays Bistan, the door gunner on a U-wing during the battle on Scarif. Ian Whyte plays Moroff, a member of Saw Gerrera's Partisans. Daniel Mays appears as Tivik. Rian Johnson and Ram Bergman, director and producer of Star Wars: The Last Jedi, respectively, cameo as two Death Star technicians. Richard Franklin plays one of the Death Star engineers.
Rogue One is the first film in the Star Wars anthology series, a series of standalone spin-off films in the Star Wars franchise. John Knoll, visual effects supervisor for the Star Wars prequel trilogy, pitched the idea for the film 10 years before its development; after the Disney acquisition he felt as if he had to pitch it again or forever wonder "what might've happened if I had". In May 2014, Disney announced that Gareth Edwards would direct the film and Gary Whitta would write the script. That October, cinematographer Greig Fraser revealed that he would work on the film. In January 2015, it was revealed that Whitta had completed his work on the script, and would no longer be with the project. Simon 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 was announced.
Edwards stated that the style of the film would 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." Assuming that Disney wouldn't allow a dark ending, Edwards had the main characters surviving in the original version of the script, but the producers opted for a more tragic ending and never filmed the original version.
In July 2016, discussing whether the film would feature an opening crawl, Kathleen Kennedy said, "we're in the midst of talking about it, but I don't think these [anthology] films will have an opening crawl." Edwards explained that "The idea is this film is supposed to be different than the saga films," and that "This film is born out of a crawl. ... There's this feeling that if we did a crawl, then it'll create another movie." In November 2016, Kennedy confirmed that the film would not feature an opening crawl, instead beginning in "a way that is traditional, with just the title."
At the 2016 Star Wars Celebration, Edwards said the title had three meanings: "a military sign", referring to the Red Squadron from A New Hope; "the 'rogue' one" of the franchise, given that it is the first film to not be part of the main saga; and a description of Jyn Erso's personality.
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. In February 2015, it was announced that Jones was in final talks to star in the film, while Aaron Paul and Édgar Ramírez were being eyed for the male lead role. In March 2015, Jones was officially cast. In March 2015, Deadline Hollywood reported a rumor that Ben Mendelsohn was being considered for a 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, in the lead roles. Forest Whitaker was added to the cast in June 2015. In July 2015, Jonathan Aris was cast to play Senator Jebel. Genevieve O'Reilly was cast as Mon Mothma, reprising her role from Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith. James Earl Jones was confirmed to return as the voice of Darth Vader in June 2016.
Principal photography on the film began at Elstree Studios in Hertfordshire on August 8, 2015. Much of the other photography was completed at or near Pinewood Studios at Buckinghamshire, UK where huge sets were built to complement scenes filmed elsewhere in the world. The film was shot using Ultra Panavision 70 lenses with Arri Alexa 65 large format digital 6K cameras.
Filming locations were used around the world. In Iceland, the crew shot in Reynisfjara, and around the mountains of Hjörleifshöfði and Hafursey at Mýrdalssandur, which were used to represent Lah'mu and Eadu. Also used were the Krafla area with its volcanic crater and around Lake Mývatn's rock formations. The islands of Gan and Baresdhoo of the Laamu Atoll in the Maldives, as well as RAF Bovingdon, were used to represent Scarif. Wadi Rum in Jordan was used to represent Jedha. Pymmes Park in Edmonton, London was also used for location filming, and scenes set on Yavin 4 were filmed at RAF Cardington. Gareth Edwards selected the London Underground's Canary Wharf station as a location for a chase scene in an Imperial base; the location shoot took place between midnight and 4 am, when the station was closed to the public.
The film spent a total of $265 million and received a $45 million subsidy from the United Kingdom's film incentive program. 
On February 11, 2016, Disney executives stated that the film was "virtually completed". Several weeks of pre-scheduled reshoots began in June 2016. Tony Gilroy, who was an uncredited writer on the film at the time, was hired to direct the reshoots and rework aspects of the film, earning him a screenwriting credit.
Industrial Light & Magic (ILM) produced the film's visual effects. ILM used CGI and digitally altered archive footage to insert Peter Cushing's likeness over the body of actor Guy Henry. Lucasfilm secured permission from the late actor's estate to include him in the film. The team reportedly searched through countless hours of Cushing footage in order to find suitable reference material, and Henry provided the motion capture and voice work. A digital model of Cushing was mapped over Henry's performance like a digital body mask. Cushing's mannerisms, including his manner of speaking, were studied by the creative team and applied to the digital Tarkin model. Cushing's family were heavily involved with the creation and had input right down to "small, subtle adjustments". A similar process was used in the portrayal of Princess Leia; Carrie Fisher's appearance as Leia in the first film was superimposed over Norwegian actress Ingvild Deila's face and archival audio of Fisher saying "Hope" was used to voice the character.
Post-production wrapped on November 28, 2016.
—Michael Giacchino on balancing the musical traditions of Star Wars with his original music for Rogue One.
In March 2015, it was reported that Alexandre Desplat, who had worked with Edwards on Godzilla, would compose the score for Rogue One. Despite rumors that a contract had not been initially set in place by Lucasfilm, Desplat confirmed in an April 2016 interview that he would serve as composer for the film. Concerning the film, Desplat commented that "[Edwards and I] had a great partnership on Godzilla, and I can't wait to be starting with him. It will be in a few weeks from now, and it is very exciting and frightening at the same time because it's such a legendary project. To be called to come after John Williams... it's a great challenge for me." However, in September 2016, it was announced that Michael Giacchino would be replacing Desplat as composer, after the film's reshoots altered the post-production schedule, and reportedly left Desplat no longer available.
Giacchino only had four and a half weeks to compose the music for the film, beginning almost immediately after finishing production on Doctor Strange. In an interview with Entertainment Weekly in November 2016, Giacchino stated: "It is a film that is in many ways a really great World War II movie, and I loved that about it. But it also has this huge, huge heart at the center of it, and that was the one thing I just didn't want to discount. Yes, it's an action movie, and it's a Star Wars film, and it has all the things that you would come to expect and love about that, but I didn't want to forget that it was also an incredibly emotional movie as well. That was what really pulled me in."
All music was composed by Giacchino except where noted. Giacchino, who has a history of using track titles that contain wordplay, shared his alternate list in the liner notes of the soundtrack release. These names are listed in the notes.
|Rogue One: A Star Wars Story – Original Motion Picture Soundtrack|
|Film score by Michael Giacchino|
|Released||December 16, 2016|
|Studio||Sony Scoring Stage|
|Michael Giacchino chronology|
|Star Wars soundtrack chronology|
|Movie Music UK||Positive|
|1.||"He's Here for Us" ("A Krennic Connection")||3:20|
|2.||"A Long Ride Ahead" ("Jyn and Scare It")||3:56|
|3.||"Wobani Imperial Labor Camp" ("Jyncarcerated")||0:54|
|4.||"Trust Goes Both Ways" ("Going to See Saw"; includes "The Force Theme" by John Williams)||2:45|
|5.||"When Has Become Now" ("That New Death Star Smell"; includes "Death Star Motif" by John Williams)||1:59|
|6.||"Jedha Arrival" ("Jedha Call Saw")||2:48|
|7.||"Jedha City Ambush" ("When Ambush Come to Shove")||2:19|
|9.||"Confrontation on Eadu" ("Go Do, That Eadu, That You Do, So Well"; includes "Death Star Motif" by John Williams)||8:05|
|10.||"Krennic's Aspirations" ("Have a Choke and a Smile"; includes "Imperial Motif" and "The Imperial March" by John Williams)||4:16|
|11.||"Rebellions Are Built on Hope" ("Erso in Vain")||2:56|
|12.||"Rogue One" ("Takes One to Rogue One"; includes "The Force Theme" by John Williams)||2:04|
|13.||"Cargo Shuttle SW-0608" ("World's Worst Vacation Destination")||3:59|
|14.||"Scrambling the Rebel Fleet" ("Scarif Tactics"; includes "The Force Theme" and "Star Wars Main Theme" by John Williams)||1:33|
|15.||"AT-ACT Assault" ("Bazed and Confused"; includes "Rebel Fanfare" and "Imperial Walkers" by John Williams)||2:55|
|16.||"The Master Switch" ("Switch Hunt")||4:02|
|17.||"Your Father Would Be Proud" ("Transmission Impossible")||4:51|
|18.||"Hope" ("Live and Let Jedi"; includes "The Imperial March", "Death Star Motif", "Rebel Blockade Runner", and "The Force Theme" by John Williams)||1:37|
|19.||"Jyn Erso and Hope Suite"||5:51|
|20.||"The Imperial Suite"||2:29|
|21.||"Guardians of the Whills Suite"||2:52|
Rogue One premiered at the Pantages Theatre in Los Angeles on December 10, 2016. The film was released in certain European countries on December 14, 2016, and was released in North America on December 16, with China getting the film on January 6, 2017.
Promotion of Rogue One was initially delayed by the release of the film Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation in July 2015, because the titles are similar. Paramount Pictures registered and cleared the title with the Motion Picture Association of America in January 2015, well before Disney announced the title of its forthcoming Star Wars spinoff. Disney and Lucasfilm had to reach an agreement with Paramount over promotion in order to avoid any confusion in the public mind. Disney agreed to embargo promotion on Rogue One until after mid-2015, with the exception of a very short teaser which was screened at Star Wars Celebration in Anaheim that year.
A teaser trailer for Rogue One, released by Lucasfilm on April 7, 2016, was praised by reviewers for its portrayal of strong female characters. The Daily Telegraph described Jyn Erso's character as "a roguish, Han Solo-style heroine", calling the film "progressive", while noting its painstaking faithfulness to the production design style of the original Star Wars trilogy. The Hollywood Reporter also noted the visual nods to the original trilogy, and examined the film's possible narrative direction, considering that the outcome is to some extent already revealed in the opening crawl of A New Hope. The Atlantic writer David Sims stated that the trailer brought "back some memorable pieces of architecture, from the lumbering AT-AT walkers to the Death Star itself, not to mention the glorious 70s costuming of Star Wars." He added that the trailer has "the look", blending the old with the new. The trailer was viewed close to 30 million times in its first 29 hours, at a rate of 800,000 views per hour, from Facebook and YouTube, which is 200,000 views shy of what the first teaser trailer for Star Wars: The Force Awakens was receiving in November 2014.
In June 2016, Rogue One was promoted at the Star Wars Celebration Europe III event in London. During the event, a new official poster was unveiled, which depicts a battle taking place on the tropical planet Scarif, with the Death Star looming large in a blue sky, above which is printed the tagline "A Rebellion Built on Hope". A second teaser trailer was also unveiled, screened exclusively for the Celebration audience, and not streamed online. This new trailer was reviewed favorably by critics; The Daily Telegraph noted that the trailer revealed new locations such as the planets Jedha and Scarif, and that its most significant revelation came in the final seconds of the teaser, with the appearance of Darth Vader, reflected in a computer screen and accompanied by his classic breathing sound effect. Variety also hailed the Vader reveal, and noted that the emphasis of the production was much more on the kinetic depiction of large battle sequences and full-on warfare, comparing it to Francis Ford Coppola's 1979 Vietnam War epic Apocalypse Now. A showreel was also shown during the event, which featured footage from the film, cut with behind-the-scenes shots and interviews with the director and cast members. The second trailer was shown publicly during a broadcast of the 2016 Summer Olympics and received favourable media reviews; Wired stated that the trailer was "littered with nostalgic throwbacks to the original trilogy", while Rolling Stone described the CGI landscape shots seen in the footage as "eye-poppingly gorgeous".
A further trailer released in October 2016 prompted The Hollywood Reporter to comment that the newly revealed footage looked like "a trailer to a different movie than the one advertised earlier", remarking that Jyn Erso appeared to be portrayed as a more vulnerable character, and highlighting the appearance of Galen Erso as a protective father figure. Vanity Fair also commented on the emphasis given to Jyn's relationship with her father, suggesting that Rogue One was drawing on "the Star Wars franchise's greatest natural resource: daddy issues".
The film's publicity tour began in Mexico on November 23, 2016.
In Asia, Disney focused marketing efforts on Donnie Yen, where his individual poster is used for marketing in territories including Japan, Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand, Hong Kong, China, Vietnam and Malaysia. The official Star Wars Facebook page of the respective Asian countries also featured clips and videos of Donnie Yen speaking various languages, greeting fans and telling them to support the film. In addition, Disney also released various versions of international trailers with more footage of Yen.
Rogue One grossed $532.2 million in the United States and Canada and $523.8 million in other countries for a worldwide total of $1.056 billion. On January 21, 2017, the film became Disney's fourth of 2016 to earn $1 billion in ticket sales, joining Captain America: Civil War, Zootopia and Finding Dory. It is the second highest-grossing film of 2016, the third highest-grossing Star Wars film, and the 22nd highest-grossing film of all time, all unadjusted for inflation. It is also the third Star Wars film to gross over $1 billion worldwide, following The Phantom Menace and The Force Awakens. In the United States, it was the top-grossing film of 2016. Deadline Hollywood calculated the net profit of the film to be $319.6 million, when factoring together all expenses and revenues for the film, making it the 3rd most profitable release of 2016.
In late November 2016, box office projections for the United States and Canada had the film grossing $100–150 million during its opening weekend. Disney chairman Bob Iger noted that Disney and Lucasfilm did not expect Rogue One to match The Force Awakens' total gross of $2.1 billion, nor its $248 million opening. Pre-sale tickets for the film went on sale at 12:01 AM EST on November 28, 2016. Within 10 minutes, ticket sale sites such as Fandango crashed, much like they had in advance of The Force Awakens the year prior. In its first 24 hours, the film had the second-highest number of pre-sale tickets ever sold, behind only The Force Awakens. Worldwide, the film was expected to gross $280–350 million in its opening weekend.
In the United States, the film made $29 million from its Thursday night previews, making it the highest grossing Thursday opening of 2016. On Friday, the film earned $71.1 million, earning the 12th highest grossing opening day of all time. The film grossed $46.3 million on Saturday, securing a total of $155.1 million in its opening weekend, the third biggest debut of 2016. It topped the box office once again in its second weekend, grossing $64 million (down 58.7%) over the three day weekend, and $96.1 million over the four day weekend. On Christmas Day, it grossed $25.9 million. It finished first at the box office again in its third weekend, grossing $49.6 million (-22.5%) over the three day weekend and $65.5 million over the four day weekend, becoming the seventh film of 2016 to top the box office three times, following Deadpool, Zootopia, The Jungle Book, Finding Dory, Suicide Squad, and Moana. In its fourth weekend, Sunday projections had the film grossing $22 million, besting newcomer Hidden Figures' $21.8 million. However, final figures the following day revealed the film tallied a weekend total of $21.9 million, falling to second place behind Hidden Figures' $22.8 million.
On review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 85% based on 387 reviews, with an average rating of 7.5/10. The website's critical consensus reads, "Rogue One draws deep on Star Wars mythology while breaking new narrative and aesthetic ground — and suggesting a bright blockbuster future for the franchise." On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score 65 out of 100, based on 51 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews". Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "A" on an A+ to F scale, while PostTrak reported filmgoers gave the film a 91% overall positive score.
IGN reviewer Eric Goldman gave the film 9/10, saying, "Rogue One is a movie crammed with fan service, but when fan service is done this well, there's little to complain about and much to adore." Peter Travers of Rolling Stone gave the film 3.5 out of 4 stars, writing, "this spin-off/prequel has the same primitive, lived-in, emotional, loopy, let's-put-on-a-show spirit that made us fall in love with the original trilogy." /Film gave Rogue One 8/10, writing that the film is enjoyable but does not have the emotional weight of The Force Awakens, because "no character in Rogue One was strongly compelling". PopMatters wrote, "Rogue One seems to enjoy spending time on a whole new batch of moons and planets we haven't seen before, reveling in the clutter and clamor of far-flung settlements where anti-Imperial sentiments fester. But the film is bogged down in engineering the complex maneuverings of spy games, dogfights, and the most sprawling Rebel-versus-Empire land battle scene since the opening of The Empire Strikes Back." Justin Chang, writing for the Los Angeles Times, called Rogue One "a swiftly paced, rough-and-ready entertainment."
The New York Times wrote, "All the pieces are there, in other words, like Lego figures in a box. The problem is that the filmmakers haven't really bothered to think of anything very interesting to do with them. A couple of 9-year-olds on a screen-free rainy afternoon would come up with better adventures, and probably also better dialogue." Richard Brody of The New Yorker called the film "lobotomized and "depersonalized", and wrote it "isn't so much a movie as a feature-length promotional film for itself; it's a movie that is still waiting to be made." The Washington Post wrote "Rogue One represents an unobjectionable exercise in franchise extension. It's fine. It'll do. For now."
IndieWire's David Ehrlich gave the film a C+ rating, calling it "a spirited but agonizingly safe attempt to expand cinema's most holy blockbuster franchise and keep the wheels greased between proper installments […] just a glorified excuse to retcon some sense into one of the silliest things about the original." While he praised the set design and visuals, calling them "gorgeous", he criticized a lack of interesting character development and a script that felt "completely constricted by its purpose."
Peter Bradshaw, film critic of The Guardian says "Rogue One doesn't really go rogue at any stage, and it isn't a pop culture event like The Force Awakens, in whose slipstream this appears; part of its charm resides in the eerie, almost dreamlike effect of continually producing familiar elements, reshuffled and reconfigured, a reaching back to the past and hinting at a preordained future. There are some truly spectacular cameos from much-loved personae, involving next-level digital effects—almost creepily exact, so that watching feels at various stages like going into a time machine, back to the 80s and 70s".
Rogue One introduced many new characters into the Star Wars mythology, with Chirrut Îmwe, played by Donnie Yen, and K-2SO, played by Alan Tudyk, being the most popular. Yen's performance, in particular, was also applauded by audiences worldwide. In a poll on the official Star Wars website in May 2017, in which more 30,000 people voted, Chirrut Îmwe was voted as the most popular Rogue One character.
While much of the computer-generated imagery (CGI) received praise, some news organizations published criticism about certain aspects, including the visual effects (VFX) that were used to revive Peter Cushing, who had died in 1994, as Grand Moff Tarkin. The Guardian's Catherine Shoard described the "resurrection" as a "digital indignity". Joseph Walsh of The Guardian raised legal and ethical issues about bringing a long-dead actor to life. However, Lucasfilm had obtained permission from Peter Cushing's estate before deciding to use his likeness. The Washington Times's Eric Althoff rejected the entire concept of using CGI to recreate a deceased actor: "Alas, what we get is, basically, not a simulation, but an approximation of a simulation—a dead character portrayed by a living actor inhabiting not the character, but imitating the dead actor."
Some journalists also criticized the quality of the CGI that was used to represent a younger Carrie Fisher in order to portray Princess Leia at an earlier time, as well as its suitability in movie-making. Eliana Dockterman of Time wrote that "there was something particularly plastic about this version of the young Carrie Fisher—so smooth and so perfect it couldn't be real—that pulled me out of the moment." Kelly Lawler of USA Today said: "... while Tarkin is merely unnerving, the Leia cameo is so jarring as to take the audience completely out of the film at its most emotional moment. Leia's appearance was meant to help the film end on a hopeful note (quite literally, as 'hope' is her line), but instead it ends on a weird and unsettling one." Michael Cavna of The Washington Post described the facial effect as feeling "distractingly artificial and nearly alien, like a plastered death mask robbed of authentic actorly effect, well beyond the usual artifice of Botox." Nonetheless, Fisher was shown the CGI rendition of her younger self for the film by Kathleen Kennedy and "loved it."
|Award||Date of ceremony[N 1]||Category||Recipient(s) and nominee(s)||Result||Ref(s)|
|Academy Awards||February 26, 2017||Best Sound Mixing||David Parker, Christopher Scarabosio and Stuart Wilson||Nominated|||
|Best Visual Effects||Neil Corbould, Hal Hickel, John Knoll and Mohen Leo||Nominated|
|British Academy Film Awards||February 12, 2017||Best Makeup and Hair||Amanda Knight, Neal Scanlan and Lisa Tomblin||Nominated|||
|Best Special Visual Effects||Neil Corbould, Hal Hickel, John Knoll, Mohen Leo and Nigel Sumner||Nominated|
|Cinema Audio Society Awards||February 18, 2017||Outstanding Achievement in Sound Mixing for a Motion Picture – Live Action||Joel Iwataki, Nick Kray, David Parker, Frank Rinella, Christopher Scarabosio and Stuart Wilson||Nominated|||
|Costume Designers Guild Awards||February 21, 2017||Excellence in Fantasy Film||David Crossman and Glyn Dillon||Nominated|||
|Dragon Awards||September 3, 2017||Best Science Fiction or Fantasy Movie||Rogue One||Nominated|||
|Empire Awards||March 19, 2017||Best Film||Rogue One||Won|||
|Best Actress||Felicity Jones||Won|
|Best Male Newcomer||Riz Ahmed||Nominated|
|Best Director||Gareth Edwards||Won|
|Best Costume Design||Rogue One||Nominated|
|Best Production Design||Nominated|
|Best Make-Up and Hairstyling||Nominated|
|Best Visual Effects||Nominated|
|Hugo Awards||August 11, 2017||Best Dramatic Presentation - Long form||Chris Weitz and Tony Gilroy||Nominated|||
|Location Managers Guild Awards||April 8, 2017||Outstanding Locations in Period Film||Mark Somner and David O'Reily||Nominated|||
|Outstanding Film Commission||"Jedha" - Royal Film Commission Jordan||Won|
|MTV Movie & TV Awards||May 17, 2017||Movie of the Year||Rogue One||Nominated|||
|Best Hero||Felicity Jones||Nominated|
|Ray Bradbury Award||May 20, 2017||Outstanding Dramatic Presentation||Chris Weitz, Tony Gilroy and Gareth Edwards||Nominated|||
|Saturn Awards||June 28, 2017||Best Science Fiction Film||Rogue One||Won|||
|Best Director||Gareth Edwards||Won|
|Best Writing||Chris Weitz and Tony Gilroy||Nominated|
|Best Actress||Felicity Jones||Nominated|
|Best Supporting Actor||Diego Luna||Nominated|
|Best Music||Michael Giacchino||Nominated|
|Best Editing||John Gilroy, Colin Goudie and Jabez Olssen||Nominated|
|Best Production Design||Doug Chiang and Neil Lamont||Nominated|
|Best Costume Design||David Crossman and Glyn Dillon||Nominated|
|Best Make-up||Amy Byrne||Nominated|
|Best Special Effects||Neil Corbould, Hal Hickel, John Knoll and Mohen Leo||Won|
|Teen Choice Awards||August 13, 2017||Choice Sci-Fi Movie||Rogue One||Nominated|||
|Choice Sci-Fi Movie Actor||Diego Luna||Nominated|
|Choice Sci-Fi Movie Actress||Felicity Jones||Nominated|
|Visual Effects Society Awards||February 7, 2017||Outstanding Visual Effects in a Photoreal Feature||Neil Corbould, Erin Dusseault, Hal Hickel, John Knoll and Nigel Sumner||Nominated|||
|Outstanding Animated Performance in a Photoreal Feature||"Grand Moff Tarkin" – Cyrus Jam, Sven Jensen, Jee Young Park and Steve Walton||Nominated|
|Outstanding Created Environment in a Photoreal Feature||"Scarif Complex" – Enrico Damm, Yanick Dusseault, Kevin George and Olivier Vernay-Kim||Nominated|
|Outstanding Virtual Cinematography in a Photoreal Project||"Space Battle" – Steve Ellis, Barry Howell, Euising Lee and John Levin||Nominated|
|Outstanding Model in a Photoreal or Animated Project||"Princess Leia" – Paul Giacoppo, Gareth Jensen, James Tooley and Todd Vaziri||Nominated|
|"Star Destroyer" – Marko Chulev, Steven Knipping, Jay Machado and Akira Orikasa||Nominated|
|Outstanding Effects Simulations in a Photoreal Feature||"Jedha Destruction" – Luca Mignardi, Ciaran Moloney, Matt Puchala and Miguel Perez Senent||Nominated|
Rogue One utilized Saw Gerrera, a character introduced in The Clone Wars, as well as featuring cameo appearances of the Ghost and Chopper from Star Wars Rebels, and mentioning Hera Syndulla from that series.
Characters from the film also appeared in the second half of the animated television series Rebels, starting with Saw in the Season 3 mid-season one-hour special episode "Ghosts of Geonosis". The Imperial Death Troopers appeared in that season's one-hour finale, "Zero Hour". More characters and vehicles that were first introduced in the film appear in the series' fourth and final season, while the film's main antagonist, Orson Krennic, is mentioned by name.
On November 8, 2018, it was announced that a live-action prequel series was officially in development and set air on Disney's upcoming streaming service, Disney+. The series will take place before the events in Rogue One and will focus on Cassain Andor with Diego Luna to reprise the role.
A tie-in novel to the film, Catalyst: A Rogue One Novel, was released on November 15, 2016. Written by veteran Star Wars novelist James Luceno, the story is set some years before the events of Rogue One, and provides a backstory to the 2016 film. The Rogue One: A Star Wars Story novelization of the fim was written by Alexander Freed, and released on December 16, 2016.
Months after the film was released, Disney | Lucasfilm Press published another novel titled Star Wars: Rebel Rising on May 2, 2017. Written by Beth Revis, the novel explains what happened to Jyn Erso between the time her mother died and the day when Rebel agents freed her from an Imperial labor camp, a time period that the film skips over in its opening minutes.
On the same day Rebel Rising was released, the novel Guardians of the Whills was released as well by Disney | Lucasfilm Press. Written by novelist and comic writer Greg Rucka, it focused on the characters Chirrut and Baze, telling their backstories as well as giving more context to the events that happened on Jedha prior to the film and even the Imperial occupation.
Months after the film was released, Marvel Comics adapted the film into a six-part comic book miniseries, which adds extra content. The miniseries' complete collection was released on December 12, 2017.
In August 2017, IDW Publishing announced that it would make a one-shot graphic novel adaptation of the film, which was released one day after the Marvel miniseries' collection was released. Unlike the Marvel miniseries, this graphic novel will have slightly more cartoonish visuals.
On that same month, Marvel Comics released the Star Wars: Rogue One – Cassian & K-2SO Special, a 40-page one-shot comic focusing on the first meeting between Cassian Andor and K-2SO. The comic was written by Duane Swierczynski and pencilled by Fernando Blanco.
A downloadable expansion pack was released for the Star Wars Battlefront reboot, titled Rogue One: Scarif, that allows players the ability to play through the various locations, characters and set pieces from the planet introduced in Rogue One. A free virtual reality mission for PlayStation 4 was also released alongside the expansion. Several characters and concepts from the film were also included in the mobile games Star Wars: Force Arena, Star Wars Commander and Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes, all available on iOS and Android.
While the actor has the body role, just like his predecessor in the original Star Wars films David Prowse, the voice of Lord Vader is actor James Earl Jones.
Jonathan Aris will play Senator Jebel. Nope, we have no idea who that is either.
Rogue One's original ending was one such cutting-room casualty.
The revelation that the original ending was much different probably explains a lot about how different the trailers were from the final product. Fans have noticed that many scenes in the original spots did not appear in the final film.
Not only was Rogue One filmed at Pinewood and Elstree Studios, now home to the ongoing franchise
Among the largest sets built at Pinewood was the mountainous planet of Eadu
During our sit down with ... Gareth Edwards ... old lenses and new digital environments.
Director Gareth Edwards told thousands of fans at Star Wars Celebration in London earlier this year he had always wanted to film a sci-fi movie there.
...the effect ends up showing the limitations of the technology. It's also distracting: As you ponder what, exactly, is off about this not-human-enough figure—something in the facial movements—you begin to lose track of the plot.
...[Kathleen Kennedy, president of Lucasfilm] showed it to her. So, I got a call afterwards from Kathy saying, 'Well, Carrie loved it.'
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