Star Wars Celebration is taking place in London as I type this and just a little over a day in to the festivities we have several fun (and spoiler-filled) tidbits of info. Director Gareth Edwards (Monsters, Godzilla) and the cast and producers of the upcoming Rogue One stand alone Star Wars film took to the stage to talk all things Rogue One. The film completed filming in December so, the team has been hard at work on the finishing touches to prepare the movie for release later this year.
The panel was moderated by the painfully awkward Gwendoline Christie (Game of Throne’s Brienne of Tarth) and she did an excellent job of prying info out of the panel guests. Here are the highlights:
- stars Diego Luna and Felicity Jones will play Captain Cassian Andor and Jyn Erso respectively; they’re the initial team of undercover agents sent by the rebels to steal the infamous death star plans. The plans that will allow Luke Skywalker to know just where to fire his fireballs to take down the giant ball of planet killing.
- Mads Mikkelsen will play Felicity’s dad; Galen Erso. He’s a scientist and inventor who’s created something that will change the universe forever. I’m guessing he’s the inventor of the death star.
- Riz Ahmed plays Bodhi Rook; a pilot for the Imperial army who starts to question whether working for the bad guys is an entirely good idea.
- Donnie Yen and Jiang Wen will play best friends Chirrut Imwe and Baze Malbus. Chirrut is a fanboy for the force and Baze only trusts in things he can touch and shoot with. They’re both the principle badasses of the soon to be secret rebel team. Jiang dropped a serious spoiler during the Q&A when he came right out and told the audience that his pal Donnie Yen will bite the dust at some point during the film. The whole panel went pale. Everyone except Jiang evidently as he didn’t realize he’d said anything particularly noteworthy. Someone should clue him in.
- Forest Whitaker plays Saw Gerrera, an extremist on with his own rebel faction. The actor gave the best overall description of the film by explaining that they live in a world where there are many splinter rebel groups of which his is just one. His group is extra rebellious. My guess is at some point in the film it will be all hands on deck and the different groups will need to come together to complete this dangerous mission.
- Alan Tudyk is probably the most interesting character of the lot. He plays an android K-2SO. He’s formerly an imperial droid, but Cassian has reprogrammed him to be an ally of the rebels. They’re best of friends, but K2 is not all there. There’s a hilarious clip that they show where we get to see a bit of this comedic interaction. The character will be CGI ala Davey Jones. Meaning actor on set to be replaced by realistic computer generated image.
- Ben Mendehlson will play Directo Krennic, the principle big bad of the film. He describes himself as a smart villain who uses his brain quite a bit more than we’re used to for a Star Wars film. A welcome turn of events.
Several pieces of art and some footage was shown off during the panel. All pretty cool. Looks like we’ll be getting several creature effects on the main team which is always fun. The movie shot in the Maldive islands and the new poster shows off some really lush scenery for what will become the planet SCARIF. Storm troopers wading through crystal blue ocean waves never looked more magical.
Here’s the behind the scenes reel that Gareth Edwards brought for Celebration: