Month: November 2016

Rogue One: runtime confirmed, new poster & first image of Bail Organa revealed

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Source: ScreenRant

With the theatrical release of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story right around the corner, anticipation for the spinoff film has reached a fever pitch. Moviegoers in the United States will finally be able to pre-order their tickets on Monday, November 28, and judging by the first box office projections, many people are planning on being there opening weekend. While several viewers already know where they will be on December 16, 2016, the one question that hasn’t been answered yet is how much time they’ll have to set aside to watch the movie.

Back in October, it was rumored that the film would run for 133 minutes, which is 2 hours, 13 minutes. That’s in line with the previous installments in the franchise, but since it wasn’t officially stated by the studio, some believed it could have been a placeholder. Now, Lucasfilm has weighed in on the matter, essentially confirming what has been said before.

The studio’s creative/story development executive Pablo Hidalgo was asked about Rogue One‘s length on Twitter. When told about the previously reported runtime, he had this to say:

So now fans know they should expect a feature that’s 133 minutes. For comparison’s sake, that’s just three minutes shorter than Star Wars: The Force Awakens and a little longer than the three entries in the classic trilogy. Even though Rogue One has a lot on its plate, this should still be plenty of time for director Gareth Edwards to tell the story. Episode VII had an arguably harder task and accomplished everything it set out to do in basically the same span. It’s true that a bevy of new characters will be introduced in Rogue One, but 2 hours, 13 minutes will conceivably give everyone in the ensemble a chance to leave an impression.

Rogue One El Capitan exclusive poster

With the runtime locked in and the world premiere date set, there isn’t much else Lucasfilm can do in preparation for their latest tentpole. The marketing campaign has been highly visible and done a great job of generating buzz and excitement. Still, with a little under three weeks to go, there are still opportunities for more promotional items. The El Capitan Theater in Hollywood just unveiled their exclusive one-sheet (hat tip LA Times). The first 1,000 people to buy tickets at the location will receive a poster. Check it out below:

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The design is certainly one of the more eye-catching in all of the Rogue One posters revealed to date, highlighting the movie’s main themes. Once again, the tagline “A Rebellion built on hope,” is used with Jyn Erso and members of her team placed inside the word “hope,” which is seen here in an ultra-stylized font. There isn’t much to it, but sometimes less is more when it comes to posters. Collectors and fans have long preferred minimalist artwork to some of the theatrical one-sheets that cram as many characters into a small space as possible. Some may enjoy hanging this on their wall.

First Image Of Jimmy Smits’ Bail Organa Revealed

Source: ScreenRant

For Attack of the Clones, actor Jimmy Smits was cast as Bail Organa, a senator in the Republic and the future adoptive father of Princess Leia. Fans know Organa as one of the leaders of the rebellion, helping form the Alliance in the waning days of the Clone Wars. Given where Rogue One takes place in the franchise timeline, some believed that Bail could be featured in the spinoff.

A behind-the-scenes sizzle reel that premiered at this summer’s Star Wars Celebration in London seemed to include a brief glimpse of Smits in the role, and back in August the actor all but confirmed that he had a cameo in the anthology film. Now, moviegoers can get their first real look at Bail Organa from Rogue One thanks to a new image.

Twitter user @IndianaJedi snapped a photo of the latest Us Weekly issue, which includes a preview of Rogue One. An official picture of Organa is part of the magazine’s coverage, showing Bail in a more subdued wardrobe when compared to the outfits he sported in the prequels. You can take a look at it below:

Viewers can also read a small quote from Smits discussing his part in the film. According to the actor, Bail “isn’t as high up the political food chain” this time around, which makes a great deal of sense. From the beginning, Organa strongly opposed the Galactic Empire and their policies, feeling that it represented the antithesis of everything the Old Republic stood for. He’s very much involved with the Rebels at this point in time, and his choice of clothing is a clear illustration of that. There seems to be a Rebel soldier in the background behind Bail, so this shot is plausibly from an Alliance base as Bail is briefed on information.

Since Organa has not had a large presence in the marketing materials, his part in Rogue One is most likely very small. He will probably be an ancillary character who is involved in key Alliance meetings and not much else. Still, Bail’s inclusion in the standalone serves as nice connective tissue between the various films, and his appearance is quite logical. This is not an instance of shoehorning someone in for the sake of fan service. Rogue One details the rebellion’s most daring mission, so someone as important as Organa would want to weigh in. It would arguably be strange if Bail wasn’t a part of the film, especially since fellow Alliance leader Mon Mothma is.

bail_organa_revengeJimmy Smits as Bail Organa in Star Wars Episode III Revenge of the Sith.

Of course, Bail’s home planet of Alderaan was originally where the battle station readouts were meant to go (recall Leia’s message to Obi-Wan Kenobi in A New Hope), so one has to wonder if the world will be seen at all in Rogue One. The end of Revenge of the Sith featured a very short sequence there as Bail and his wife admired a baby Leia, but for some the visit was too brief. Many would like to see Alderaan again in a greater capacity, which would make its destruction in Episode IV far more tragic and impactful.

Now all that’s left is to see if Rogue One can live up to the hype and continue the Star Wars resurgence. There’s a considerable amount of pressure on it to perform strongly, given that Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy recently said that the post-Episode IX landscape of the franchise could be exclusively standalones. For that to happen, the first one needs to come storming out of the gate. Fortunately, Rogue One looks like it will deliver another memorable journey to the galaxy far, far away.

Empire releases set of Rogue One covers

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Source: ScreenRant

The theatrical release of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story draws closer, and Lucasfilm is continuing their omnipresent marketing campaign for the first live-action spinoff in the franchise. New TV spots are arriving on a daily basis, the new novel Catalyst sheds a considerable amount of lighton various Rogue One characters, and the latest images have given fans clear looks at the one and only Darth Vader. Moviegoers should be able to pre-order their tickets soon, but for now, all the promotional materials are enough to excite many.

Rogue One features an all-new cast of heroes that embark on the mission to steal the Death Star plans, and they’ve already received a considerable amount of time in the spotlight as the studio familiarizes viewers with them. Lucasfilm has given each member of the team their own character poster, and now they all get an individual magazine cover to commemorate the movie’s imminent premiere.

These arrive courtesy of Empire and all follow the same basic design template. The character in question strikes a pose against an ominous background featuring the Imperial super weapon looming. The collection has six in total. Check them out below:

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The Star Wars franchise has always been about groups of people coming together to overcome impossible odds, and Rogue One definitely fits that bill. Many of the trailers and commercials have focused on the fact that the Rebel Alliance is severely outmatched by the Empire’s forces, and they have to rely on hope to get through their plight. It should be interesting to see how the friendships between Jyn Erso, Cassian Andor, and the others from over time and if their dynamic can be as emotionally rewarding as the ones featured in earlier installments. Rogue One has an intriguing emotional with Jyn and her father, but in order for the film to connect, audiences have to buy into the team as a whole.

Fans might notice that the Empire covers promise “world-beating access”the the holiday season’s most anticipated blockbuster, but one has to wonder what more there is to learn before the film comes out. By now, Lucasfilm has set the stage very effectively, and the world premiere is right around the corner. Still, there could be an interesting tidbit or two to come out in the next few weeks (such as the Darth Vader scene description), so viewers will be watching the magazine’s coverage with a curious eye.

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story release date: Dec 16, 2016.

Rogue One: Jyn Erso covers for EW

Source for text and stills: ScreenRant. Source for covers: EW

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is right around the corner, and Lucasfilm is doing everything they can to hammer that point home. New TV spotsare debuting on a daily basis, while fans in the U.K. can already purchase their tickets for opening night. It’s expected that viewers in other countries can pre-order their own tickets by the end of the month. With the world premiere less than three weeks away (as of this writing), it won’t be long now before moviegoers make another trip to the famous galaxy far, far away.

The studio is in the thick of their last push for marketing, and EW looks like it will be a publication to watch closely. On the heels of the magazine unveiling two new covers depicting Jyn Erso and Darth Vader, the outlet has now published a collection of still images from the film and shared more information about a certain Sith Lord that will be making his big screen return.

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1442_1The two Entertainment Weekly collector’s covers  for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story featuring Jyn Erso (Felicity Jones).

First up are the pictures, which essentially show similar imagery to the earlier promotional materials. There is an eye-catching look at the Death Troopers making their way through a grassy field. This could be from the flashback sequence shown in the third trailer, where the Imperials come to collect Galen Erso so he can work on the Death Star project. Additionally, a new character named Tivik (an underworld contact of Cassian Andor’s) is revealed for the first time. You can check the photos out in the gallery below:

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For most viewers, the images of Vader will be the ones that generate sizable excitement. Lucasfilm has smartly held back on showing too much of the Dark Lord in advertising, which makes Vader’s role in the movie (however small it might be) all the more anticipated. Some clear looks at the villain are provided in the gallery, which makes sense since he was a focus of EW‘s latest report. Lucasfilm Head of Story Development Kiri Hart explained Vader’s dynamic with Director Orson Krennic in an interview:

“Here is the thing about Krennic: his perspective obviously is that of a person who doesn’t understand the Force. And Darth Vader comes at everything from the perspective of understanding the Force. So that I think is the thing that you see sort of separating Darth Vader from other characters with regards to a super weapon like this.

“There are military men who are interested in a really effective piece of military hardware, and Darth Vader is a little bit beyond that, right? He’s tapped into something on another level, on a spiritual level. So, that’s part of the fun of Vader in the context of the Imperial Military. He’s got a broader perspective.”

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Rumors have suggested that Vader first enters Rogue One‘s narrative to discuss with Krennic when exactly the Empire should utilize the Death Star, and Hart’s quote lends credence to that speculation. In A New Hope, Vader didn’t seem too fond of a fully operational battle station, referring to it as a “technological terror” that could not rival the power of the Force. As Hart suggests, Vader’s understanding of the universe as a whole is far more extensive than others working for the Empire, which should lead to some fascinating conversations between the Sith and Krennic. They don’t see eye-to-eye on this subject, and that probably won’t bode well for Krennic in the end.

The multitude of Rogue One trailers and TV commercials have done a great job of highlighting all the fresh aspects of the spinoff, from the new vehicles, cast of protagonists, and stromtrooper variants. There’s no denying many are excited to see Jyn Erso and her team steal the Death Star plans, but Vader is undoubtedly an element casual audiences and hardcore fans cannot wait to see. In all likelihood, this is the final instance (for real, this time) Lucasfilm will include the iconic character in a live-action film, so the onus is on director Gareth Edwards and company to make it count. By all accounts, Vader has a minimal, but crucial, part to play, so hopefully he has a couple of standout moments.

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story release date: Dec 16, 2016.

Emilia Clarke cast in Han Solo film

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Source: ScreenRant.Com

Arguably, there has never been a more exciting time to be a Star Wars fan than right now. In just under a month (as of this writing), Rogue One: A Star Wars Story will open in theaters, and next year’s Star Wars: Episode VIII is currently in post-production. If that weren’t enough to send moviegoers into a frenzy, Phil Lord and Chris Miller are hard at work on pre-production for the young Han Solo anthology film, with Alden Ehrenreich set to take over the role of the scruffy-looking nerf herder. The plan is for them to start rolling the cameras in January 2017, ahead of the movie’s May 2018 premiere.

Casting, of course, has been a top priority for the filmmakers. Recently, fan-favorite Donald Glover came on board to play Lando Calrissian, but there are plenty more roles to be filled. Rumors have been swirling about who could play Han Solo‘s female lead, with names like Tessa Thompson and Zoe Kravitz allegedly being considered. Now, that part may be filled, as Game of Thrones star Emilia Clarke is set to enter the galaxy far, far away.

me-before-you-emilia-clarkeEmilia Clarke in Me Before You.

Per an announcement from Disney, Clarke has officially joined the cast of Han Solo. In typical Lucasfilm fashion, her role is being kept under wraps for now. The only information revealed is that she will “round out a dynamic cast of characters Han and Chewie will encounter on their adventures.”

Those who have been following the development of the project might recall that at one point, Lucasfilm was reportedly looking for a non-white actress for the female lead in Han Solo, but that seems to have changed now. It’s unlikely Disney would bring in a big-name talent like Clarke for a small supporting role, meaning that her mystery character probably factors heavily into the narrative. That may be disappointing for some who were hoping Han Solo continued the franchise’s committment to diversifying Hollywood tentpoles, but what matters most is finding the right fit for the part. Clarke obviously made an impression on Lord and Miller in her audition, and it will be interesting to learn who she plays. Odds are, it’s a completely new character given Han Solo‘s place in the canon timeline.

untitled-34Emilia Clarke as Daenerys Targaryen in HBO TV Series Game of Thrones. Source for the animated GIF: Giffferr Planet.

Viewers will also be curious to see if Clarke signed to a multi-picture deal. The speculation is that Ehrenreich is locked down for a trilogy of films, so it’s plausible that some of his co-stars will be along for any potential sequels as well. Regardless of how long Clarke’s stay in the galaxy is, she should prove to be a valuable addition to Star Wars. She’s made a name for herself as Daenerys Targaryen on Game of Thrones, earning three Emmy nominations in the process, and has demonstrated an ability to carry a feature film with her turns in Terminator: Genisys and Me Before You. With Thrones ending after its eighth season, Clarke will have an open schedule – and she might have found a steady job to replace the Mother of Dragons.

Rogue One’s droid inspired by The Empire Strikes Back

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Source: ScreenRant.Com

It’s almost time for millions of people to travel together to a galaxy far, far, away to experience another story in the world of Star Wars. This winter, Disney will release the first Star Wars film that won’t take place within the confines of the Skywalker lineage and is destined to be one of the year’s biggest movies.

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story will be the first spinoff in the Star Wars universe and director Gareth Edwards (Godzilla) is hoping to deliver a hard-hitting war film set within the lived-in universe. One character that has the looks of a fan-favorite is security robot K-2SO, brought to life via performance capture by actor Alan Tudyk (Zootopia). The droid, also known as Kaytoo, and is an Imperial droid that’s been reprogrammed to assist the Rebels in their attempts to steal the plans to the Death Star.

Ranging from R2-D2 to BB-8, there is a long history with robotic sidekicks in Star Wars lore. Visual effects supervisor John Knoll has a lifetime of experience in the world and is credited with creating the story for Rogue One. In a recent interview with EW, he explains what sets Kaytoo apart from his predecessors and went into depth about the newest droid to join the Star Wars universe:

“He’s tall, to intimidate people around him… He’s sort of anthropomorphic, in that he’s got two arms, two legs and a head, you know, et cetera… But then Kaytoo has a little bit more sinister aspect in his original design because he starts off as an Imperial enforcer droid.

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It’s not the first time we’ve seen an Imperial droid…There’s the Imperial probe droid and the sort of interrogation droid that have these black shells and a kind of sinister, evil-looking character to them.”

The Imperial droids that Knoll is alluding to are the Viper droids from Empire Strikes Back that were surveying the snowy planet Hoth, in search of the insurgent Rebels. Rogue One takes place years before those events, so it makes sense within the canon how the Viper’s design could be an extension of the simpler K-2SO design.

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2The Viper Droid from The Empire Strikes Back that inspired K-2S0 visual.

Rogue One is assured to be a hit and a large part of that is attributed to familiarity of the production design. Aside from having the lovable charm of the Iron Giant, Kaytoo immediately feels like at home in the Star Wars universe. The same could be said of several characters such as Maz Kanata, BB-8, and Kylo Ren, before the release of The Force Awakens last year, which is a good omen for the upcoming spinoff.

rogue-one-empire-k-2soRogue One K-2SO cover of Empire.

While he isn’t he expected to rival R2-D2 or BB-8’s popularity, Kaytoo fits into a similar mold. However, what sets him apart is his duplicitous beginnings, whereas the other droids’ loyalties were never in question. Could his hard drive be reset? Does he have sub-directives that will complicate the mission? Regardless, the character’s presence is certain to add a layer of complexity and humor that should make for another memorable December.

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story release date: Dec 16, 2016.

Darth Maul getting a new comic book series

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Source: ScreenRant.Com

Audiences are just about one month away from the release of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, which is the first of a series of anthology films announced after Disney’s acquisition of Lucasfilm — and, of course, the first Star Wars film to be released after the record-breaking The Force Awakens. But the movies are not the only way for fans of Star Wars to get their fix. Since Disney’s acquisition of the Star Wars franchise, the company has released novels, comics, and the Star Wars Rebels television series.

Most of the recently released canonical works have taken place after the events of the Star Wars prequel series, which makes sense, as Disney looks to build the history leading up to the final two installments of the sequel trilogy, not to mention the rest of the anthology films. This could also be in response to the lack of enthusiasm towards the prequel films, which were generally ignored in The Force Awakens. And while the first of the prequel films, The Phantom Menace, is a recipient of decidedly mixed reactions, it did spawn one cool looking villain — Darth Maul.

darth_maul_phantomDarth Maul in Star Wars Episode I The Phantom Menace. 

The Sith apprentice recently returned to television in Star Wars Rebels, but to date, has not featured in any canonical works taking place prior to his appearance in The Phantom Menace. That, however, is about to change. USA Today reports that Darth Maul will appear in the Marvel Comics miniseries Star Wars: Darth Maul. The comic will debut in February, and will be written by Cullen Bunn and drawn by Luke Ross. The series is set to explore the Sith’s origins prior to appearing in Star Wars: Episode I — The Phantom Menace.

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The report states that the comic will find Maul at a point where he is training under Darth Sidious, but not yet allowed to engage with the Jedi. The series will also introduce Eldra Kaitis, a young Jedi Padawan who Maul will try and turn to the dark side. Regarding how Darth Maul will be portrayed, Bunn says he is particularly interested in the scene from The Phantom Menace where the Sith paces back and forth impatiently waiting to fight Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon Jinn. “I like seeding where that impatience and anger comes from,” the author says.

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Darth Maul in Star Wars Rebels.

As for the new Jedi Padawan, Eldra, Bunn explains that the character is someone who “has a huge impact on Maul’s life going forward.” The author adds that we will see interactions between Darth Sidious and his apprentice, saying of the former, “He’s not a very warm teacher.” Bunn is yet another author fascinated by the Star Wars characters’ conflict over darkness and light. “So a big part of the story is Darth Maul’s descent to the dark side and almost being tempted away from it.

The series will be released in February, and sounds like a must-read for fans, in particular, those of the prequel trilogy of films. Perhaps this announcement is also an indication that Disney will begin looking to explore the events of that trilogy more going forward.

Updated: New Star Wars Rogue One IMAX Poster

Source: ScreenRant

Lucasfilm has released a new Rogue One IMAX poster, which you can check out below:

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The poster naturally highlights Rogue One‘s IMAX release and, as is typical for IMAX posters, has a minimalist design. The core cast of the film appear in their now-familiar poster formation, this time flanked by X-Wings and U-Wings tearing through a white inverse of the Death Star’s outer shell.

What’s particularly noteworthy about this poster is the inclusion of Galen Erso (Mads Mikkelsen), who’s been pretty much absent from the Rogue One print campaign thus far. He take the place here of the villainous Orson Krennic (Ben Mendelsohn), which makes sense if the poster’s meant to be focusing on the film’s good guys. The IMAX poster for The Force Awakens was an iconic standout of that movie’s marketing, and it’s fair to say this one continues the trend.

Updated November 25, 2016:

Rogue One gets 3 new IMAX Posters

Source: ScreenRant

Disney/Lucasfilm’s marketing machine is currently operating at its full capacity to promote Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, the next installment in the Star Wars movie franchise – and more importantly, the first spinoff film set in a galaxy far, far away. The movie takes place just prior to the events in Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope and recounts the previously-untold story about how the Rebel Alliance got its hands on the plans to the original Death Star (those same plans that Princess Leia hid in R2-D2 during the famous opening to A New Hope). As such, most of the characters in Rogue One have never been featured in a Star Wars film before – with some noteworthy exceptions.

Darth Vader, with James Earl Jones once again providing the character with his iconic voice, appears in Rogue One in a (minor) supporting capacity, as do such characters as Bail Organa – here played by Jimmy Smits, reprising his role from the Star Wars prequel movie trilogy. Vader specifically has made a handful of notable appearances in the Rogue One marketing campaign, as has Genevieve O’Reilly as a younger Mon Mothma. By and large though, the newcomer Rebels and Imperials have taken up the spotlight throughout Rogue One‘s pre-release hype building.

So much holds true for a newly-released trio of Rogue One IMAX posters. All three of these posters have been done in a hand-drawn artwork style and zero in on the film’s main heroes and villains – though Vader does appear in one of them, too. You can check those one-sheets (along with other Rogue One posters and character one-sheets that have been released to date) out in the gallery below.

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Rogue One protagonist Jyn Erso (Felicity Jones) is pictured in all three of these new IMAX posters, along with her ragtag crew. Their ranks include: Rebel Alliance Captain Cassian Andor (Diego Luna) and his former Imperial droid companion, K-2SO (Alan Tudyk); the blind Force-sensitive warrior Chirrut Îmwe (Donnie Yen) and his loyal war buddy Baze Malbus (Jian Wen); and onetime Imperial pilot-turned Rebel ally Bodhi Rook (Riz Ahmed). Meanwhile, Vader is joined on Team Empire by Director Orson Krennic (Ben Mendelsohn), the Imperial Officer leading the charge to get the Death Star finished and operational.

Director Gareth Edwards (Godzilla) has long described his Star Warsspinoff as being a film that’s more in the vein of a WWII-style military thriller (only set in the Star Wars universe) and the proof is in the pudding, when it comes to Rogue One. The on-the-ground style of the action sequences and set pieces glimpsed in Rogue One‘s trailers and TV spots, in combination with its cast of misfit heroes, shows that the movie will look and feel different than Star Wars films past, in keeping with Edwards’ intended goal. It’s safe to say at this point that fans are excited to check out the final results for themselves, too.

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story will hit theaters on December 16, 2016.

GIF Set: Rey Meets BB-8 in The Force Awakens

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She heads off again. Finally he beeps to her – something sweet this time. That he is alone, scared, has no one else. This makes her stop. She turns and looks at him. Not liking him. But a gesture of her head says, reluctantly, “Come on.” BB-8 quickly moves to her. They head off together.

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