[UPDATED] All the New Star Wars Rogue One Info We Know

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If you’re attempting to go into Star Wars Rogue One fresh, I wish you luck. Otherwise, head on to see what Disney/Lucasfilm decided to give one outlet.

Entertainment Weekly has posted several different articles rolling out their Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (the official title no one actually wants to write out) coverage. The first big thing revealed? Darth Vader is back. To the surprise of no one. James Earl Jones will voice him once again.

“He will be in the movie sparingly,” Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy told EW, “But at a key, strategic moment, he’s going to loom large.”

The main antagonist of the story is Ben Mendelsohn’s Director Orson Krennic, an ambitious Imperial officer with Machiavellian tendencies who is eager to secure a place at the Emperor’s side. “There is a lot of palace intrigue going on in the Empire, with people conspiring to move up the ranks and sabotaging each other,” producer John Knoll says. “There’s not a lot of loyalty there.”

In other words, Krennic and Vader aren’t friends. They’re barely allies, and Krennic is understandably threatened by the Sith Lord. “Vader doesn’t really play by the rules,” says Kiri Hart, Lucasfilm’s chief of story development. “He’s present in the military structure, but he’s not beholden to it. He’s not accountable to anybody, really, except Palpatine.”

There will be more in depth features of the characters as time goes on but here’s what they had to offer on Felicity Jones’ Jyn Erso:

A streetwise delinquent who has been on her own since 15, she has fighting skills and a knowledge of the galactic underworld that the Rebel Alliance desperately needs. “She’s got a checkered past,” says Lucasfilm president and Rogue One producer Kathleen Kennedy. “She has been detained [by the Rebellion] and is being given an opportunity to be useful. And by being useful, it may commute her sentence… She’s a real survivor. She becomes a kind of Joan of Arc in the story.”

They also mention “her father, played by Mads Mikkelsen, is a scientist whose knowledge is sought by both sides.”

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On Donnie Yen’s Chirrut Imwe:

Pronounced chi-RUT, he’s no Jedi, but he’s devoted to their ways and has used his spirituality to overcome his blindness and become a formidable warrior. “Chirrut falls into the category of being a warrior monk,” says Kennedy. “He very much still believes in everything the Jedi were about.” He maintains that belief even though the Jedi are no longer there to protect the galaxy. As director Gareth Edwards puts it: “This idea that magical beings are going to come and save us is going away, and it’s up to normal, everyday people to take a stand to stop evil from dominating the world.”

Riz Ahmed’s Bodhi Rook:

Bodhi is this Rebel squad’s lead pilot. He tends to be hot-headed, but any abrasiveness is overshadowed by his skills in the air — and the void of space. “He flies a lot of cargo, one of his key jobs,” Kennedy says. “And he tends to be a little tense, a little volatile, but everybody in the group really relies on his technical skills.”

And on Diego Luna’s Captain Cassian Andor:

Andor is a by-the-book Rebel intelligence officer, brought in to steady the volatile Erso, but he’s no square. He’s committed, steady, and practical, and has seen more than his share of combat. “He conveys a fair amount of experience and the reality of what it’s like to do this every day, to try to figure out how to resist the Empire effectively and intelligently,” says Kiri Hart, Lucasfilm’s chief of story development. “It’s not easy.”

And Jiang Wen’s Baze Malbus:

Heavily armored, Baze prefers a blaster to hokey religions and ancient weapons, but he is devoted to protecting his friend Chirrut at all costs. “He understands Chirrut’s spiritual centeredness, but he doesn’t necessarily support it,” Kennedy says. Baze goes along with this Force business because “it’s what his friend deeply believes,” she adds. Think of them as a little like the galactic version of Don Quixote and Sancho Panza.

Many have been itching to find out more about Alan Tudyk’s droid K-2SO:

This towering, powerful security droid is described by Edwards as “the antithesis of C-3PO.” In other words, he’s tough, confident, not especially interested in “human/cyborg relations,” and the complete opposite of a neurotic fussbudget. “Kaytoo is a little bit like Chewbacca’s personality in a droid’s body,” Edwards says. “He doesn’t give a s— about what you think. He doesn’t fully check himself before he says things and does things. He just speaks the truth.” Like Jyn, he’s also seeking a bit of redemption for past wrongs. Droids, too, can have regret.

Fans of Star Wars: The Clone Wars may be rooting for lead character Ahsoka Tano to make her way into the new films but Saw Gerrera has beat her to it.

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Actor Forest Whitaker (in costume in the top pic) is picking up the mantle from voice actor Andrew Kishino. EW mentions it’s been at least 20 years since the character’s Clone War actions. “Consider him kind of a battered veteran who leads a band of Rebel extremists,” said Kennedy. “He’s on the fringe of the Rebel Alliance. Even [they] are a little concerned about him.”

EW has lots more to come, I’ll be updating this post as we know more.

[UPDATE] EW has posted some fresh images from Rogue One including the new Deathtroopers, Stormtroopers wading in water, and a Death Trooper with a Stormtrooper action figure?? See them all here.

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There was also another nice bit about Jyn:

Producer John Knoll, the Industrial Light & Magic VFX pioneer, came up with the plot and from the start he wanted the lead character of Jyn Erso to be a woman. “I’m a father with three daughters, and I felt it was time to have a really good, smart, resourceful, strong female character in the lead of a movie like this,” he says, before adding: “I wrote that before I saw a treatment for Episode VII, so I didn’t know about Rey.”

[UPDATE #2] EW has now posted a piece on the reshoot controversy. “I mean it was always part of the plan to do reshoots. We always knew we were coming back somewhere to do stuff. We just didn’t know what it would be until we started sculpting the film in the edit,” the director told them. “There’s lots of little things that we have to get, but it’s all little things within the preexisting footage,”

They also spoke about how the tone of the film hasn’t changed since they announced it. It will be dark but they’re also considering other angles:

Another thing they’re grappling with, Kennedy says, (and it has nothing to do with the reshoots) is whether Rogue One should incorporate some of the standard tropes of a Star Wars film, like an opening crawl, or whether it should distance itself stylistically from the “saga” trilogy films.

“We talk about that all the time. It’s something that we’re right in the midst of discussing even now, so I don’t want to say definitively what we’re doing,” she said. “The crawl and some of those elements live so specifically within the ‘saga’ films that we are having a lot of discussion about what will define the [stand-alone] Star Wars Stories separate and apart from the saga films. So we’re right in the middle of talking about that.”

[UPDATE #3] This time a small bit of info about Genevieve O’Reilly’s Mon Mothma:

“We actually see quite a bit of her,” says Kennedy (who’s kind of the Mon Mothma of Lucasfilm now). “The Rebel alliance is in disarray. Pretty panicked. Up against it. And she is trying the best she can to provide the leadership, in amongst a wide variety of Rebel soldiers that have very differing opinions as to what to do.”

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