• Mattie Stu

Star Wars Top 10: Rogue One Facts!

We are just over one week away from the release of Rogue One, and I for one cannot wait. So, while we countdown to the special day itself, let’s check out the most interesting facts and trivia surrounding the first in a line of massively hyped Star Wars spin-off movies – Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.

Number 10. The First Anthology Film

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is the first of many planned spin-off Star Wars films. The other two so far are the Han Solo standalone movie, set to be released May 25, 2018, and a yet untitled project that will hit cinema screens in 2020. Each spin-off will bridge the gap between the new trilogy movies, so Episodes VII, VIII and IX. This means that we will have a new Star Wars film every year up until at least 2020. But there may well be more if the anthology films are successful, meaning it’s imperative for Rogue One to exceed expectations, or at least deliver a solid product.

Number 09. The Power of Social Media

Star Wars super fan Neil Hanvey couldn’t wait to watch Rogue One. Unfortunately, he was terminally-ill and sadly would not live to see the movie in theatres. However, his last wish to view Rogue One early was granted following a huge social media campaign. Rogue One’s creators allowed him to watch a special preview version of the film, as a result. Neil passed away at the age of 36.

Number 08. Possibly no Opening Crawl

What’s more iconic than the opening text of: “A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away”? Of course, it’s the screen crawl. Every Star Wars movie uses this storytelling device to begin proceedings, informing the audience of the events which took place prior to the film’s beginning. However, Rogue One may forgo the screen crawl entirely. The reason for this is due to the opening crawl’s association with the main saga, according to Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy:

“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.”

Unfortunately for us Star Wars fans, Kathleen has since further alluded to the decision to remove the iconic opening crawl:

“Initially, we probably will begin the film in a way that is traditional, with just the title.”

Do you agree with this decision? Let me know in the comments below.

Number 07. Tone Change

Rogue One has been labelled as both a “war film” and a “heist film”, and already feels really gritty and darker than most of its predecessors. As a result, Disney funded expensive reshoots in the summer to supposedly:

“lighten the mood, bring some levity into the story and restore a sense of fun to the adventure”.

Despite this, however, Rogue One will continue to be only the third Star Wars movie rated PG-13.

Number 06. Unfamiliar Music

Just as Rogue One will be the first gritty heist movie set in the galaxy far, far away, it will also be the first Star Wars film not to be scored by John Williams. Instead, Michael Giacchino will provide the movie’s music, replacing Alexandre Desplat. This decision was made after the reshoots altered the post-production schedule. Consequently, Giacchino only had four and a half weeks to compose the score, beginning the task almost immediately after his work on Doctor Strange.

Number 05. No Obi-Wan or C-3PO

It’s not only John Williams who will miss out on Rogue One, both C-3PO and Obi-Wan Kenobi are set to sit this out, also. The two characters, needless to say, are hugely important fan favourites, who have both featured in every single Star Wars film to date. However, it’s not the end of the world, it is time to showcase a new generation of heroes, after all.

Number 04. Tough Competition

Rogue One’s main character, Jyn Erso, is portrayed by Felicity Jones. The role was not easily granted to her, though, as she faced tough competition from the likes of Tatiana Maslany, Rooney Mara and Kate Mara. The character’s name is thought to be a reference to Jan Ors, a character in 1995’s Star Wars: Dark Forces. During its first mission, she and Kyle Katarn teamed together to capture the Death Star’s plans.

Number 03. 10 Years in the Making

The visual effects supervisor for the prequel trilogy, John Knoll, originally pitched the film’s idea around ten years before its development. But unwilling to abandon the intriguing plot, he once more pitched the idea following Disney’s acquisition of the franchise in 2012. Disney really liked the idea, and so now we have Rogue One.

Number 02. Gareth Edwards is a Huge Star Wars Fan

You know how J.J. Abrams is a huge Star Wars fan, which translated into The Force Awakens being awesome? Well, Gareth Edwards, the director of Rogue One, is also a massive fan of the sci-fi saga, going as far as to say:

"Ever since I saw Star Wars I knew exactly what I wanted to do for the rest of my life - join the Rebel Alliance! I could not be more excited & honoured to go on this mission with Lucasfilm."

In addition to this, George Lucas is said to have watched and liked Rogue One. So, it’s safe to say the movie was placed in the right hands!

Honourable Mentions

Before we uncover the number one spot, let’s take a look at some honourable mentions!

Honourable Mention Number 01.

Rogue One is set to ship to theatres under the name “The Alamo”.

Honourable Mention Number 02.

Rogue One will mark the first time a character originating from an animated series has made the jump to live action. The character in question is Saw Gerrera, who made his debut in the Clone Wars cartoon.

Honourable Mention Number 03.

Principal photography on the film began at Elstree Studios during August 2015 in Hertfordshire, England. It was shot using Arri Alexa 65 cameras and Ultra Panavision 70 lenses.

Honourable Mention Number 04.

It’s no secret that Darth Vader will appear in Rogue One. But what you may not know is that James Earl Jones has returned to once more voice the iconic villain.

Number 01. Massive Hype

To some people, Rogue One doesn’t seem as big of a deal as The Force Awakens. Oh, how they are wrong! Within just twenty-four hours of the presale for tickets, the anthology film outsold 2016 blockbusters such as Suicide Squad, Deadpool and Doctor Strange. What’s more, while Fandango claim they sold hundreds of thousands of tickets within minutes of going on sale, and huge traffic crashing a number of websites, Imax report that Rogue One is their second-highest day of presales, only behind its big cousin – The Force Awakens. If those statistics weren’t crazy enough, North American box office projections have the film grossing $100–150 million in its opening weekend. The hype is real!

So, there we have it, the top 10 Rogue One facts. Did any surprise you? And did you struggle at all purchasing tickets? Let me know in the comments below.

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