I received a sample for this review/feature. Opinions expressed are my own.
Lucasfilm’s Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, the first of the Star Wars standalone films, has established its place within the Star Wars universe and the hearts of moviegoers, becoming the seventh highest-grossing film of all time in the U.S. Fans can own the epic action-adventure thriller — nominated for two Academy Awards — early on Digital HD and Disney Movies Anywhere on March 24th, and on Blu-ray Combo Pack, DVD and On-Demand on April 4th. Never-before-seen “Rogue One” bonus material will take fans behind the scenes with the movie’s diverse, dynamic cast and inspired team of filmmakers. An intimate collection of stories reveals how the film came to life, as well as hidden Easter Eggs and film facts that audiences may have missed in the theater.
“Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” is directed by Gareth Edwards (“Godzilla,” “Monsters”) and produced by Kathleen Kennedy, p.g.a., Allison Shearmur, p.g.a. (“The Hunger Games: Catching Fire,” “Cinderella”) and Simon Emanuel, p.g.a. (“The Dark Knight Rises”). Veteran ILM visual effects supervisor John Knoll, (“Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest) whom shares a long history with the Star Wars films, is executive producer alongside Jason McGatlin (“Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” “War of the Worlds”). The story is by John Knoll and Gary Whitta (“The Book of Eli,” “After Earth”), and the screenplay was written by Chris Weitz (“The Golden Compass,” “About a Boy”) and Tony Gilroy (“The Bourne Legacy,” “Michael Clayton”).
Felicity Jones (“The Theory of Everything,” “Like Crazy”) heads up the cast and stars opposite Diego Luna (“Milk,” “Elysium”). Joining them are Ben Mendelsohn (“Bloodline,” “Animal Kingdom”), Mads Mikkelsen (“Casino Royale,” TV’s “Hannibal”), Alan Tudyk (“Frozen,” “I, Robot”), Riz Ahmed (“Nightcrawler,” “Jason Bourne”) and Forest Whitaker (“The Last King of Scotland,” “The Butler”). The film also welcomes two of China’s biggest stars, Donnie Yen (“Ip Man,” “Blade II”) and Jiang Wen (“Let the Bullets Fly,” “The Sun Also Rises”). In addition, Anthony Daniels (“Star Wars: A New Hope,” “Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back”) reprises his role of C-3PO, marking his eighth appearance in a Star Wars film.
To create the distinctive and contemporary look of the film, Edwards chose revered cinematographer Greig Fraser (“Zero Dark Thirty,” “Foxcatcher”). Visual effects supervisors John Knoll and Mohen Leo (Marvel Studios’ “Ant-Man,” “The Martian”) team up with special effects supervisor Neil Corbould (“Black Hawk Down,” “Saving Private Ryan”) and ILM animation supervisor Hal Hickel (“Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest,” “Iron Man”). Star Wars veteran Doug Chiang (Star Wars Episodes I and II, “Forrest Gump”) and Neil Lamont (supervising art director on “The Force Awakens” and the “Harry Potter” film series) join forces as production designers, and Neal Scanlan (“Prometheus”) returns to do special creature effects, having recently worked on “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.” Additional key crew include costume designers Dave Crossman (costume supervisor on The Force Awakens and the “Harry Potter” film series) and Glyn Dillon (“The Force Awakens” and “Kingsman: The Secret Service” costume concept artist), as well as stunt coordinator Rob Inch (“The Force Awakens,” “World War Z”).
The music is by composer Michael Giacchino (“Star Trek Beyond,” “Zootopia”), with original Star Wars music by John Williams. The editors for the film are John Gilroy, ACE (“Nightcrawler,” “The Bourne Legacy”), Jabez Olssen (“The Hobbit” trilogy) and Colin Goudie (“Monsters”).
ROGUE ONE | K2SO Design
ROGUE ONE | Cardboard K2SO Head
Bonus features include (Digital bonus offerings may vary by retailer):
- A Rogue Idea – Hear how ILM’s John Knoll came up with the movie’s concept – and why it’s the right film to launch the Star Wars stand-alone films.
- Jyn: The Rebel – Get to know Rogue One’s defiant, resourceful survivor, and hear what it was like for Felicity Jones to bring her to life onscreen.
- Cassian: The Spy – Diego Luna shares insights into his complex, driven character, who becomes a hero through selflessness, perseverance and passion.
- K-2SO: The Droid – Explore the development of this reprogrammed Imperial droid, from initial pitch and character design through Alan Tudyk’s performance.
- Baze & Chirrut: Guardians of the Whills – Go deeper into the relationship between these two very different characters, with Chinese superstars Jiang Wen and Donnie Yen.
- Bodhi & Saw: The Pilot & The Revolutionary – Forest Whitaker and Riz Ahmed reflect on Saw Gerrera, the broken Rebel leader, and Bodhi Rook, the Imperial pilot who defects.
- The Empire – Meet a dangerous new Imperial adversary…and cross paths once more with the most iconic villain of all time.
- Visions of Hope: The Look of “Rogue One” – The filmmakers describe the challenges and thrills of developing a bold new look for the movie that can fit within the world of the original trilogy.
- The Princess & The Governor – See what it took to bring the vibrant young princess of “Star Wars: A New Hope” – as well as one of her most memorable foes– – back to the screen.
- Epilogue: The Story Continues – Filmmakers and cast celebrate Rogue One’s premiere and look forward into the future, to the Star Wars stories yet to be told.
- Rogue Connections – Uncover Easter eggs and film facts hidden throughout the movie that connect “Rogue One” to the Star Wars universe.
FEATURE RUN TIME: Approximately 133 minutes
RATING: PG-13 in U.S.