One: A Star Wars Story, or simply Rogue One, is a 2016 American
science fiction film directed by Gareth Edwards and written by Chris
Weitz and Tony Gilroy, based on a story by John Knoll and Gary
Whitta. It was produced by Lucasfilm and distributed by Walt Disney
Studios Motion Pictures. It is the first installment of the Star Wars
Anthology series, set immediately before the events of the original
Star Wars film. The cast includes Felicity Jones, Diego Luna, Riz
Ahmed, Ben Mendelsohn, Donnie Yen, Mads Mikkelsen, Alan Tudyk, Jiang
Wen and Forest Whitaker. Rogue One follows a group of rebels on a
mission to steal the plans for the Death Star, the Galactic Empire's superweapon.
Based on an idea first pitched by Knoll
ten years before it entered development, the film was made to be
different in tone and style from the traditional Star Wars films,
including omitting the conventional opening crawl. Principal
photography on the film began at Elstree Studios near London during
early August 2015 and wrapped in February 2016. The film went through
extensive reshoots and additional filming in mid-June 2016, with
Gilroy joining for these. The film premiered in Los Angeles on
December 10th, 2016, and was released in the United States on
December 16th, 2016.
Rogue One received generally positive
reviews, with praise for its acting, action sequences, musical score,
and darker tone, although some criticism was directed at the
characterization and the film's use of computer-generated imagery to
recreate the likenesses of some actors. The film has grossed over $1
billion worldwide, making it the second highest-grossing film of 2016
and 22nd overall unadjusted for inflation. It received two Academy
Awards nominations for Best Sound Mixing and Best Visual Effects.
Rogue One is set between the films Star
Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith and Star Wars: Episode IV A New
Hope, during the Age of the Empire. The film revolves around a group
of resistance fighters who unite to steal the plans to the Death
Star, the Galactic Empire's deep space mobile battle station that is
capable of destroying entire planets. The theft of the plans was
first referenced in the opening crawl of A New Hope, which described
the event as the Rebel Alliance's "first victory against the
evil Galactic Empire." The crawl further states that,
"During the battle, Rebel spies managed to steal secret
plans" to the Death Star. The opening scenes of A New Hope deal
with that battle's aftermath, with Princess Leia Organa of Alderaan
fleeing from the Empire with the plans in order to deliver them to
the Rebel Alliance. The Death Star is ultimately destroyed in A New
Hope after the princess and her companions, Luke Skywalker, Han Solo,
Chewbacca, and the droids R2-D2 and C-3PO, deliver the plans to the
Rebellion and a weakness in the station is discovered.
The title Rogue One refers to a callsign,
but is also intended as a pun, as the film is the first canon
live-action film that is not part of the saga and is therefore the
"rogue" one. Unlike the previous live-action films, Rogue
One does not revolve around the Jedi. Rather, the film is about a
group of people who do not have the ability to use the Force and have
to find a way to bring hope to a galaxy ruled by the Empire. Also
unlike the original trilogy, which provided a black and white view of
good and evil, Edwards stated at Celebration Anaheim that Rogue One
"is gray" and that the film could be described as
"Real...This is a real place that we're really in..."
Finally, unlike all other Star Wars shows and movies (including Star
Wars: The Clone Wars and Star Wars: Rebels) it does not feature the
traditional Star Wars title crawl, further asserting itself as the
Producer Kathleen Kennedy explained that
the stand-alone films would not cross over with the films of the
sequel trilogy, stating: George was so clear as to how that works.
The canon that he created was the Star Wars saga. Right now, Episode
VII falls within that canon. The spinoff movies, or we may come up
with some other way to call those films, they exist within that vast
universe that he created. There is no attempt being made to carry
characters (from the stand-alone films) in and out of the saga
episodes. Consequently, from the creative standpoint, it's a roadmap
that George made pretty clear.
Knoll, visual effects supervisor for the Star Wars prequel trilogy,
first pitched the idea for the film 10 years before its development;
after the Disney acquisition he felt as if he had to pitch it again
or forever wonder "what might've happened if I had".
In May 2014, Disney announced that Gareth
Edwards would direct the film and Gary Whitta would write the script.
Cinematographer Greig Fraser revealed in October that he would work
on the film.
In January 2015, it was revealed that
Whitta had completed his work on the script, and would no longer be
with the project and that Simon Kinberg was considered as a
replacement. Later in the month, it was announced that Chris Weitz
had signed to write the script for the film and by March 2015, the
title was announced. Edwards stated that the style of the film would
be similar to that of a war film, stating, "It's the reality of
war. Good guys are bad. Bad guys are good. It's complicated, layered;
a very rich scenario in which to set a movie."
In January 2015, The Hollywood Reporter
stated that numerous actresses, including Tatiana Maslany, Rooney
Mara, and Felicity Jones were being tested for the film's lead. In
February 2015, it was announced that Jones was in final talks to star
in the film, while Aaron Paul and Édgar Ramírez were
being eyed for the male lead role. In Jones was officially cast in
March 2015 and in May, Ben Mendelsohn, Riz Ahmed, and Diego Luna were
added to the cast in the lead roles. Forest Whitaker joined the cast
in June 2015, and in July, Jonathan Aris was cast to play Senator
Jebel. Model Eunice Olumide revealed she had a part in the film the
following February and Genevieve O'Reilly was cast as Mon Mothma,
reprising her role from Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the
Sith. James Earl Jones was confirmed to return as the voice of Darth
Vader in June 2016.
CAST OF CHARACTERS
Felicity Jones as Jyn Erso
The young renegade woman who is detained
for her crimes against the Empire until she is freed by the Rebel
Alliance. She has used many aliases during her life such as Lianna
Hallik, Tanith Pontha, and Kestrel Dawn, while her father
affectionately calls her "Stardust". Beau and Dolly Gadsdon
play the young Jyn Erso at different points in her life.
Diego Luna as Cassian Andor
Rebel Alliance Captain and Intelligence officer.
Ben Mendelsohn as Orson Krennic
Director of Advanced Weapons Research for
the Imperial Military.
Donnie Yen as Chirrut Imwe
A Zatoichi-esque blind warrior who
believes in the Force. He is said to be one of the Guardians of the
Whills. The studio had only two choices to play Chirrut: Donnie Yen
and Jet Li. Yen was approached first because of his salary of $4
million against Li's $10 million. To gauge his interest and as a
secondary plan, director Gareth Edwards also offered him the other
role of Baze. Yen expressed interest in playing Chirrut but was
hesitant in accepting it, because it required him to be away in
London for five months. However, it was his young son's love of the
Star Wars films and comics that wore down his reluctance, and it was
his idea to make his character blind.
Mads Mikkelsen as Galen Erso
Jyn's father and a research scientist.
Alan Tudyk as K-2SO
A Rebel-owned Imperial enforcer droid who
was reprogrammed by Cassian Andor. Alan Tudyk played pilot Hoban
"Wash" Washburne in the TV series Firefly (2002) and its
feature film sequel Serenity (2005). The Star Wars movies were one of
Joss Whedon's influences behind Firefly/Serenity. The series was
about a crew of former galactic war veterans turned space pirates
doing legal or illegal jobs as they try to make a living and whilst
evading an interplanetary government. The droid K-2SO can be heard
saying the classical Star Wars phrase "I have a bad feeling
about this" while entering the train towards the imperial base
with Jyn Erso and Cassian Andor. The phrase is first uttered by Luke
Skywalker in Episode IV and then again by Han Solo, Princess Leia,
C-3PO, Obi-Wan Kenobi, and Anakin Skywalker in all of the other Star
During the production of Rogue One, Tudyk
had a chance to meet Anthony Daniels (C-3PO) and compared notes on
their respective droid experiences. On an appearance on Conan, Tudyk
recounted that Daniels "went on about the suit that he had to
wear, and that originally they put screws in my head and they
closed it, and he had to be on this thing. He said wait a
minute, are you wearing an actual robot costume or are they doing it
in motion capture?'" According to Tudyk, he confirmed that K-2SO
was a motion capture performance, to which Daniels responded,
"you shit." Tudyk ran into Daniels again during the Rogue
One premiere and asked Daniels to tell him how he did as a droid
after the screening was over. "I saw him at the party
afterwards, and he came up and said, F*ck you. And
thats one of the best compliments I got!"
Riz Ahmed as Bodhi Rook
A former Imperial cargo pilot who defects
to the Rebels under the influence of Galen.
Jiang Wen as Baze Malbus
A Rebel warrior, mercenary and longtime
companion of Chirrut Îmwe.
Forest Whitaker as Saw Gerrera
A veteran of the Clone Wars and a friend
of the Erso family who had mentored Jyn in her later childhood years.
James Earl Jones as Darth Vader
Jones reprises his role from previous
films as the voice of Darth Vader, who is physically portrayed by
Spencer Wilding and Daniel Naprous, replacing David Prowse who played
the role in the original films. Darth Vader is first shown living in
a castle-like fortress that appears to be built on an active volcano.
This is based on an unused concept created by Ralph McQuarrie after
Star Wars (1977) was filmed but before the plot of Star Wars: Episode
V - The Empire Strikes Back (1980) was developed. The planet is
Mustafar, the place where Anakin Skywalker made his final
transformation into Vader (and where his body became extensively
injured) in Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith (2005).
Grand Moff Tarkin and Princess Leia Organa
Tarkin and Leia are played by Guy Henry
and Ingvild Deila, respectively, with the digital likenesses of Peter
Cushing and Carrie Fisher superimposed. Henry also provides the voice
for Tarkin, while archival audio of Fisher is used for Leia. Carrie
Fisher (the original Princess Leia) passed away over a week after the
film's cinema release in the United States. She was able to see the
film before her death and reportedly squealed with joy at seeing the
younger version of herself at the end of the movie.
Henry previously played Sherlock Holmes in
Young Sherlock: The Mystery of the Manor House (1982) during the
1980s, using Cushing's role in Sherlock Holmes (1964) as his model.
The highly ranked Imperial officer Tarkin was designated in Star Wars
promotional materials as "Grand Moff Tarkin," but in the
film Star Wars (1977) he was named only as "Governor
Tarkin." He was called that by Princess Leia when she was
brought to his presence. In this film he is again referred to as
"Governor Tarkin." The title "Moff," which
according to printed materials is a kind of Admiral, has never been
spoken in Star Wars live action movies. Printed sources beginning in
the late 1980s gave Tarkin the first name Wilhuff, which has also
never been spoken on film.
When Leia appears, it continues the
tradition of at least one "Skywalker" character appearing
in each movie's closing shot before the credits. Anakin appears in
Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace (1999) and Star Wars:
Episode II - Attack of the Clones (2002). Luke appears as a baby in
Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith (2005), later as an
adult (with Leia) in Star Wars (1977), Star Wars: Episode V - The
Empire Strikes Back (1980), and Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the
Jedi (1983) and alone in Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens (2015).
Angus MacInnes and Drewe Henley are
featured as Gold Leader Dutch Vander and Red Leader Garven Dreis,
respectively, via unused footage from A New Hope; MacInnes returned
to record new dialogue for Vander and Henley's new dialogue was
assembled from archival material as Henley had died.
David Ankrum, who voiced Wedge Antilles in
A New Hope, reprises his role in a vocal cameo. Ian McElhinney,
Michael Smiley, Andy de la Tour and Tim Beckmann play General Jan
Dodonna, Dr. Evazan, General Hurst Romodi and Captain Raymus
Antilles, respectively. Warwick Davis plays Weeteef Cyubee, a member
of Saw Gerrera's Partisans. Jimmy Smits, Genevieve O'Reilly, and
Anthony Daniels reprise their roles from previous films as Bail
Organa, Mon Mothma, and C-3PO, respectively. The appearance of
Anthony Daniels as C-3PO makes him the only actor to appear in every
movie in the series thus far.
Additionally, Alistair Petrie plays
General Davits Draven, Ben Daniels plays General Antoc Merrick, and
Valene Kane plays Lyra Erso, Jyn's mother. Jonathan Aris, Fares Fares
and Sharon Duncan-Brewster appear as Senators Nower Jebel, Vasp
Vaspar, and Tynnra Pamlo, respectively. Simon Farnaby plays a member
of Blue Squadron. Jonathan Stephens appears as Rebel Alliance member
Corporal Tonc. Nick Kellington plays Bistan, the door gunner on a
U-wing during the battle on Scarif. Ian Whyte plays Moroff, a member
of Saw Gerrera's Partisans. Rian Johnson and Ram Bergman, director
and producer of Star Wars: The Last Jedi, respectively, have a cameo
as two Death Star technicians. Richard Franklin plays one of the
Death Star engineers.
Principal photography on the film began at
Elstree Studios, in Hertfordshire, on August 8th, 2015. Much of the
other photography was completed at or near Pinewood Studios at
Buckinghamshire, England where huge sets were built to complement
scenes filmed elsewhere in the world. The film was shot using Ultra
Panavision 70 lenses with Arri Alexa 65 large format digital 6K cameras.
Filming locations were used around the
world. In Iceland, the crew shot in Reynisfjara, and around the
mountains of Hjörleifshöfði and Hafursey at
Mýrdalssandur, which were used to represent Lah'mu and Eadu.
Also used were the Krafla area with its volcanic crater and around
Lake Mývatn's rock formations. The islands of Gan and
Baresdhoo of the Laamu Atoll in the Maldives, as well as RAF
Bovingdon, were used to represent Scarif. Wadi Rum in Jordan was used
to represent Jedha. Pymmes Park in Edmonton, London was also used for
location filming, and scenes set on Yavin 4 were filmed at RAF
Cardington. Gareth Edwards selected the London Underground's Canary
Wharf station as a location for a chase scene in an Imperial base;
the location shoot took place between midnight and 4 am, when the
station was closed to the public.
film spent a total of $265 million and received a $45 million
subsidy from the United Kingdom's film incentive program. On February
11th, 2016, Disney executives stated that the film was "virtually
completed". Several weeks of pre-scheduled reshoots began in mid-June
2016. In August 2016, The Hollywood Reporter wrote that Tony Gilroy
had spearheaded the reshoots, in lieu of Edwards, and that Gilroy
would have just as much say in the final cut of the film as Edwards.
Gilroy was initially brought on in order to retool the ending of the
film, which was not coming together as hoped, under Edwards's
direction. Fearing that Disney would require the survival of at least
some of the new characters, an alternate, happier ending was
conceived with characters Jyn and Cassian escaping the destruction of
Scarif; when it became apparent that Disney would accept the deaths
of those characters, the producers opted for the more tragic ending
they had envisioned. At least some footage from the unused ending was
produced and made it into early trailers.
Industrial Light & Magic (ILM)
produced the film's visual effects. ILM used CGI and digitally
altered archive footage to insert Peter Cushing's likeness over the
body of actor Guy Henry. Lucasfilm secured permission from the late
actor's estate to include him in the film. The team reportedly
searched through countless hours of Cushing footage in order to find
suitable material to build from, then Henry provided the motion
capture and voice work with the reference material augmented and
mapped over his performance like a digital body mask. Cushing's
family were heavily involved with the creation and had input right
down to "small, subtle adjustments". Cushing's mannerisms,
including his manner of speaking and facial tics, were studied by the
visual effects artists and applied to the digital Tarkin. A similar
process was used in the portrayal of Princess Leia; Carrie Fisher's
appearance as Leia in the first film was superimposed over Norwegian
actress Ingvild Deila's face and archival audio of Fisher saying
"Hope" was used to voice the character.
The space battle features the Blue
Squadron of X-wings (as well as Red Squadron and Gold Squadron
already known from the original Star Wars (1977)). Blue Squadron was
supposed to be in the original film, but because the blue color on
the fighters created issues with the blue screen technique that could
not be overcome with the technology available in 1977, the color was
changed to Red. Gareth Edwards and his creative team discovered some
old film canisters while rummaging around the Lucasfilm warehouses.
When he asked what they were, an employee said they were old Star
Wars (1977) footage. The discovery led to the inclusion of unused
Episode IV material featuring Red Leader and Gold Leader in this movie.
Post-production wrapped on November 28, 2016.
Alexandre Desplat, who had worked with
Edwards on the Godzilla reboot, was originally to serve as composer
for the film. Desplat commented that "[Edwards and I] had a
great partnership on Godzilla, and I can't wait to be starting with
him. It will be in a few weeks from now, and it is very exciting and
frightening at the same time because it's such a legendary project.
To be called to come after John Williams... it's a great challenge
for me." However, in September 2016, it was announced that
Michael Giacchino would be replacing Desplat as composer, after the
film's reshoots altered the post-production schedule, and reportedly
left Desplat no longer available.
only had four and a half weeks to compose the music for the film,
beginning almost immediately after finishing production on Doctor
Strange. In an interview with Entertainment Weekly in November 2016,
Giacchino stated: "It is a film that is in many ways a really
great World War II movie, and I loved that about it. But it also has
this huge, huge heart at the center of it, and that was the one thing
I just didn't want to discount. Yes, it's an action movie, and it's a
Star Wars film, and it has all the things that you would come to
expect and love about that, but I didn't want to forget that it was
also an incredibly emotional movie as well. That was what really
pulled me in."
Giacchino incorporated John Williams'
themes from previous films into the score and the official soundtrack
was released by Walt Disney Records on December 16th, 2016. This is
the 2nd time composer Giacchino has composed the score for a film in
a series whose popular theme music had been compsed by John Williams.
The first was "Jurassic World" (2015) from the
"Jurassic Park" franchise.
Costume designer David Crossman stated
that some of the original costumes used in Star Wars (1977), Star
Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back (1980) and Star Wars:
Episode VI - Return of the Jedi (1983) were reused for Rogue One.
Darth Vader's appearance in this film is
meticulously patterned after his look in the original "Star
Wars". Whilst Vader's chest plate is uncovered in later
installments, his costume initially had his Sith robes draped over
his shield, as well as red lenses in the eye holes of the mask.
Considering this film takes place mere days before the original film,
the costume designers recreated Vader's look down to the detail.
Rogue One premiered at the Pantages
Theatre in Los Angeles on December 10th, 2016 (shipped to theaters
under the name "Los Alamos.") and was released in certain
European countries on December 14th, 2016, and in North America on
December 16th, with China getting the film on January 6th, 2017.
Promotion of Rogue One was initially
delayed by the release of the film Mission: Impossible Rogue
Nation in July 2015, because the titles are similar. Paramount
Pictures registered and cleared the MI title with the Motion Picture
Association of America in January 2015, well before Disney announced
the title of its forthcoming Star Wars spinoff. Disney and Lucasfilm
had to reach an agreement with Paramount over promotion in order to
avoid any confusion in the public mind. Disney agreed to embargo
promotion on Rogue One until after mid-2015, with the exception of a
very short teaser which was screened at Star Wars Celebration in
Anaheim that year.
teaser trailer for Rogue One, released by Lucasfilm on April 7th,
2016, was praised by reviewers for its portrayal of strong female
characters. The Daily Telegraph described Jyn Erso's character as
"a roguish, Han Solo-style heroine", calling the film
"progressive", while noting its painstaking faithfulness to
the production design style of the original Star Wars trilogy. The
Hollywood Reporter also noted the visual nods to the original
trilogy, and examined the film's possible narrative direction,
considering that the outcome is to some extent already revealed in
the opening crawl of A New Hope. The Atlantic writer David Sims
stated that the trailer brought "back some memorable pieces of
architecture, from the lumbering AT-AT walkers to the Death Star
itself, not to mention the glorious 70s costuming of Star Wars."
He added that the trailer has "the look", blending the old
with the new. The trailer was viewed close to 30 million times in its
first 29 hours, at a rate of 800,000 views per hour, from Facebook
and YouTube, which is 200,000 views shy of what the first teaser
trailer for Star Wars: The Force Awakens was receiving in November 2014.
In June 2016, Rogue One was promoted at
the Star Wars Celebration Europe III event in London. During the
event, a new official poster was unveiled, which depicts a battle
taking place on the tropical planet Scarif, with the Death Star
looming large in a blue sky, above which is printed the tagline
"A Rebellion Built on Hope". A second teaser trailer was
also unveiled, screened exclusively for the Celebration audience, and
not streamed online. This new trailer was reviewed favorably by
critics; The Daily Telegraph noted that the trailer revealed new
locations such as the planets Jedha and Scarif, and that its most
significant revelation came in the final seconds of the teaser, with
the appearance of Darth Vader, reflected in a computer screen and
accompanied by his classic breathing sound effect. Variety also
hailed the Vader reveal, and noted that the emphasis of the
production was much more on the kinetic depiction of large battle
sequences and full-on warfare, comparing it to Francis Ford Coppola's
1979 Vietnam War epic Apocalypse Now. A showreel was also shown
during the event, which featured footage from the film, cut with
behind-the-scenes shots and interviews with the director and cast
members. The second trailer was shown publicly during a broadcast of
the 2016 Summer Olympics and received favourable media reviews; Wired
stated that the trailer was "littered with nostalgic throwbacks
to the original trilogy", while Rolling Stone described the CGI
landscape shots seen in the footage as "eye-poppingly gorgeous".
further trailer released in October 2016 prompted the Hollywood
Reporter to comment that the newly revealed footage looked like
"a trailer to a different movie than the one advertised
earlier", remarking that Jyn Erso appeared to be portrayed as a
more vulnerable character, and highlighting the appearance of Galen
Erso as a protective father figure. Vanity Fair also commented on the
emphasis given to Jyn's relationship with her father, suggesting that
Rogue One was drawing on "the Star Wars franchise's greatest
natural resource: daddy issues".
The film's publicity tour would begin in
Mexico on November 23nd, 2016.
A downloadable expansion pack was released
for the video game Star Wars Battlefront, titled Rogue One: Scarif,
that allows players the ability to play through the various
locations, characters and set pieces from the planet introduced in
Rogue One. A free virtual reality mission for PlayStation 4 was also
released alongside the expansion. Several characters and concepts
from the film were also included in Star Wars: Force Arena, while the
film's Death Troopers appeared in the season three finale of Star
In Asia, Disney focused marketing efforts
on Donnie Yen, where his individual poster is used for marketing in
territories including Japan, Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand, Hong
Kong, China, Vietnam and Malaysia. The official Star Wars Facebook
page of the respective Asian countries also featured clips and videos
of Donnie Yen speaking various languages, greeting fans and telling
them to support Rogue One. In addition, Disney also released various
versions of international trailers with more footage of Yen.
tie-in novel to the film, Catalyst: A Rogue One Novel, was released
on November 15th, 2016. Written by veteran Star Wars novelist James
Luceno, the story is set some years before the events of Rogue One,
and provides a backstory to the 2016 film. The film's novelization
was written by Alexander Freed, and was released on December 16th,
2016. Three months later Rogue One was released on Digital HD on
March 24th, 2017, and on Blu-ray and DVD on April 4th, 2017.
In late November 2016, box office
projections for the United States and Canada had the film grossing
$100150 million during its opening weekend. Disney chairman Bob
Iger noted that Disney and Lucasfilm did not expect Rogue One to
match The Force Awakens' total gross of $2.1 billion, nor its $248
million opening. Pre-sale tickets for the film went on sale at 12:01
AM EST on November 28, 2016. Within 10 minutes, ticket sale sites
such as Fandango crashed, much like The Force Awakens had the year
prior. In its first 24 hours, the film had the second-highest amount
of pre-sale tickets ever sold, behind only The Force Awakens.
In the United States, the film made $29
million from its Thursday night previews, making it the highest
grossing Thursday opening of 2016. On Friday, the film earned $71.1
million, earning the 12th highest grossing opening day of all-time.
The film grossed $46.3 million on Saturday, securing a total of
$155.1 million in its opening weekend, the third biggest debut of 2016.
It topped the box office once again in its
second weekend, grossing $64 million (down 58.7%) over the three day
weekend, and $96.1 million over the four day weekend. On Christmas
Day, it grossed $25.9 million. It finished first at the box office
again in its third weekend, grossing $49.6 million (-22.5%) over the
three day weekend and $65.5 million over the four day weekend,
becoming the seventh film of 2016 to top the box office three times,
following Deadpool, Zootopia, The Jungle Book, Finding Dory, Suicide
Squad, and Moana. In its fourth weekend, Sunday projections had the
film grossing $22 million, besting newcomer Hidden Figures' $21.8
million. However, final figures the following day revealed the film
tallied a weekend total of $21.9 million, falling to second place
behind Hidden Figures' $22.8 million.
Rogue One grossed a total of $532.2
million in the United States and Canada and $523.8 million in other
countries for a worldwide total of $1.056 billion. On January 21,
2017, the film became Disney's fourth movie of 2016 to earn $1
billion in ticket sales, joining Captain America: Civil War, Zootopia
and Finding Dory. It is the second highest-grossing film of 2016, the
second highest-grossing Star Wars film, and the 22nd highest-grossing
film of all time, all unadjusted for inflation. It is also the third
Star Wars film to gross over $1 billion worldwide, following The
Phantom Menace and The Force Awakens. In the United States, it was
the top-grossing film of 2016. Deadline.com calculated the net profit
of the film to be $319.6 million, when factoring together all
expenses and revenues for the film, making it the 3rd most profitable
release of 2016.
One received generally positive reviews from critics. On Rotten
Tomatoes the film has an approval rating of 85% and the site's
critical consensus reads, "Rogue One draws deep on Star Wars
mythology while breaking new narrative and aesthetic ground - and
suggesting a bright blockbuster future for the franchise." On
Metacritic, the film has a score 65 out of 100 indicating
"generally favorable reviews". Audiences polled by
CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "A" on an A+
to F scale.
IGN reviewer Eric Goldman gave the film 9/10,
saying, "Rogue One is a movie crammed with fan service, but
when fan service is done this well, there's little to complain about
and much to adore." Peter Travers of Rolling Stone gave the film
3.5 out of 4 stars, writing, "this spin-off/prequel has the same
primitive, lived-in, emotional, loopy, let's-put-on-a-show spirit
that made us fall in love with the original trilogy." PopMatters
wrote, "Rogue One seems to enjoy spending time on a whole new
batch of moons and planets we haven't seen before, reveling in the
clutter and clamor of far-flung settlements where anti-Imperial
sentiments fester. But the film is bogged down in engineering the
complex maneuverings of spy games, dogfights, and the most sprawling
Rebel-versus-Empire land battle scene since the opening of The Empire
Strikes Back." Justin Chang, writing for the Los Angeles Times,
called Rogue One "a swiftly paced, rough-and-ready entertainment."
The New York Times wrote, "All the
pieces are there, in other words, like Lego figures in a box. The
problem is that the filmmakers haven't really bothered to think of
anything very interesting to do with them. A couple of 9-year-olds on
a screen-free rainy afternoon would come up with better adventures,
and probably also better dialogue." Richard Brody of The New
Yorker called the film "lobotomized and
"depersonalized", and wrote it "isn't so much a movie
as a feature-length promotional film for itself; it's a movie that is
still waiting to be made." The Washington Post wrote "Rogue
One represents an unobjectionable exercise in franchise extension.
It's fine. It'll do. For now."
Bradshaw, film critic of The Guardian says "Rogue One doesn't
really go rogue at any stage, and it isn't a pop culture event like
The Force Awakens, in whose slipstream this appears; part of its
charm resides in the eerie, almost dreamlike effect of continually
producing familiar elements, reshuffled and reconfigured, a reaching
back to the past and hinting at a preordained future. There are some
truly spectacular cameos from much-loved personae, involving
next-level digital effects almost creepily exact, so that
watching feels at various stages like going into a time machine, back
to the 80s and 70s".
Rogue One introduced many new characters
into the Star Wars mythology, but most critics and general audiences
have pointed out that Chirrut Îmwe, played by actor Donnie Yen,
and K2SO, played by Alan Tudyk, were the highlights and stole the
movie. Donnie Yen's performance, in particular, was also applauded by
audiences worldwide. In an official poll on the Star Wars webpage
opened in May 2017, which more 30,000 people voted, Chirrut Îmwe
was voted as audiences' favorite Rogue One character.
While much of the computer-generated
imagery (CGI) received plaudits, some news organizations published
criticism about certain aspects, including the visual effects (VFX)
that were used to revive Peter Cushing, who died in 1994, as Grand
Moff Tarkin. The Guardian's Catherine Shoard, described the
"resurrection" as a "digital indignity". Joseph
Walsh of The Guardian raised legal and ethical issues about bringing
a long-dead actor to life. However, Lucasfilm had obtained permission
from Peter Cushing's estate before deciding to use his likeness. The
Washington Times's Eric Althoff rejected the entire concept of using
CGI to recreate a deceased actor: "Alas, what we get is,
basically, not a simulation, but an approximation of a simulation - a
dead character portrayed by a living actor inhabiting not the
character, but imitating the dead actor."
Pictured below: Peter Cushing playing
Grand Moff Tarkin in the original Star Wars (left) and his Rogue One
CGI counterpart (right).
Some journalists also criticized the
quality of the CGI that was to represent a younger Carrie Fisher in
order to portray Princess Leia at an earlier time, as well as its
suitability in movie-making. Eliana Dockterman of Time wrote that
"there was something particularly plastic about this version of
the young Carrie Fisher, so smooth and so perfect it couldn't be
real, that pulled me out of the moment." Kelly Lawler of USA
Today said: "...while Tarkin is merely unnerving, the Leia cameo
is so jarring as to take the audience completely out of the film at
its most emotional moment. Leia's appearance was meant to help the
film end on a hopeful note (quite literally, as 'hope' is her line),
but instead it ends on a weird and unsettling one." (We were
thrilled to see Leia at the end of the movie and if the truth be
told, got a little verklempt.)
Who's On First?
Rouge One featured a number of
"firsts" in a Star Wars film...
This is the first Star Wars film in which
no one mentions the name "Skywalker."
The first Star Wars movie to not feature a
Lightsaber battle between two or more characters.
first live-action, theatrical Star Wars movie to not include a Jedi
as a main character. Darth Vader, who is a Sith and ex-Jedi, is a
The first (and only to date) Star Wars
film without any transition wipes.
The first theatrical Star Wars film to
have dialogue in the closing scene.
This is the first live action Star Wars
movie to not use scrolling text "crawl" at the opening of
the movie. The animated film Star Wars: The Clone Wars (2008) also
did not feature a crawl. Though, it does still have the standard
"A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away..." opening text.
The first Star Wars film to introduce
locations with on-screen captions.
This is the first full appearance of the
original "jump to hyperspace" effect seen from the inside
of a ship's cockpit since Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi
(1983), thirty-three years prior. The effect was seen in a trailer
for Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens (2015), but was not
used in the final cut of that film. Instead, the effect is mostly
obscured by the Rathtar that was clinging to (and subsequently torn
apart on) the cockpit window of the Millenium Falcon. An animated
recreation of the effect did appear in Star Wars: The Clone Wars (2008).
Filmed with digital Arri Alexa 65 cameras
using Ultra Panavision 70 lenses. This marks Rogue One the first Star
Wars film, as well as the first Disney film since The Black Cauldron
(1985), to be shot in the 70mm widescreen film format.
Despite being a character trademark, this
is the first Star Wars movie that Darth Vader says the word "choke."
First Star Wars movie to feature a
resort-like planet. Awash in leafy palms, sunny weather and clear
blue seas, planet Scarif (aka the Maldives) was the designated
storage location for the Empire's plans for the Death Star.
The first Star Wars movie in which all of
the main characters die.
K-2SO is the first major droid character
to be "killed" in a live action Star Wars movie.
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