Rogue One: A Star Wars Story Press Conference 1 Highlights

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I had the pleasure last week to sit with the Director, Producer and Cast of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story in San Francisco in the amazing Lucas Films studio. Visiting the studios has been a dream of mine since I was a little boy being able to meet and talk with the cast of a Star Wars movie was just icing on the cake.

I had the opportunity to sit in on 2 press conferences on Sunday morning, in this session we heard from:

  • Kathy Kennedy / Producer
  • Gareth Edwards / Director
  • Diego Luna “Cassian”
  • Alan Tudyk “K2SO”
  • Donnie Yen “Chirrut”
  • John Knoll / Story

(Order from right to left in the photo above)

The other members of the media who were invited asked some interesting questions that I will share with you below. I however couldn’t get the microphone to ask my question…

We only saw just under 30 minutes of various clips from the Rogue One the night before, but having talked to many of the people there we were all impressed and can’t wait to see the rest of the film which comes out on December 16th!

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Here are a few of their questions:

Question – Hello, this question is for Gareth, I was wondering, what was the most interesting thing for you in relation to the fight between the Empire and the Rebels, because it seems that this version is like grittier, you’re trying to just like talk about like moral issues. I don’t know how was for you to just like try to add something more complex maybe to the mythology.

GARETH EDWARDS: Yeah, I mean, when we started this whole process it was one of the things Kathy would be asking the whole time is, okay, how is this going to be different, we need to differentiate ourselves from the saga. And so it was like, okay, when we start playing around and experimenting, one of the things we did was we took real war photography like photographs from Vietnam and World War II and the Gulf and stuff like this and we used this bit of software that John wrote for Photoshop and put in rebel helmets on the soldiers and rebel guns and some X-Wings in the background instead of fighter jets, and suddenly you looked at this stuff and it was really engaging, and everyone who came and looked around the building and we showed them things, they’d get to these images and go oh my god, wow, I really want to see that film, and the studio loved, everybody loved it, and they would say like, just go make that, and that’s kind of what we went off and did.

But it was also like being in a war, like you know, the film crew became like the characters in a way. It’s sort of a cliché that the process of making the film becomes like the story you’re telling, and in this case we were all literally in the trenches together trying to achieve these impossible tasks, like the characters were trying to steal Death Star plans but as a group we’re trying to make a great Star Wars movie and so you feel like you’ve been through a battle together and there’s like – I mean, maybe I’m speaking for myself here but I feel like there’s this connection you have now – like no matter what happens, Diego, if I see you like in 20 years, we’re just going to have that, like we’ve been through a way together, right?

Question – It’s been revealed that George Lucas came to the set of this. What’s it like to have George on set, and has he seen any footage yet? Does he have plans to see?

GARETH EDWARDS: So two days ago, we got to show George the movie, and we all had a phone call and I got to speak with him yesterday, and I don’t want to put words into his mouth, but I can honestly say that I can die happy now.

Question – There’s obviously a huge anticipation for this movie and rightly so, but for those, you know, who are not the diehard sci-fi fans or Star Wars fans at all, do you feel that they have to maybe revisit the whole Star Wars universe to appreciate this or is this more of a standalone.

KATHY KENNEDY: It’s absolutely a standalone. I think the great thing is that this could be a real introduction to the whole franchise for many people who haven’t necessarily followed it, or younger people who don’t know that much about Star Wars, and other parts of the world who don’t know that much about Star Wars. So it really does stand on its own.

The interviews went on for about 20 minutes and I will say Alan Tudyk who plays “K2SO” is not only hilarious in the movie but was also equally as funny in person. I am a big fan of Donnie Yen from many of his martial arts films so it was very cool to hear him talk about how he brought his martial arts background into the movie. All of the cast were wonderful in the interview and really helped build anticipation for the movie. Did I mention I can’t wait to see it?

Stay tuned tomorrow for my second interview with the rest of the cast of the film including the beautiful Felicity Jones.


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