VOTD: ILM’s ‘Rogue One’ Visual Effects Reel Shows Off Planetary Destruction

Rogue One Visual Effects

The visual effects of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story were quite the topic of discussion once fans saw that actor Peter Cushing was recreated by way of a motion-capture performance and digital effects. However, that’s not the only reason that the film ended up with an Academy Award nomination for Best Visual Effects.

A new Rogue One visual effects reel from the wizards over at Industrial Light & Magic shows off all the layers that went into the planetary destruction of Jedha after a little blast from the Death Star. There are also some breakdowns of sequences on Scarif when the Rebels are attacking the Imperial base on the tropical planet.

Watch the Rogue One visual effects reel after the jump.

I wish there was some kind of app that allowed us to zoom in and look at all the detail that goes into sequences that are composed almost entirely with visual effects like this. For example, this visual effects reel takes us much closer to the Death Star that the final shot in the movie does as it eclipses the sun that shines on Jedha. And it would be cool to navigate through the depths of the destruction of the planet from the single reaction blast from the Death Star.

Don’t forget, if you’d like to see how visual effects masters brought Peter Cushing back to the big screen after he passed away over 20 years ago, you can check out this special report that goes behind the scenes of that key element right here.

The post VOTD: ILM’s ‘Rogue One’ Visual Effects Reel Shows Off Planetary Destruction appeared first on /Film.


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$190 million box office weekend is the biggest since ‘Rogue One’

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The Lego Batman Movie, Fifty Shades Darker, and John Wick: Chapter Two.

The cumulative domestic box office take for those three movies — all new releases — accounts for the lion’s share of an estimated $ 190.3 million weekend at the box office. It’s the biggest three-day weekend for Hollywood since Rogue One opened in Dec. 2016.

Batman finished on top, with an estimated $ 55.6 million. Its opening performance doesn’t quite rival that of The Lego Movie ($ 69.1 million) — which Batman spins off from — but the critical buzz on this new family comedy bodes well for the weeks ahead. Read more…

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Guardians of the Whills: Baze And Chirrut ‘Rogue One’ Prequel Novel Revealed

Guardians of the Whills book cover art

Earlier this week, we learned that Jyn Erso’s backstory would be explored in a new YA novel. And today we have yet another bit of Rogue One prequel news. Lucasfilm has announced that Chirut Imwe and Baze Malbus (played by Donnie Yen and Jiang Wen respectively in the film) will be getting their own standalone prequel novel titled Guardians of the Whills. Learn more after the jump.

guardians of the whills book

The two standouts from Rogue One: A Star Wars Story for me were Alan Tudyk‘s reprogramed imperial droid K-2SO and Donnie Yen‘s blind force sensitive believer Chirrut Îmwe. And one of the most disappointing aspects of the film for me was that we didn’t get much time to explore the city/planet of Jedha, which in concept is so rich. So I’m very happy to see that both Chirrut and Jedha will get further exploration in this new book.

Guardians of the Whills is set prior to the events of Rogue One and will deal with the arrival of Saw Gerrera (played Forest Whitaker in the film) on Jedha. The novel is written by Greg Rucka, who also wrote Star Wars: Shattered Empire and Star Wars: Before the Awakening. Here is the official plot synopsis:

Baze and Chirrut used to be Guardians of the Whills, who looked after the Kyber Temple on Jedha and all those who worshipped there. Then the Empire came and took over the planet. The temple was destroyed and the people scattered. Now Baze and Chirrut do what they can to resist the Empire and protect the people of Jedha, but it never seems to be enough. When a man named Saw Gerrera arrives with grand plans to take down the Empire, it seems like the perfect way for Baze and Chirrut to make a real difference and help the people of Jedha. But will it come at too great a cost?

journal of the whills

The Guardians of the Whills is actually something created by George Lucas while he was developing Star Wars. The 1973 outline of the story that would eventually become Star Wars was titled “Journal of the Whills, Part I. That story followed a “Jedi-Bendu” named “Mace Windy” and his padawan “C.J. Thorpe.” The second draft of Star Wars: A New Hope was titled “Adventures of the Starkiller, Episode I: The Star Wars.” The film script begins with a quote:

“…And in the time of greatest despair there shall come a savior, and he shall be known as: THE SON OF THE SUNS.” Journal of the Whills, 3:127[src]

George Lucas conceived of the Journal of the Whills as a plot device for connecting the Star Wars galaxy to the real world. The idea was dropped but was mentioned in the novelization of the original film. The Journal of the Whills was made official canon by the novelization of The Force Awakens, which opens with a quotation from the journal. And now Rogue One gives the Whills a deeper meaning in new Star Wars canon. It is certainly interesting that the Whills will be explored in greater depth in this new book.

The 240-page middle school book will hit stores on May 2nd, 2017. Both Rebel Rising and Guardians of the Whills are available for pre-order now.

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Shyamalan’s ‘Split’ Impresses with $40 Million Debut as ‘Rogue One’ Tops $1 Billion Worldwide

M. Night Shyamalan has delivered a second hit in a row as his latest film, Split, is estimated to have delivered a top five January opening, leading the weekend charge with a three-day opening four times as big as its reported $ 10 million budget. Meanwhile, Paramount’s xXx: The Return of Xander Cage delivered as expected while the Weinstein’s The Founder scored a top ten finish. Additionally, Disney’s Rogue One: A Star Wars Story has become the 28th film to top $ 1 billion worldwide. Wi…
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‘Hidden Figures’ Topples New Releases to Take MLK Weekend While ‘Rogue One’ Passes $500 Million

It wasn’t necessarily an exciting Martin Luther King weekend, though it is rather astonishing to see how poorly all but one of the weekend’s new and expanding wide releases performed. The weekend’s successes find Hidden Figures leading the way for a second weekend, followed by Golden Globe juggernaut La La Land while it was STX’s The Bye Bye Man that over performed against tracking and delivered the best new opening among the weekend’s new and expanding releases, more than doubling the film…
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Star Wars Bits: New ‘Episode 8 Rumors,’ Han Solo Filming Locations, and ‘Rogue One’ Toys You’ll Never Own

lightsaber night

In this edition of Star Wars Bits:

  • A possible connection between Star Wars: Episode 8 and Star Wars Rebels.
  • The Han Solo movie may be filming in some pretty exotic locations.
  • Does Kylo Ren have a new ship in Star Wars: Episode 8?
  • Tom Hardy brushes off those Episode 8 cameo rumors.
  • New stories about the visual effects of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.
  • More Rogue One easter eggs dissected.
  • New Star Wars Rebels synopses and clips revealed.
  • Check out the Rogue One Disney Infinity Figures that will never get made.
  • And more!

Making Star Wars has a very interesting scoop about a possible connection between the animated Star Wars shows and Star Wars: Episode 8 that some fans may see as a spoiler. If that sounds like something you’d rather avoid, scroll down to the next section.

According to the site, Convorees will play a significant role in Episode 8. Originally introduced in Star Wars: The Clone Wars before showing up again in Star Wars Rebels, these little bird aliens are very cute and suspiciously present during important moments involving characters strong in the Force. Making Star Wars speculates that these creatures are the “protectors of Ahch-to” we heard about last month and their appearance on Rebels and The Clone Wars certainly aligns with that story. Here’s one especially intriguing interesting observation:

In Episode VIII we have Luke Skywalker on an island on Ahch-To. What’s he doing there? Are these space owls how the Jedi beat the Sith even further? After twenty years of the Sith dominating the galaxy, destroying Kyber crystals and desecrating Jedi holy places like Jedah, is this how the Jedi preserved their memories? Are the convors how they recovered what Palpatine destroyed?

Hmm. Hmmm.

star wars episode 8 logo

While we’re on the subject of stories from Making Star Wars, the site also reports that Kylo Ren will pilot a new personal ship in Episode 8, a riff on his grandfather’s old TIE Advanced:

We’ve heard a credible rumor that in Star Wars: Episode VIII Kylo Ren has a personal ship. The ship, like some of his new costume will seem a little familiar as it is a First Order TIE Advanced. His ship is slightly unlike his grandfather’s used in the attack against the rebels at the Death Star trench. The fuselage is sort of pill shaped like the TIE Striker in Rogue One. They actually built the ship physically at Pinewood according to our friends near the sets.

Naturally, this rumor (as well as the one above) should be taken with a grain of salt for now. However, Making Star Wars has a pretty solid track record with this stuff…

Taboo Trailer

Is Tom Hardy playing a First Order Stormtrooper in Star Wars: Episode 8? The rumor originated some time ago and it makes a certain amount of sense. After all, Daniel Craig cameoed as a Stormtrooper in The Force Awakens, playing the guard who gets Jedi mind tricked by Rey at Starkiller Base. Of course, Hardy played coy when asked by The Hollywood Reporter about the rumors, responding: “I don’t know if I can even say that. Where did you hear that?” When he was told the rumors originated from the internet, he replied with “Ah, the internet is a glorious web of deceit and misinformation, isn’t it?” So he didn’t confirm anything…but he also denied nothing.

While we may not know anything concrete about a Tom Hardy cameo in Episode 8, it certainly does look like Mark Hamill’s Pop Culture Quest web series may debut something from Rian Johnson’s upcoming sequel. While Hamill himself has a habit of trolling his fans on Twitter, this announcement comes from the show’s official Twitter page, not his personal page. So take from that what you will.

new han solo actor

Between Skellig Michael in The Force Awakens, the Maldives in Rogue One, and Dubrovnik in Episode 8, the new Star Wars movies have literally been circling the globe in search of unique locations to double as alien planets. According to the Spanish site ElBlogDeCineEspanol (via Star Wars News Net), Chris Miller and Phil Lord’s Han Solo spin-off movie will follow suit, filming in Italy, Spain and Fuerteventerua in the Canary Islands. Fuerteventerua is home to both beautiful beaches and incredible mountains, so it remains to be seen which area will be utilized for the film. After all, this is Star Wars we’re talking about – a Star Wars planet can’t have beaches and mountains.

Donald Glover’s Atlanta won two Golden Globes on Sunday night, taking home statuettes for Best Television Series – Musical or Comedy and Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series – Musical or Comedy. Of course, Variety found time to talk to him about playing Lando Calrissian in the Han Solo spin-off and you can watch the brief interview above.

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