Why ‘Rogue One: A Star Wars Story’ Deserves the VFX Oscar

This breakdown of special effects used to create Jedha and Scarif proves that ILM should once again prevail at the Academy Awards.

Let’s be honest: there were more than a few moments in Rogue One where the use of CGI was more than evident. The decisions to bring Moff Tarkin back from the dead and reproduce a young Leia were divisive, to say the least, among Star Wars fans.

But for all the times you notice the VFX, the reel Industrial Light & Magic compiled below will show you just how many times you may have missed it.

It’s clear that there was only so much that Gareth Edwards could do with practical effects for his epic war story. That’s where ILM comes in. What’s most impressive about their work is not the massive explosions or stalking imperial marchers, but the subtle details they used to create the environments of the planets Jedha and Scarif.

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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.


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



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.

The post Guardians of the Whills: Baze And Chirrut ‘Rogue One’ Prequel Novel Revealed appeared first on /Film.


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…
Box Office Mojo – Top Stories

‘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…
Box Office Mojo – Top Stories

Hidden Figures Topping Four-Day Holiday, Rogue One Approaching $1B

Hidden Figures Topping Four-Day Holiday, Rogue One Approaching $  1B

Hidden Figures tops four-day holiday, Rogue One approaching $ 1B

20th Century Fox’s Hidden Figures held on to the top spot for the second weekend in a row, adding $ 20.5 million over the three-day portion of the Martin Luther King Jr. Day holiday. For the four days, the film is expected to gross $ 25.3 million for a total of $ 59.7 million after two weeks of wide release. Directed by Theodore Melfi, Hidden Figures stars Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer, Janelle Monáe, Kirsten Dunst, Jim Parsons, Mahershala Ali, Aldis Hodge, Glen Powell and Kevin Costner. Hidden Figures cost just $ 25 million to make.

Illumination Entertainment and Universal Pictures‘ Sing earned $ 13.8 million over the three days, but with the expected $ 18.5 million for the four-day period will come in at #2. The film has earned $ 237.7 million domestically after four weeks. Directed by Garth Jennings, Sing was made for $ 75 million and features the voices of Matthew McConaughey, Reese Witherspoon, Seth MacFarlane, Scarlett Johansson, John C. Reilly, Taron Egerton and Tori Kelly.

Damien Chazelle’s record seven-time Golden Globe winner La La Land (Lionsgate) rose two spots to third and grossed another $ 14.5 million for the three days and will earn $ 17.5 million through Monday for a total of $ 77.1 million so far. Internationally, the hit musical added $ 17.8 million to take its overseas total to $ 54.8 million. The worldwide total is projected to be at $ 132 million after tomorrow. La La Land, starring Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone, was made for just $ 30 million.

Disney and Lucasfilm‘s Rogue One: A Star Wars Story grossed $ 13.8 million Friday to Sunday and about $ 17.2 million for the four days. The film has reached $ 498.9 million in North America and will pass the $ 500 million mark on Monday. Domestically, Rogue One is now the #1 domestic release of 2016, surpassing Finding Dory‘s $ 486 million. Internationally, the Star Wars film added $ 21.9 million this weekend to push its total to $ 481.1 million overseas and worldwide total to $ 980 million. Directed by Gareth Edwards, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story stars Felicity Jones, Diego Luna, Ben Mendelsohn, Donnie Yen, Mads Mikkelsen, Alan Tudyk, Riz Ahmed, Jiang Wen, and Forest Whitaker. The film cost about $ 200 million to make.

STX Entertainment’s The Bye Bye Man over-performed predictions and rounded out the top five with an estimated $ 13.4 million. The film is expected to deliver $ 15.02 million for the four-day weekend. Playing at 2,220 locations this weekend, The Bye Bye Man was the #1 new film in the market. Directed by Stacy Title, the film stars Douglas Smith, Lucien Laviscount, Cressida Bonas, Doug Jones, with Carrie-Anne Moss and Faye Dunaway. The Bye Bye Man received a C CinemaScore from audiences.

In sixth place, CBS Films and Lionsgate’s Patriots Day earned $ 12 million for the three days and is expected to climb to $ 14.3 million through Monday. With the four-day sum, the Peter Berg-directed film will have earned a total of $ 15.2 million. Starring Mark Wahlberg, John Goodman, Kevin Bacon, J.K. Simmons, and Michelle Monaghan, Patriots Day received an excellent A+ CinemaScore.

Paramount’s long-delayed Monster Trucks debuted in seventh place with $ 10.5 million from 3,119 theaters, and is expected to bring in $ 14.1 million for the four days. Directed by Chris Wedge, the family film received an A CinemaScore and stars Lucas Till, Jane Levy, Barry Pepper, Amy Ryan, Rob Lowe, Danny Glover, Thomas Lennon, and Holt McCallany. Monster Trucks costs a hefty $ 125 million to make.

Open Road’s Sleepless opened in eighth place with $ 8.5 million for Friday to Sunday, and should end up with $ 10.1 million through Monday. Made for $ 30 million, the film received a B+ CinemaScore and stars Jamie Foxx, Michelle Monaghan, Dermot Mulroney, Gabrielle Union, David Harbour, Tip ‘T.I.’ Harris, Scoot McNairy and Octavius J. Johnson. It was made for about $ 30 million.

Also, Warner Bros. Pictures’ Live by Night, directed, written, produced by and starring Ben Affleck, took in $ 5.4 million for the weekend and should end up with about $ 6 million after the long weekend. Receiving a B CinemaScore, Live by Night has grossed about $ 3.3 million internationally. The film also stars Elle Fanning, Brendan Gleeson, Chris Messina, Sienna Miller, Zoe Saldana, and Chris Cooper.

The post Hidden Figures Topping Four-Day Holiday, Rogue One Approaching $ 1B appeared first on ComingSoon.net.


Rogue One’s Best Scene Was a Reshoot

rogue one darth vader ending scene

We’ve known for a while now that a lot of the third act of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story had been reworked thanks to the extensive reshoots. The geography of that final battle on Scarif including the fates of our main characters was almost entirely changed. So it shouldn’t come as much of a shock to learn that the awesome final Darth Vader scene in Rogue One was a reshoot. Details after the jump.

Rogue One - Darth Vader Shadow and Director Krennic

The Rogue One Darth Vader Ending Scene Was A Reshoot

The final scenes of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story involve Vader’s flagship attacking the Rebel fleet as they prepare to jump to hyperspace. ‘in his pursuit of the Death Star plans, Darth Vader boards the command ship and expertly kills several soldiers using his lightsaber and force powers. But a small starship escapes with them on board, and it is revealed that Princess Leia is aboard this ship. She is given the Death Star plans and declares that the data files will provide hope for the Rebellion.

Rogue One editor John Gilroy revealed in an interview with Yahoo! Movies that the final Darth Vader action sequence was a product of the reshoots that took place last summer:

“What was added — and it was a fantastic add — was the Vader action scene, with him boarding the ship and dispatching all those rebel soldiers. That was something conceptualized a little later.”

But how can that be? Lucasfilm Story Group member Pablo Hidalgo said last month that the ending of Rogue One “never changed.”

Pablo further clarifies later in the same twitter thread that “By ending I meant the last scene, not the last act.” So if we take his word for it, which I agree we should, this probably means that the final scene of the movie never changed: Princess Leia being presented with the Death Star plans and declaring hope for the Rebellion.

Also remember that director Gareth Edwards’ filmed a cameo as the rebel soldier who disengages the Tantive IV from Admiral Raddus’ ship. This appears to be from the original shoot and not the reshoots. So it’s likely that the original cut of the film did still have Vader did board Admiral Raddus’ ship, leading to the Tantive IV escape. It seems as if the reshoot added this new Vader scene to make it a more action packed thrilling sequence.

The Rogue One Darth Vader ending scene is most people’s favorite sequence in the film. I think this is definitive proof that the movie was improved through the reshoot process. Remember when I wrote about “Why movie reshoots aren’t necessarily a bad thing?”



What Was The Original Rogue One Ending?

Even though we know, Disney improved the film with the reshoots, I’m still curious about the original cut of the film. We still don’t know a lot about the original third act of the movie. It’s clear that the geography of the battle on Scarif was drastically changed with the data vault and the citadel tower initially being two different locations. And it appears that initially the Rogue One team did not split up, making their siege through the AT-ACT’s towards the citadel tower. Earlier this week we saw footage that appears to show K-2SO and Cassian Andor being killed outside the entrance to the tower, allowing Jyn Erso to complete her mission.

The Rogue One trailers featured footage of Commander Krennic walking on a battle-torn beach, with his beautiful white cape in the foot deep water.Is it possible that Krennic was the one that killed them before making his way up the Citadel tower to stop Jyn? There have also been rumors that Darth Vader initially made an appearance on the beach, killing some of our heroes, but I have yet to see any real evidence of this.

The post Rogue One’s Best Scene Was a Reshoot appeared first on /Film.


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