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Rogue One

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
Rogue One, A Star Wars Story poster.png
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Gareth Edwards
Produced by
Screenplay by
Story by
Based on Characters
by George Lucas
Starring
Music by
Cinematography Greig Fraser
Edited by
Production
company
Distributed by Walt Disney Studios
Motion Pictures
Release date
  • December 10, 2016 (2016-12-10) (Pantages Theatre)
  • December 16, 2016 (2016-12-16) (United States)
Running time
133 minutes[1]
Country United States
Language English
Budget $200 million[1][2]
Box office $1.055 billion[1]

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, or simply Rogue One, is a 2016 American epic space opera 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. The eighth film in the Star Wars franchise and also the first installment of the Star Wars Anthology series, it is a standalone film set immediately before the events of A New Hope, and stars 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 10, 2016, and was released in the United States on December 16, 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 20th overall unadjusted for inflation. It received two Academy Awards nominations for Best Sound Mixing and Best Visual Effects.[3]

Plot

Research scientist Galen Erso and his family are in hiding on the planet Lah'mu. Imperial weapons developer Orson Krennic arrives to press him into completing the Death Star, a space station-based superweapon capable of destroying planets. Galen's wife Lyra is killed in the confrontation while their daughter Jyn escapes and is taken to safety by Rebel extremist Saw Gerrera.

Fifteen years later, cargo pilot Bodhi Rook defects from the Empire, smuggling a holographic message from Galen to Gerrera on the desert moon Jedha. Rebel intelligence officer Cassian Andor frees Jyn from an Imperial labor camp at Wobani before bringing her to the Rebel leader Mon Mothma, who convinces her to find and rescue Galen so the Alliance can learn more about the Death Star. Cassian is covertly ordered by General Draven, an Alliance military officer, to kill Galen rather than extract him.

Jyn, Cassian, and reprogrammed Imperial droid K-2SO travel to Jedha, where the Empire is removing kyber crystals from the holy city to power the Death Star while Gerrera and his partisans are engaged in an armed insurgency against them. With the aid of blind spiritual warrior Chirrut Îmwe and his mercenary friend Baze Malbus, Jyn makes contact with Gerrera, who has been holding Rook captive. Gerrera shows her the message, in which Galen reveals he has secretly built a vulnerability into the Death Star and directs them to retrieve the schematics from a high-security Imperial data bank on the planet Scarif.

On the Death Star, Krennic orders a low-powered shot from the superlaser to destroy Jedha's capital. Jyn and her group take Rook and flee the planet, but Gerrera remains to die with the city. Grand Moff Tarkin congratulates Krennic before using Rook's defection and security leak as a pretext to take control of the project.

Rook leads the group to Galen's Imperial research facility on the planet Eadu, where Cassian chooses not to kill Galen. When Krennic orders Galen's team killed for causing the security leak, Galen confesses that he is responsible. The research team is executed anyway. Jyn makes her presence known moments before Rebel bombers attack the facility. Galen is wounded and dies in his daughter's arms, before she escapes with her group on board a stolen Imperial cargo shuttle. Krennic visits Darth Vader, seeking his support and an audience with the Emperor, but Vader dismisses his appeal for recognition.

Jyn proposes a plan to steal the Death Star schematics using the Rebel fleet but fails to get approval from the Alliance Council, who feel victory against the Empire is now impossible. Frustrated at their inaction, Jyn's group is supported by a small squad of Rebel volunteers intent on raiding the databank themselves. Arriving at Scarif via the stolen Imperial ship, which Rook dubs "Rogue One", a disguised Jyn and Cassian enter the base with K-2SO while the other Rebels attack the resident Imperial garrison as a distraction. The Rebel fleet learns about the raid from intercepted Imperial communications and deploy in support. K-2SO sacrifices himself so Jyn and Cassian can retrieve the data. Îmwe is killed after activating the master switch to allow communication with the Rebel fleet. Rook is killed by a grenade after informing the Rebel fleet that it must deactivate the shield surrounding the planet to allow the transmission of the schematics. Malbus dies in battle shortly after. Jyn and Cassian seize the schematics, but they are ambushed by Krennic, who shoots Cassian.

Krennic corners Jyn, declaring the Empire's victory, but Cassian, who has survived, shoots and wounds Krennic. Jyn transmits the schematics to the Rebel command ship. The Death Star enters Scarif's orbit, where Tarkin uses the weapon to destroy the Empire's base. Krennic is killed instantly, while Jyn and Cassian embrace on a beach before dying in the shockwave.

The Rebel fleet prepares to jump to hyperspace but are intercepted by Vader's flagship. Vader invades the command ship and kills many rebels in his pursuit of the schematics, but a small starship escapes with them on board. Aboard the fleeing ship, Princess Leia declares that the schematics will provide hope for the Rebellion.

Cast

Jimmy Smits, Genevieve O'Reilly, and Anthony Daniels reprise their roles from previous films as Bail Organa, Mon Mothma, and C-3PO, respectively.[19][20][21]

James Earl Jones also reprises his role from previous films as the voice of Darth Vader,[22] who is physically portrayed by Spencer Wilding and Daniel Naprous, replacing David Prowse who played the role in the original films.[23][24][25] Grand Moff Tarkin and Princess Leia Organa are played by Guy Henry and Ingvild Deila, respectively, with the digital likenesses of Peter Cushing and Carrie Fisher superimposed.[26][27] Henry also provides the voice for Tarkin, while archival audio of Fisher is used for Leia.[28] 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.[21][29][30][31]

David Ankrum, who voiced Wedge Antilles in A New Hope, reprises his role in a vocal cameo.[30] Ian McElhinney, Michael Smiley, Andy de la Tour and Tim Beckmann play General Jan Dodonna, Dr. Evazan, General Hurst Romodi and Raymus Antilles, respectively.[21] Warwick Davis plays Weeteef Cyubee, a member of Saw Gerrera's Partisans.[32]

Additionally, Alistair Petrie plays General Davits Draven,[7] Ben Daniels plays General Antoc Merrick,[33] and Valene Kane plays Lyra Erso, Jyn's mother.[34] Jonathan Aris,[35] Fares Fares[36][37] and Sharon Duncan-Brewster appear as Senators Nower Jebel, Vasp Vaspar, and Tynnra Pamlo, respectively. Simon Farnaby plays a member of Blue Squadron.[21] Jonathan Stephens appears as Rebel Alliance member Corporal Tonc.[21] Nick Kellington plays Bistan, the door gunner on a U-wing during the battle on Scarif.[38] Ian Whyte plays Moroff, a member of Saw Gerrera's Partisans.[39] Rian Johnson and Ram Bergman, director and producer of Star Wars: The Last Jedi, respectively, cameo as two Death Star technicians.[40] Richard Franklin plays one of the Death Star engineers.[41]

The additional voices ranging from Stormtroopers to other background characters are provided by David Acord, David Ankrum, Steve Bardrack, Verona Blue, Steven Blum, Dave Boat, Eugene Byrd, David Cowgill, Jonathan Dixon, Michael Donovan, Terri Douglas, Robin Atkin Downes, Dave Filoni, Michael Giacchino, John Gilroy, Tony Gilroy, Tom Harrison-Read, Kevin Hickman, Karen Huie, Tom Kane, Lex Lang, Vanessa Lengies, Yuri Lowenthal, Vanessa Marshall, Alexi Melvin, Flora Miller, William M. Patrick, Christopher Scarabosio, Orly Schuchmacher, Kat Sheridan, Christian Simpson, David Sobolov, Julian Stone, John Schwartz, Fred Tatasciore, James Arnold Taylor, Sam Witwer, and Matthew Wood.

Production

Development

Rogue One is the first film in the Star Wars Anthology series, a series of standalone spin-off films in the Star Wars series.[42] Future films are expected to focus on Han Solo and Boba Fett.[43] 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.[44]

John Knoll, visual effects supervisor for the Star Wars prequel trilogy, 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".[45][46] In May 2014, Disney announced that Gareth Edwards would direct the film and Gary Whitta would write the script.[47] That October, cinematographer Greig Fraser revealed that he would work on the film.[48] In January 2015, it was revealed that Whitta had completed his work on the script, and would no longer be with the project.[49] Simon Kinberg was considered as a replacement.[50] Later in the month, it was announced that Chris Weitz had signed to write the script for the film.[51] In March 2015, the title was announced.[52]

In July 2016, discussing whether the film would feature an opening crawl, Kennedy said, "we're in the midst of talking about it, but I don't think these [Anthology] films will have an opening crawl." Edwards said: "The idea is this film is supposed to be different than the saga films... [however,] this film is born out of a crawl. The thing that inspired this movie was a crawl and what was written in that. There's this feeling that if we did a crawl, then it'll create another movie. And so the honest answer is you'll have to wait and see."[53] That same month, at the 2016 Star Wars Celebration, Edwards said the title had three meanings: "a military sign", referring to the Red Squadron from A New Hope; "the 'rogue' one" of the franchise, given that it is the first film to not be part of the main saga; and a description of Jyn Erso's personality.[54] In November 2016, Kennedy confirmed that the film would not feature an opening crawl, instead beginning in "a way that is traditional, with just the title."[55]

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."[56][57]

Casting

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.[58] 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.[59] In March 2015, Jones was officially cast.[52] In March 2015, Deadline.com reported a rumor that Ben Mendelsohn was being considered for a lead role.[60] The next month, TheWrap reported that Sam Claflin was being eyed for a role, while Riz Ahmed was in negotiations to join the film.[61] In May, Mendelsohn, Ahmed, and Diego Luna were added to the cast of the film, in the lead roles.[62] Forest Whitaker was added to the cast in June 2015.[63] In July 2015, Jonathan Aris was cast to play Senator Jebel,[64] and in February 2016, model Eunice Olumide revealed she had a part in the film.[65] Genevieve O'Reilly was cast as Mon Mothma, reprising her role from Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith.[20] James Earl Jones was confirmed to return as the voice of Darth Vader in June 2016.[66]

Filming

Laamu Atoll in the Maldives, used as a filming location for the planet Scarif

Principal photography on the film began at Elstree Studios, in Hertfordshire, on August 8, 2015.[67][68][69] Much of the other photography was completed at or near Pinewood Studios[70] at Buckinghamshire, England where huge sets were built to complement scenes filmed elsewhere in the world.[71] The film was shot using Ultra Panavision 70 lenses with Arri Alexa 65 large format digital 6K[72] cameras.[73]

Canary Wharf tube station, used as a location for interior shots of the Imperial security complex on Scarif

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.[74][75][76][77] Also used were the Krafla area with its volcanic crater[78] and around Lake Mývatn's rock formations.[79] The islands of Gan and Berasdhoo of the Laamu Atoll in the Maldives, as well as RAF Bovingdon, were used to represent Scarif.[80][81][82] Wadi Rum in Jordan was used to represent Jedha.[83][84][85] Pymmes Park in Edmonton, London was also used for location filming,[86] and scenes set on Yavin 4 were filmed at RAF Cardington.[75][82] Gareth Edwards selected the London Underground's Canary Wharf station[87] 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.[88]

Post-production

On February 11, 2016, Disney executives stated that the film was "virtually completed".[89] Several weeks of pre-scheduled reshoots began in mid-June 2016.[90] 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.[91] A few small scenes had been filmed that would lead to a happy ending for the characters Jyn and Cassian; this was the ending in the original script[92] and some clips of these scenes had appeared in early trailers. When it became apparent that Disney would accept the deaths of those characters – which had also been filmed – scenes shot for the previously planned happy ending were not used in the final film.[93]

Industrial Light & Magic (ILM) produced the film's visual effects. ILM used CGI and digitally altered archive footage[94] 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.[95] 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".[96][97][98] Cushing's mannerisms, including his manner of speaking and facial tics, were studied by the visual effects artists and applied to the digital Tarkin.[99] A similar process was used in the portrayal of Princess Leia; 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.[26][27][100][28]

Post-production wrapped on November 28, 2016.[101]

Music

It does borrow from traditions that both John Williams and George Lucas borrowed from when they made the original Star Wars, you know. George was looking at Flash Gordon, the old serials, and John was looking at Gustav Holst and different composers along the way to get a baseline for what he wanted to communicate. There is a wonderful musical language that John put together for the original films. I wanted to honor that vernacular but still do something new with it, something that was still me in a way.

—Michael Giacchino on balancing the musical traditions of Star Wars with his original music for Rogue One.[102]

In March 2015, it was reported that Alexandre Desplat, who had worked with Edwards on the Godzilla reboot, would compose the score for Rogue One.[103] Despite rumors that a contract had not been initially set in place by Lucasfilm, Desplat confirmed in an April 2016 interview that he would serve as composer for the film.[104] Concerning 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."[104] 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.[105]

Giacchino 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."[102]

Giacchino incorporated John Williams' themes from previous films into the score.[102] The official soundtrack was released by Walt Disney Records on December 16, 2016.[106]

All music was composed by Michael Giacchino except where noted. Giacchino, who has a history of using track titles that contain wordplay, shared his alternate list in the liner notes of the soundtrack release. These names are listed in parenthesis next to the official track titles.[107][108]

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story – Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
Film score by Michael Giacchino
Released December 16, 2016 (2016-12-16)
Studio Sony Scoring Stage
Genre Soundtrack
Length 1:09:18
Label Walt Disney
Producer Michael Giacchino
Michael Giacchino chronology
Doctor Strange
(2016)
Rogue One
(2016)
Spider-Man: Homecoming
(2017)
Star Wars soundtrack chronology
The Force Awakens
(2015)
Rogue One
(2016)
The Last Jedi
(2017)
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Filmtracks 4/5 stars
Movie-Wave 4/5 stars
Movie Music UK Positive
Soundtrack Geek 8/10 stars
No. Title Length
1. "He's Here for Us (A Krennic Condition)" 3:20
2. "A Long Ride Ahead (Jyn and Scare It)" 3:56
3. "Wobani Imperial Labor Camp (Jyncarcerated)" 0:54
4. "Trust Goes Both Ways (Going to See Saw)" (includes "The Force Theme" by John Williams) 2:45
5. "When Has Become Now (That New Death Star Smell)" (includes "Death Star Motif" by John Williams) 1:59
6. "Jedha Arrival (Jedha Call Saw)" 2:48
7. "Jedha City Ambush (When Ambush Comes to Shove)" 2:19
8. "Star-Dust (Erso Facto)" 3:47
9. "Confrontation on Eadu (Go Do, That Eadu, That You Do, So Well)" (includes "Death Star Motif" by John Williams) 8:05
10. "Krennic's Aspirations (Have a Choke and a Smile)" (includes "Imperial Motif" and "The Imperial March" by John Williams) 4:16
11. "Rebellions Are Built on Hope (Erso in Vain)" 2:56
12. "Rogue One (Takes One to Rogue One)" (includes "The Force Theme" by John Williams) 2:04
13. "Cargo Shuttle SW-0608 (World's Worst Vacation Destination)" 3:59
14. "Scrambling the Rebel Fleet (Scarif Tactics)" (includes "The Force Theme" and "Star Wars Main Theme" by John Williams) 1:33
15. "AT-ACT Assault (Bazed and Confused)" (includes "Rebel Fanfare" and "Imperial Walkers" by John Williams) 2:55
16. "The Master Switch (Switch Hunt)" 4:02
17. "Your Father Would Be Proud (Transmission Impossible)" 4:51
18. "Hope (Live and Let Jedi)" (includes "The Imperial March", "Death Star Motif", "Rebel Blockade Runner", and "The Force Theme" by John Williams) 1:37
19. "Jyn Erso and Hope Suite" 5:51
20. "The Imperial Suite" 2:29
21. "Guardians of the Whills Suite" 2:52
Total length: 69:18

Release

Rogue One premiered at the Pantages Theatre in Los Angeles on December 10, 2016.[109] The film was released in certain European countries on December 14, 2016, and was released in North America on December 16, with China getting the film on January 6, 2017.[110]

Marketing

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 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.[111]

A teaser trailer for Rogue One, released by Lucasfilm on April 7, 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.[112] 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.[113] 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.[114] 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.[115]

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.[88] 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.[116] 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".[117][118]

A 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.[119] 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".[120]

The film's publicity tour began in Mexico on November 23, 2016.[121]

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.[122] A free virtual reality mission for PlayStation 4 was also released alongside the expansion.[123]

Tie-in novels

A tie-in novel to the film, Catalyst: A Rogue One Novel, was released on November 15, 2016.[124] 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.[125] The film's novelization was written by Alexander Freed, and was released on December 16, 2016.[126]

Home media

Rogue One was released on Digital HD on March 24, 2017, and will be available on Blu-ray, 3D Blu-Ray and DVD on April 4, 2017.[127]

Reception

Box office

As of March 19, 2017, Rogue One has grossed $530.748 million in the United States and Canada and $523.735 million in other territories for a worldwide total of $1.054 billion, against a production budget of $200 million.[1] On January 21, 2017, it became the fourth film of 2016 to earn $1 billion in ticket sales, joining Disney's releases of Captain America: Civil War, Zootopia and Finding Dory.[128] It is the second highest-grossing film of 2016 (behind Captain America: Civil War), the second highest-grossing Star Wars film (behind The Force Awakens), and the 21st highest-grossing film of all time, all unadjusted for inflation. It is also the third Star Wars film (following The Phantom Menace and The Force Awakens) to gross over $1 billion worldwide. It is the top-grossing film of 2016 in the United States.[129]

In late November 2016, box office projections for the United States and Canada had the film grossing $100–150 million during its opening weekend.[130][131] 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.[132] 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.[133] In its first 24 hours, the film had the second-highest amount of pre-sale tickets ever sold, behind only The Force Awakens.[134] Worldwide, the film was expected to gross $280–350 million in its opening weekend.[135]

In the United States, the film made $29 million from its Thursday night previews, making it the highest Thursday gross of 2016, and $71.1 million on Friday, 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.[135] 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.[136] 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.[137] 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's $22.8 million.[138]

Critical response

Rogue One received generally positive reviews from critics. On Rotten Tomatoes the film has an approval rating of 85% based on 335 reviews with an average rating of 7.5/10. 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."[139] On Metacritic, the film has a score 65 out of 100 based on 51 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[140] Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "A" on an A+ to F scale.[141]

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."[142] 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."[143] /Film gave Rogue One 8/10, writing that the film is enjoyable but does not have the emotional weight of The Force Awakens, because "no character in Rogue One was strongly compelling".[144] 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."[145] Justin Chang, writing for the Los Angeles Times, called Rogue One "a swiftly paced, rough-and-ready entertainment."[146]

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."[147] 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."[148] The Washington Post wrote "Rogue One represents an unobjectionable exercise in franchise extension. It's fine. It'll do. For now."[149]

IndieWire's David Ehrlich gave the film a C+ rating, calling it "a spirited but agonizingly safe attempt to expand cinema's most holy blockbuster franchise and keep the wheels greased between proper installments […] just a glorified excuse to retcon some sense into one of the silliest things about the original." While he praised the set design and visuals, calling them "gorgeous", he criticized a lack of interesting character development and a script that felt "completely constricted by its purpose."[150]

Peter 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".[151]

Views on computer-generated imagery

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.[152] The Guardian's Catherine Shoard, described the "resurrection" as a "digital indignity".[153] Joseph Walsh of The Guardian raised legal and ethical issues about bringing a long-dead actor to life.[154] However, Lucasfilm had obtained permission from Peter Cushing's estate before deciding to use his likeness.[155] 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."[156]

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.[26][27] 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."[157] 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."[158] Michael Cavna of The Washington Post described the facial effect as feeling "distractingly artificial and nearly alien, like a plastered death mask robbed of authentic actorly effect, well beyond the usual artifice of Botox."[159]

Accolades

Award Date of ceremony[N 1] Category Recipient(s) and nominee(s) Result Ref(s)
Academy Awards February 26, 2017 Best Sound Mixing David Parker, Christopher Scarabosio and Stuart Wilson Nominated [160]
[3]
Best Visual Effects Neil Corbould, Hal Hickel, John Knoll and Mohen Leo
British Academy Film Awards February 12, 2017 Best Makeup and Hair Amanda Knight, Neal Scanlan and Lisa Tomblin [161]
Best Special Visual Effects Neil Corbould, Hal Hickel, John Knoll, Mohen Leo and Nigel Sumner
Cinema Audio Society Awards February 18, 2017 Outstanding Achievement in Sound Mixing for a Motion Picture – Live Action Joel Iwataki, Nick Kray, David Parker, Frank Rinella, Christopher Scarabosio and Stuart Wilson [162]
Costume Designers Guild Awards February 21, 2017 Excellence in Fantasy Film David Crossman and Glyn Dillon [163]
Empire Awards March 19, 2017 Best Film Rogue One Won [164]
Best Sci-Fi/Fantasy Nominated
Best Actress Felicity Jones Won
Best Male Newcomer Riz Ahmed Nominated
Best Director Gareth Edwards Won
Best Costume Design Rogue One Nominated
Best Production Design Nominated
Best Make-Up and Hairstyling Nominated
Best Visual Effects Nominated
Location Managers Guild Awards April 8, 2017 Outstanding Locations in Period Film Mark Somner and David O'Reily Pending [165]
Saturn Awards June 28, 2017 Best Science Fiction Film Rogue One [166]
Best Actress Felicity Jones
Best Supporting Actor Diego Luna
Best Director Gareth Edwards
Best Writing Chris Weitz and Tony Gilroy
Best Music Michael Giacchino
Best Editing John Gilroy, Colin Goudie and Jabez Olssen
Best Production Design Doug Chiang and Neil Lamont
Best Costume Design David Crossman and Glyn Dillon
Best Make-up Amy Byrne
Best Special Effects Neil Corbould, Hal Hickel, John Knoll and Mohen Leo
Visual Effects Society Awards February 7, 2017 Outstanding Visual Effects in a Photoreal Feature Neil Corbould, Erin Dusseault, Hal Hickel, John Knoll and Nigel Sumner Nominated [167]
Outstanding Animated Performance in a Photoreal Feature "Grand Moff Tarkin" – Cyrus Jam, Sven Jensen, Jee Young Park and Steve Walton
Outstanding Created Environment in a Photoreal Feature "Scarif Complex" – Enrico Damm, Yanick Dusseault, Kevin George and Olivier Vernay-Kim
Outstanding Virtual Cinematography in a Photoreal Project "Space Battle" – Steve Ellis, Barry Howell, Euising Lee and John Levin
Outstanding Model in a Photoreal or Animated Project "Princess Leia" – Paul Giacoppo, Gareth Jensen, James Tooley and Todd Vaziri
"Star Destroyer" – Marko Chulev, Steven Knipping, Jay Machado and Akira Orikasa
Outstanding Effects Simulations in a Photoreal Feature "Jedha Destruction" – Luca Mignardi, Ciaran Moloney, Matt Puchala and Miguel Perez Senent
  1. ^ Each date is linked to the article about the awards held that year, wherever possible.

See also

References

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