More from the Rogue One: A Star Wars Story issue of Entertainment Weekly. Below check out some new images from the film showing Jyn undercover, Stormtroopers on a water planet, Deathtroopers in action, a full shot of K-2SO and more from our heroes and villains.
Rogue One is an ensemble story, but its central figure is Jyn Erso (Felicity Jones), a young woman recruited by the Rebellion to infiltrate the Empire and secure details of its latest weapon – a moon-sized battle station we know as the Death Star. Here we see her in disguise, armed for conflict inside an Imperial corridor. Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy says Jyn starts as an outlaw and “becomes a kind of Joan of Arc in the story.”
Krennic Schemes for Dominance
Ben Mendelsohn’s Director Orson Krennic is responsible for protecting the security of the Death Star project, but he’s also a manipulator within the Empire. “He understands the system and he knows how things work, but he also is not above trying to bend it to get what he needs or what he thinks he wants,” says Kiri Hart, Lucasfilm’s head of story development. Krennic is intended to be a contrast to Imperial officers we’ve seen before, like Peter Cushing’s Grand Moff Tarkin. “Tarkin is the model for these really cool, icy types, you know?” Hart says. “Krennic runs a little hotter than that, so that’s kind of fun and it’s a little bit different. … He is unpredictable and volatile.”
Rest for Baze and Chirrut
Hong Kong action star Donnie Yen (Ip Man) plays Chirrut Imwe, a blind warrior monk who is not a Jedi but follows the path of the Force, and Chinese martial-arts actor and director Jiang Wen (Devils on the Door Step) co-stars as Baze Malbus, Chirrut’s Force-doubting rough-and-tumble protector. Like the original Star Wars, these characters owe a debt to the two peasants from a 1958 Akira Kurosawa adventure saga. “They’re inspired, again, by what inspired George in The Hidden Fortress, “ Kennedy says. “You could even say to some extent it’s, you know, R2 and C-3PO, a little bit of that.”
Keeping with the Star Wars tradition of planets with a single ecosystem, one key battleground in Rogue One is on a world that might resemble a relaxing seaside holiday destination if not for its proximity to the Death Star. That leads to a key battle in the film taking place on its balmy shoreline — blue waters and an eerie gray sky.
A Galactic South Pacific
We don’t yet know the name of this world, but it’s meant to evoke both heaven and hell — tranquility and war. “There’s this sort of South Pacific, tropical paradise planet that subconsciously leads into some of the imagery associated with World War II,” director Gareth Edwards says. “We went to lots of different places around the world, and one of them was the Maldives. When you’re shooting Stormtroopers in paradise, you have the best job in the world, you know? You can’t really deny it at that point.”
In one of the more intriguing photos from Rogue One, we have this image of Deathtroopers prowling on a tundra. One of them is holding what appears to be … an action figure of sorts. The filmmakers didn’t want to explain exactly what’s happening here, but they confirm: yes, that’s a Stormtrooper doll, a galactic version of a toy soldier. And it will have special significance in the story. (Decades later, an abandoned girl name Rey will also fashion a doll for herself — this one an X-wing pilot.)
K-2SO in Detail
Here’s a full-body shot of the newest Star Wars droid — a security robot known as K-2SO (Kaytoo Esso), who is voiced and performed via motion-capture by Alan Tudyk (Firefly.) Compare his gunmetal gray surface to the shimmering plating of “Goldenrod” C-3PO, and you’ll see the difference between a utilitarian droid like Kaytoo and a protocol droid like Threepio. Kaytoo wasn’t built to socialize. He’s as brusque and blunt as he is strong. “He has a very dry delivery,” Edwards says. “He doesn’t realize what he’s saying is very funny.”
In this behind the scenes shot from the Yavin-4 base, Edwards consults with some of his lead actors: Jones, Diego Luna, Yen, and Jiang and Tudyk (in his performance capture suit). The movie’s Rebel team is a deliberately diverse mix from our own planet, meant to reflect a galaxy filled with a wide variety of humans from many different worlds (not to mention a healthy mix of creatures and aliens). “People are coming to the Rebellion because something has happened that has galvanized or politicized them,” says Hart. “The question just becomes: What are those triggers for different people in different places?”
The Surly Pilot
We don’t yet know what kind of craft he’ll be maneuvering, but Riz Ahmed (Nightcrawler) will costar as the Rebel squad’s lead pilot, Bodhi Rook. “He’s a very experienced pilot. Flies a lot of cargo, one of his key jobs,” Kennedy says. “And he tends to be a little tense, a little volatile, but everybody in the group really relies on his technical skills.”