Tonight is was like finding a golden ticket in a Wonka Bar, as we headed to Skywalker Ranch to see 28 minutes of Rogue One – one of the most anticipated movies this year. Get the details on the flip…
CelebNMovies247.com were sitting in the 300-seat Stag Theater at Skywalker Ranch, it was surreal. It was just part of Skywalker Sound, which occupies the 153,000-square-foot Technical Building. The building is set next to Ewok Lake, just south of George Lucas’ beautiful home. The Tech Building features a world-class scoring stage, six feature mix stages, 15 sound design suites, 50 editing suites, an ADR stage, two Foley stages. Oh yes, and the 300-seat Stag Theater, where we were anxiously awaiting to see a first look at Rogue One.
It was so awesome, words really can’t describe, but as we waited talking to other journalists, writers and bloggers the excitement grew. We had chills just waiting for the lights to dim and the feature to start. And get this, one guy sat in George Lucas infamous theater chair. We were just a row in front him, but it was cool to learn about that. It was the center seat about 6 rows from the back, basically the middle of his theater. It was there were Mr. Lucas would make his critiques and choices for editing. Pretty cool, right? And, yes we were in full geek mode all night. Just to be at Skywalker Ranch has always been one of our to-do-list items and tonight, we had fulfilled it, so check the box! “On top of the world ma!” LOL!
As for, Rogue One, we promised NOT to give any spoilers, however, we can tell you a few things about the film. Gareth Edwards‘ Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is set to hit theaters on December 16th, but Disney has not yet held any screenings, even for journalists doing interviews with the cast and filmmakers.
Much of the film is a mystery to us, but we can tell you it’s going to be huge once it hits screens on December 16th.
The scenes we viewed almost entirely came from the first act of the movie. The scenes featured some fantastic action, legitimate tension, and some great plot building elements. The film has a raw and gritty feel to it. It just felt like these planets, and cities were just a light-speed hop away.
The cool part is there were references, and even some familiar memorable Chalmun’s Cantina characters from the 1978 Star Wars: A New Hope. Rogue One has a feel all of its own, it doesn’t open with the traditional Star Wars scrawl, but instead a 15-years-earlier prologue that sets up the base of the story. However, the classic blue text “A Long Time Ago In A Galaxy Far, Far Away…” is seen in the beginning.
It starts off with action and with an extremely beautiful shot of a Lambda-class T-4a shuttle carrying Director Orson Krennic (Ben Mendelsohn) to a unnamed ringed planet. We are instantly thrown into action as a young Jyn (who will grow up to be played by Felicity Jones) running in fear. A Erso clan family is in panic, which includes Galen (Mads Mikkelson), his wife, Lyra (Valene Kane). The day has finally come, Galen has been found, so he is forced to face Krennic. Meanwhile, Lyra and Jyn try to escape. The scene is intense and basically sets the pace for the film.
Next, jump ahead, where we see Jyn Erso sleeping in a prison cell followed by a series of shots, all of them set on different planets, introducing the key players. The first is Cassian (Diego Luna). We see him meeting with an informant in a marketplace on the Ring of Kafane. He finds out the Empire is constructing a “planet killer.” We also learn that the Imperial pilot, Bodhi Rook, defected with orders from Jyn’s father, Galen Erso. We jump to another planet called Jedha, an Imperial Occupied Moon. Where Bodhi Rook winds up in the hands of Saw Gerrera (Forest Whitaker), an anti-Empire extremist who has his own plans.
Next, we jump too Wobani, an Imperial Labor Camp where we catch up to the imprisoned Jyn Erso. She is being transported to the camp. Lucky for Jyn, she gets a surprise rescue by the droid K2SO (Alan Tudyk), who kindly tells her, “Congratulations, you’re being rescued. Please do not resist.” Jyn is taken back to Yavin 4. There she meets with the Rebellion leaders, she is informed about her father, the defector pilot, and the involvement of Saw Gerrera. The film moves very fast, but it’s done so well. Rogue One has a film style of its own, it is NOT like any of the Star Wars films, which makes this a front runner on the MUST SEE list.
During the post-prologue sequences, you’re learning a lot of different information from a lot of different sources. Basically, you need to watch close and pay attention. We are NOT sure if it will play out the same in the final theatrical version, but we actually liked the jumping from one planet to another. It keeps you intrigued.
The last scene we see is how she and her team come together in a interesting set of events. Jyn, Cassian and K2SO are already teamed up, but during their marketplace visit in Jedha the situation escalates quickly. When an Imperial tank surrounded by Stormtroopers is attacked with a grenade by Saw Guerra’s men, a huge battle begins. It is there were Jyn and Cassian have to fight there way out of the chaotic action in the marketplace. We also see our first martial arts scene in a Star Wars film. Greig Fraser’s cinematography is sublime, as we are introduced to two more of the Rogue One team. Chirrut Îmwe (Donnie Yn ) and Baze Malbus (Wen Jiang) come in ready to fight.
The full lengthened version of the film won’t be seen until next week at the premiere in Hollywood, so for now this is all we can tell you. We can say this. Rogue One promises to be an excellent spin off for the Star Wars Universe expansion. If all of the SWU films are intense like Rogue One, then LucasFilms/Disney has struck gold. What we saw tonight was exciting, intriguingly fun, thrilling and so engaging, CelebNMovies247.com just wanted more.