Rogue One: A Star Wars Story aims to be the most "different" Star Wars movie in a long time; the first in a planned bi-annual series of spinoffs, set outside of the central Episodes and encouraged to embrace different tones, aesthetics and genre styles than the Episodes installments. That doesn't mean Rogue One director Gareth Edwards (Monsters, Godzilla) isn't a fan of the classic Star Wars trilogy - or that he wasn't star-struck when George Lucas paid a visit during production on Rogue One.
Where Lucas' Star Wars prequel film trilogy was criticized for (among other things) an over-reliance on CCGI and greenscreen work, the franchise's revival (starting with Star Wars: The Force Awakens) has made it a point to used physical sets and models as much as possible - in order to recreate the look and feel of the Original Trilogy. Rogue One doesn't put on a nostalgic sheen like The Force Awakens, but the gritty war-focused adventure had a similar focus on location shooting and practical effects - something Edwards has said Lucas made an amusing note of when he visited the movie's set.
Here is what Edwards told a crowd of fans in France about Lucas' Rogue One set visit (per Star Wars News):
"There are two things to do in a life. Show his Star Wars movie to George Lucas and be George Lucas in making a Star Wars movie. He made jokes by asking for more digital effects and less construction of the trays. But we do as much practical effect as possible."
Set immediately prior to the events of the original Star Wars: A New Hope, Edwards' Rogue One tells the previously-untold story of the rebel team who stole the Death Star plans (passed from Princess Leia to R2-D2 and then to Obi-Wan Kenobi); ultimately enabling Luke Skywalker and the Rebel Alliance to destroy the superweapon. Felicity Jones stars as troublemaking rebel Jyn Erso, who leads the team on a covert mission that involves her conscripted engineer father, believed a captive of The Empire.
Rogue One is said to strike a darker tone than previous films in the franchise and feature an action aesthetic closer to a traditional war movie than a space opera. Following widely-publicized reports of significant reshoots/rewrites and a rapidly-written score, Rogue One is being rolled out with confidence by Disney/Lucasfilm and is expected to be one of 2016's biggest hits.
Source: Star Wars News
- Star Wars: Rogue One / Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016) release date: Dec 16, 2016
- Star Wars 8/Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017) release date: Dec 15, 2017
- Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018) release date: May 25, 2018
- Star Wars 9 / Star Wars: Episode IX (2019) release date: Dec 20, 2019