Rogue One: How Princess Leia's 'Hope' Line Was Created

Rogue One A Star Wars Story - CG Princess Leia

Darth Vader was the original trilogy character whose return in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story received the most publicity, but he was not the only familiar face featured in the final product. Director Gareth Edwards also found room for Grand Moff Tarkin and Princess Leia, who both fit naturally into the narrative given its place in the timeline. The process of including the duo was fairly extensive, as Industrial Light & Magic used state-of-the-art CGI to create the likenesses of Peter Cushing and Carrie Fisher circa 1977. Crafting the physical appearances is an aspect of Rogue One that has made many headlines, but the characters' voices have not received as much attention.

For Tarkin, actor Guy Henry (who portrayed the Imperial officer during principal photography) provided the voice, doing an admirable impression of Cushing's dialect. Leia, however, was a different story altogether, and now details have been revealed about how the filmmakers constructed her single line of dialogue in the movie - "Hope." - that she says in the final scene.

In an interview with Yahoo! Movies, sound editor Matthew Wood opened up on some post-production secrets, saying that they had to dig deep into the Lucasfilm archives to get exactly what they needed:

First off, we kind of knew what the script was going to be for that final line, how they wanted to put the button on the whole movie and then connect it right up to New Hope. So I got a call to try to find the original tapes of anything that Carrie had done from ’77. I found the original quarter-inch rolls in an archives box at Lucasfilm, and I just transferred every single take of the “Help me, Obi-Wan Kenobi, you’re my only hope” scene, the hologram scene from the original film. And there were a lot of takes. So I grabbed all that.

The machine that it was played back on doesn’t really exist that much anymore, so I was able to grab the special heads for that and transfer it into Pro Tools and just go through [the takes]. And John Gilroy and John Swartz, the producer, found a take that they thought really worked for that. So it is an original line from Carrie in 1977.

Rogue One A Star Wars Story - CG Princess Leia

This isn't all that different from how Alec Guinness' version of Obi-Wan Kenobi was brought into The Force Awakens. During Rey's Force vision, the old Jedi says, "Rey, these are your first steps." It was revealed after the film's premiere that the "Rey" in that sentence was actually a clip from A New Hope of Guinness saying the word "afraid," repurposed for the new film. It isn't surprising that the filmmakers went this route for Rogue One. Lucasfilm very easily could have brought in a voice actor to record the line, but using something straight from Fisher gave it a sense of authenticity that would have been hard to replicate. It's safe to say the creative team was successful in their efforts, as even Fisher loved the end result.

With the new Star Wars films, Lucasfilm has taken advantage of all kinds of modern technology to make sure the final product is as strong as it can be. As the studio moves forward through its release slate, it will be interesting to see what other tricks of the trade they use in order to deliver captivating and engrossing experiences. As far as many viewers are concerned, they have not steered the franchise in the wrong direction yet, so they'll likely continue to innovate and push the envelope as the tools continue to evolve.

Source: Yahoo! Movies

Key Release Dates
  • 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
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