Today Star Wars announced Rogue One‘s full cast and crew, thereby setting it firmly on track to become one of the most exciting Star Wars films of the next few years.
“Rogue One takes place before the events of Star Wars: A New Hope and will be a departure from the saga films but have elements that are familiar to the Star Wars universe,” says Kathleen Kennedy. “It goes into new territory, exploring the galactic struggle from a ground-war perspective while maintaining that essential Star Wars feel that fans have come to know. Gareth is such an innovative director and I’m so excited to be working with him and the extraordinary ensemble cast he’s selected for ‘Rogue One.’” – Star Wars
The film will, as previously established, follow a group of rebels on a mission to steal the plans for the Death Star. The cast will include the following actors:
- Felicity Jones, presumed to be the main character (The Theory of Everything)
- Diego Luna (Milk, Killing Them Softly)
- Ben Mendelsohn (Bloodline)
- Donnie Yen (Blade II)
- Jiang Wen (Let the Bullets Fly)
- Forest Whitaker (The Butler, The Last King of Scotland)
- Mads Mikkelsen (Hannibal, Casino Royale)
- Alan Tudyk, as a performance-capture character (Firefly, Con Man)
- Riz Ahmed (Nightcrawler, Four Lions)
Shall I give you a moment to let the brilliancy of this cast sink in? This might be one of the most diverse casts I have ever seen in such a high-stakes film. Although one could have wished for more female characters some may be announced later on. On the other hand, it could be that female Rebels aren’t very frequent and that this will make Felicity Jones’ character all the more interesting.
Although the cast announcement is exciting, it is actually the announcement of the crew which tells us most about the direction that Rogue One will take. Director Gareth Edwards is joined by:
- Greig Fraser as Director of Photography (Zero Dark Thirty)
- Neil Corbould as Special Effects Supervisor (Saving Private Ryan)
- Doug Chiang as Production Designer (Star Wars I-II)
There are many other talented people involved as well, but what the above three choices show is that Gareth Edwards is definitely planning to make a war movie of Rogue One. His own credentials include Godzilla which featured its own share of violence, but Fraser and Corbould have experience with bringing to life a military tale. If Rogue One follows in Dark Zero Thirty and Saving Private Ryan‘s footsteps the tone of the film will be significantly different from that of the whole Saga so far. It will be darker, grittier and quite potentially have some espionage and thriller aspects to it as well. The one cast photo that we got already seems to suggest this. The presence of Doug Chiang also seems to suggest that the film will try to visually link in with the Prequels and the Star Wars universe.
At Clone Corridor we’re very excited about the direction that Rogue One is taking. By allowing the Anthology films to really differentiate themselves look- and genre-wise from the Saga films Star Wars will prevent overloading the world with Star Wars content that is too similar. It will also allow another generation of artists and fans to get inspired by the Star Wars universe and its stories in a new and different way.