Star Wars fans can now enjoy Rogue One from the comforts of their couch as the first-ever Star Wars Story hit VOD last month before coming to Blu-ray Combo Pack, DVD and On-Demand on April 4. To celebrate, Ryan J. Downey headed to ILM to meet up with some of the team behind this thrilling sci-fi adventure to explore new secrets and learn more details about the making of the latest Star Wars movie.
On hand to discuss this latest entry in the official Star Wars cinematic canon were Rogue One star Alan Tudyk, who plays K-2SO in the movie, along with VFX Supervisor John Knoll, who created the story, and Animation Supervisor Hal Hickel. You can watch them discuss the movie at length in the exclusive video below.
Lucasfilm’s Rogue One has definitely established its place within the Star Wars universe and the hearts of moviegoers, becoming the seventh highest-grossing film of all time in the U.S. Fans who get their hands on the Blu-ray and DVD will be treated to never-before-seen bonus material that goes behind the scenes with the movie’s diverse, dynamic cast and inspired team of filmmakers. An intimate collection of stories reveals how the film came to life, as well as hidden easter eggs and film facts that audiences may have missed in the theater.
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is directed by Gareth Edwards (Godzilla, Monsters) and produced by Kathleen Kennedy, p.g.a., Allison Shearmur, p.g.a. (The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, Cinderella) and Simon Emanuel, p.g.a. (The Dark Knight Rises). Veteran ILM visual effects supervisor John Knoll, (Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest) whom shares a long history with the Star Wars films, is executive producer alongside Jason McGatlin (Star Wars: The Force Awakens, War of the Worlds). The story is by John Knoll and Gary Whitta (The Book of Eli, After Earth), and the screenplay was written by Chris Weitz (The Golden Compass, About a Boy) and Tony Gilroy (The Bourne Legacy, Michael Clayton).
Felicity Jones heads up the cast and stars opposite Diego Luna. Joining them are Ben Mendelsohn, Mads Mikkelsen, Alan Tudyk, Riz Ahmed and Forest Whitaker. The film also welcomes two of China’s biggest stars, Donnie Yen and Jiang Wen. In addition, Anthony Daniels reprises his role of C-3PO, marking his eighth appearance in a Star Wars film.
John Knoll (Executive producer/VFX Supervisor) joined Industrial Light & Magic as a technical assistant way back in 1986, and was soon promoted to motion control camera operator for Captain EO. After three years of operating, Knoll was called upon to work on the ground-breaking digital effects for The Abyss, a film that saw the first use of Photoshop, which he had co-developed with his brother Thomas. Since that time, Knoll has been promoted to visual effects supervisor, helming the visual effects on more than 20 feature films and commercials and most recently chief creative officer of the studio. His film background, coupled with an advanced understanding of digital technologies, has made Knoll a much sought-after supervisor having been honored with an Oscar and a BAFTA Award for Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest and five additional visual effects Academy Award nominations as well as four additional BAFTA nominations. He was the man who came up with the original idea for a movie based on the Rebels who steal the plans for the Death Star.
Hal Hickel joined Industrial Light & Magic in 1996 as an animator for The Lost World: Jurassic Park. On his next production, he was promoted to lead animator and given responsibility for the animation of several characters in Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace. In 2000, Hickel was moved up to animation supervisor, teaming up with multi-Academy Award winning visual effects supervisor Dennis Muren on Steven Spielberg’s A.I. Artificial Intelligence. His special interest in animation lies in the challenge of integrating fantastic characters and creatures into live-action films. Hickel has since supervised the animation work on Star Wars: Episode II Attack of the Clones, Iron Man and the first three films in the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise. In 2007, his work on Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest was recognized with both an Academy Award for Outstanding Achievement in Visual Effects and the BAFTA for Best Achievement in Visual Effects.
These two behind-the-scenes mavens are joined by actor Alan Tudyk in our exclusive interview video. Together, they worked to bring the droid K-2SO to life on the big screen. Watch as they discuss the process and divulge other secrets in this exciting look direct from Lucasfilm‘s ILM headquarters in San Francisco.