These Are The 4 Best Extras On The Rogue One Blu-ray
The first entry into what will likely be an infinite supply of Star Wars “stories” taking place outside the major chapters, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story seemed tailor-made for a home release packed with a spaceship-load of Blu-ray goodies and deleted material, what with its highly publicized re-shoots and the fact that The Force Awakens Blu-ray was so stacked with unused scenes.
You’d think that with so much stuff not making the final cut (including snippets we saw in trailers), the home release would be the perfect opportunity to feed the need of hungry Star Wars fans across the galaxy, giving them access to the everything that hit the cutting room floor. Alas, the Blu-ray contains no deleted scenes, instead electing for somewhat illuminating mini-featurettes.
The choice to hide the juicy bits was possibly meant to disguise any behind-the-scenes turmoil, despite the fact that the finished product ended up being pretty great. For now, we’ll have to live with decent extras, flawless a/v, and one of the most entertaining films of 2016, which is a pretty good deal come to think of it.
Lack of deleted scenes and hot gossip aside, these special features still provide insight into the making of a movie that Star Wars fans were expecting a lot out of. Here are the four most interesting featurettes on the disc:
1. Hear how ILM’s John Knoll came up with the movie’s concept–and why it’s the right film to launch the Star Wars stand-alone films.
“A Rogue Idea” details the film’s journey from the original pitch—hatched by ILM’s John Knoll—to production. As a huge Star Wars fan I’m continually fascinated by the path forged by the Lucasfilm story group and how they’ve arrived at the decisions made so far.
It was interesting to hear how Knoll and his ILM cronies formed a development squad before a writer or director was named, allowing them to iron out as many details as they could. My only beef is that there is barely any mention of how the project changed from pitch to final product, save for a few minor character details covered in some of the other featurettes. Perhaps one day a small group of rebels will be able to infiltrate the Lucasfilm archives and steal the pitch for the good of the galaxy.
2. The filmmakers describe the challenges and thrills of developing a bold new look for the movie that can fit within the world of the original trilogy.
Because I’ll probably never get the chance to visit the Lucasfilm archives myself unless I’m part of the aforementioned heist, getting to see any footage of the Star Wars Valhalla is fine by me. “Visions of Hope: The Look of Rogue One” focuses on the influence of the legendary Ralph McQuarrie and provides insight into his original Star Wars designs that inspired Rogue One including a nice comparison of the earth-toned rebels, and more muted and angular Empire. It also shows just how big a fan of the series director Garth Edwards is, including his childlike glee as he picks up the actual T-16 Luke plays around with in Episode IV.
3. See what it took to bring the vibrant young princess of A New Hope, as well as one of her most memorable foes, back to the screen.
No matter how you felt about ILM literally resurrecting the dead by creating CGI versions of Grand Moff Tarkin and a young Princess Leia, it’s cool to see how they managed to make it not look totally stupid. After watching “The Princess & The Governor,” turns out It was a huge challenge for the actors, and the technical crew who were inspired by the original ILM team who constantly sought to make the impossible possible.
4. Explore the development of this reprogrammed Imperial droid, from initial pitch and character design through Alan Tudyk’s performance.
There’s a featurette dedicated to each of the main characters, but of all of them the one that focuses on Alan Tudyk’s K-2SO is easily the most interesting. “K-2SO: The Droid” gives a glimpse into the challenges of Tudyk’s incredible motion capture performance that was mostly performed on stilts. For those shots where stilts were impossible due to mountainous terrain or perhaps those slick, shiny Imperial floors, Tudyk was forced to brandish a backpack with a rod extending up into a cardboard K-2 face that Diego Luna was apparently quite fond of burning. It was also cool to hear that originally the droid was going to be a black protocol droid a la C-3PO.
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is out today on Blu-ray. Here are the rest of the features you’ll find on this two-disc set:
-Jyn: The Rebel – Get to know Rogue One’s defiant, resourceful survivor, and hear what it was like for Felicity Jones to bring her to life onscreen.
-Cassian: The Spy – Diego Luna shares insights into his complex, driven character, who becomes a hero through selflessness, perseverance and passion.
-Baze & Chirrut: Guardians of the Whills – Go deeper into the relationship between these two very different characters, with Chinese superstars Jiang Wen and Donnie Yen.
-Bodhi & Saw: The Pilot & The Revolutionary – Forest Whitaker and Riz Ahmed reflect on Saw Gerrera, the broken Rebel leader, and Bodhi Rook, the Imperial pilot who defects.
-The Empire – Meet a dangerous new Imperial adversary…and cross paths once more with the most iconic villain of all time.
-Epilogue: The Story Continues – Filmmakers and cast celebrate Rogue One’s premiere and look forward into the future, to the Star Wars stories yet to be told.
-Rogue Connections – Uncover Easter eggs and film facts hidden throughout the movie that connect “Rogue One” to the Star Wars universe.