Star Wars Celebration Reveals New Rogue One Planets, Secrets, and Footage

Image: Empire Strikes Back

Lucasfilm introduced the world of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story at Star Wars Celebration Europe on Friday. Director Gareth Edwards was joined by Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy and stars Felicity Jones, Alan Tudyk, Mads Mikkelsen, and many others. In addition to the new footage, they covered lots of little new tidbits about the film and, at the convention only, they showed a new trailer.

Lets start with the trailer first. It’s focused on Jyn Erso. We see her running as a little girl with starships flying over her. “There isn’t much time,” she says. “Everyday we grow weaker. This is our chance to make a real difference.” As Jyn says that, we get lots of new shots. New ships flying over a desert planet, on a jungle planet—which we learned is called Scarif—then lots of shots from the old trailer, all set to pulse-pounding music. Then, we see a red reflection of the glossy floor, probably from a display in the Death Star and in it, a very famous outline and then that famous breathing. It’s Darth Vader.


This felt really short so, it may be a piece in a trailer that comes out in the near future.

Beyond that, we saw concept art of what John Knoll, the film’s executive producer, imagined the team to be years ago before the film was real.

Panel host Gwendoline Christie then introduced the whole cast (including Ben Mendelsohn dressed as his character, Director Krennic). Jones said that Jyn is different from other Star Wars heroes because, unlike Luke or Rey, she knows who she is. “We know where she’s come from and that fact is what propels the story and its the beginning of Jyn’s journey,” she said.


Alan Tudyk then told us about his droid, K-2SO, who is the best friend of Diego Luna’s character, Cassian. Cassian reprogrammed the droid and Tudyk described him as “unsettling.” He certainly seemed lethargic from the quick shot we saw.


Tudyk also shared that he told Anthony Daniels that he was going to be a droid, too, but that his character was going to be CGI instead of a suit. Daniels responded, “You shit.” The C-3PO suit clearly left an impression.


Director Gareth Edwards explained that they shot a scene in the London Underground, Canary Wharf station, one evening for four hours while it was closed. That’s sure to become a legendary spot for fans to visit in the future.

We also learned that Riz Ahmed’s character, Bodhi, is a pilot who has a Imperial patch on him. His home planet, Jedha, is an occupied world and he sees things that make him question the side he’s on. All he’d say is that, even though he’s a part of the Empire to get paid, he does not agree with what they’re doing. Hence him being in the Rogue One team.


Lots of the scenes we’ve seen in the trailer, of various different marketplaces and stuff, are on Jedha. That’s also where characters Imwe and Baze (Donnie Yen and Jiang Wen) are met. Wen seemed to drop a spoiler about the fate of one of their characters, we won’t spoil it here, but it’s on the live stream at around the 3:36:30 mark, if you want to find it.


Forest Whitaker talked about Saw Guerera, calling him a guerrilla fighter and leader of one faction of what will become the Rebel Alliance. He said all the characters on the stage represented various little groups that will, together, form that alliance.

Mads Mikkelsen was next. He plays Galen Erso, father of Jyn. Mikkelsen said he’s a scientist and that “He’s invented something so beautiful, that it might change the world.” This has made him a person of interest, we were told.


Finally, Ben Mendhelson came out to talk about Krennick. He’s a director of Advanced Weapons Research for the Empire and really, there’s no more info. He sure made an entrance, though:


The whole thing ended with that trailer tease, just whetting the appetite for more.

Be sure to check out all of our coverage of Star Wars Celebration Europe


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Germain Lussier

Entertainment Reporter for io9/Gizmodo