I’ve decided to start this week with a Rogue One: A Star Wars Story one-two punch. Yesterday we discussed some details about the story and today we’ll discuss some visuals. What follows is a description of a “practical” set from Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. The set appears to be from the backlot of Pinewood Studios where they filmed the Maz Kanata’s castle exteriors from Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Some trees glimpsed behind a blue screen resemble the area in my opinion. It should be noted that no trees are a part of this set itself as the climate is very different. What follows below is a set description and descriptions of a ship and two new characters from Rogue One. I was able to see the content and make some notes. What follows is my write-up of those notes.
Consider this your spoiler warning.
It is imposible to say what is going on in the sequence. But for certain an X-wing has crashed in a town or city that is technologically equipped. Outside the crash are two men looking like bounty hunters and a small group of stormtroopers. The two men don’t really resemble any characters in the cast photo but the man in the red mask’s coloring kind of matches the red here from the first cast photo we got at D23:
However, the chest piece and gear is missing so I can’t say for certain it is him as the man in this picture is wearing an overcoat. He could change his costume slightly but it remains uncertain if it is actually the man in the photo above.
Now onto the description:
An X-wing crashed inside what appears to be an urban-like environment. The buildings are dirty and tan. At first one might think its architecture from Mos Espa or a settlement on Tatooine, but it is doubtful that’s what it is supposed to be. It should be noted that a few of the archways are still rounded in the same way they are on Tatooine. The foreground of the set is fitted with a large blue screen. You can see the blue screen in between the ruins of a wall or former building. The entire thing has been taken out by the X-wing that has just crashed through it. It looks like to me the place that was taken out is actually a round archway, an entrance into the city or port perhaps? The wall behind the X-wings has steam vents with water stains below the vents on the wall. One of the three vents actually has steam coming out of the vent, adding a nice touch of lived-in realism. Ropes or cables hang from one side of the street to the other side of the street like old telephone wires. The walls have circuit boxes and other tech connecting to the wires.
The X-wing fighter that has crashed appears to be the same kind of fighter the rebellion used when Luke Skywalker was flying for them, a T-65. However, this X-wing is black or very dark grey with white detailing. Unlike Poe Dameron’s ship in The Force Awakens, this fighter has no orange highlights. Instead the detailing on the fighter is white on the back of the wings, with the white detailing tracing the back outline of the chassis and the cockpit. Only one laser gun is visible on the collapsed wings. The lower guns likely busted off when the ship crashed to the ground, but you can see that ship has four engines and isn’t a Z-95. The ship isn’t on fire itself, but a little fire burns behind the craft. The X-wing’s canopy is up, which slightly obscures some of the ship; however, it doesn’t appear the X-wing has a slot for an astromech unit but I can’t say for certain thanks to the canopy being up. I would probably guess there is no astromech slot.
The ground is dirt, slightly sandy like the ground from a Western cowboy movie. The roads are not paved and never have been here. Stormtroopers roam the streets. These are the classic stormtroopers of the Original Trilogy era. There were at least five Stormtroopers on this set and it appears they are there to meet with or clash with the two men outside the X-wing. The stormtroopers are just normal troopers, no shoulder pauldrons with colors noting rank or anything like that.
On the street, two men walk in front of the wreckage of the black-and-white X-wing fighter. It isn’t clear if they were a part of the crash or if it was just a part of their entrance. The first man has a long rifle that in spirit seems to resemble Doc Brown’s riffle from Back to the Future Part III. He has a black leather trench coat on. His mask is dull red and the visor is like a cross between Kylo Ren and and the Imperial guards from Return of the Jedi. The other man has a brown trench coat and a really big rifle with a stock that reminds me of the guns used on Hoth by the rebels in The Empire Strikes Back. If I had to guess, I would say these two are probably bounty hunters or two of the coolest extras of all time.
All in all, I gotta say it was really cool to see that they actually built the X-wing that crashed into the dirt road outside the dwellings. This was unlike the placeholder stuff we saw at the beach location via tabloid photos. Right now, if I had to bet, I would say the background of this location will be related to that beach set we saw in those photos some time ago. The set looks really fantastic and the rubble looks pretty believable, like something you’d see in a World War II movie. I really dig the vibe of this film so far.
I hope my description allows some of you to get an idea of what I saw. I wish I could share more but I am not permitted or even able to do so. I can understand how frustrating that can be and how privileged and lucky I am to get a glimpse of the next Star Wars film. I hope my effort is appreciated and helps enhance your thirst for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. Everything about the film is sounding like its going to be something to get excited about.