Like much of Rogue One, Admiral Raddus was inspired by a real piece of our history.
In Rogue One, we’ll see other military leaders from this species, including the black-hued figure above – Admiral Raddus. His inspiration was the Prime Minster of the United Kingdom during World War II. The British Bulldog himself.
“We always tried to find a real world example of who these creatures may be, and in this case we used Churchill,” says Neal Scanlan, creature effects supervisor for the Star Wars franchise. “Admiral Raddus is a very strong figure. We would use [Churchill] not only as visual reference for his physical features, but also when it came to performing him and expressing him through the actor.”
This was a common practice on the movie. “You try to look at a famous actor, or a statesperson or something like that. Someone you could use,” Scanlan said.
I’ve always been a fan of this practice to mirror some of our world in Star Wars and I’m happy that Scanlan and his team have continued it. My favorite example is Stuart Freeborn’s modeling Yoda after himself. It’s just so great when you see them side-by-side.