Star Wars spin-off gets green light from George Lucas

Riz Ahmed, Diego Luna, Felicity Jones, Jiang Wen and Donnie Yen star in the movie Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.
Riz Ahmed, Diego Luna, Felicity Jones, Jiang Wen and Donnie Yen star in the movie Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. Jonathan Olley & Leah Evans

GEORGE Lucas has given his verdict on the Star Wars spin-off Rogue One. Despite Lucas selling the rights to Star Wars to Disney years ago, the creator remains integrally linked to the series.

According to Rogue One director Gareth Edwards, Lucas has now seen the upcoming spin-off and, much to everyone's relief, thoroughly enjoyed the film.

Speaking to an audience of journalists, Edwards told of how Lucas's opinion was the "most important'' one, and his reaction meant he could "die a happy man''.

According to Sunday World, Edwards said: "Two days ago we got to show George the movie, and we all had a phone call and I got to speak with him yesterday, and I don't want to put words into his mouth, but I can honestly say that I can die happy now.


Felicity Jones in a scene from the movie Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. Supplied by Disney.
Felicity Jones in a scene from the movie Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. Supplied by Disney. Lucasfilm

"He really liked the movie. It meant a lot. To be honest, and no offence to anyone here, it was the most important review to me.

"You know, you guys are important too, but he's kind of God... I will take that conversation to my grave. His opinion means the world to me."

Despite being the creator of Star Wars, Lucas has not always spoken favourably about how Disney has treated the series.

On JJ Abrams' The Force Awakens, Lucas said: "They wanted to do a retro movie. I don't like that. I like - every movie, I worked very hard to make them completely different, with different planets, with different spaceships - you know, to make it new."

Rogue One tells the story of a group of unlikely heroes who, in a time of conflict, band together on a mission to steal the plans to the Death Star - the Empire's ultimate weapon of destruction.

A few critics and lucky fans also got a 28-minute sneak peek at the highly anticipated film this week at Lucas's Skywalker Ranch.

According to their verdicts on Twitter, Rogue One's new droid K-2SO is going to be a huge hit with movie-goers.

The gangly black robot was originally created as an Imperial security guard but was reprogrammed by the Alliance.

Fandango's managing editor Erik Davis declared K-2SO his "new favourite droid'' while Yahoo Movies' Kevin Polowy tweeted the droid is "hilarious'' and that "the emotion is going to be strong with this one''.

K-2SO already has its own parody Twitter account, @KayTuesso. The droid is voiced by actor Alan Tudyk who, during a recent panel live-streamed from LucasFilms headquarters in San Francisco, said K-2SO was very different from the franchise's beloved C-3PO.

"Kaytoo is unflappable, and C-3PO was just flapping all over the place," he said. "Like a child he can be a smart-ass sometimes. That's my experience with children. He can be passive aggressive sometimes."

Collider praised Edwards' practical approach to the film's special effects and action scenes.

According to the film's production notes, the director wanted to make the film feel more grounded in reality and to give Rogue One a sense of gritty realism reminiscent of his style of filming in Monsters.

"What I wanted to do was to make Rogue One more natural, more realistic and a little more organic; to make it feel like a real world," he said.

"This is a time with no Jedi, no god to come and help the people who are under this massive threat."

The film also stars Emmy Award-winning Australian actor Ben Mendelsohn as Imperial Director Orson Krennic.

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story opens nationally on Thursday.

- with The Independent's Jack Shepherd

Topics:  entertainment george lucas movies rogue one star wars

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