Starting today, Rogue One is finally available on VOD, which means you can watch a double feature of this first-ever Star Wars story along with the movie that directly follows it, the one that started it all, 1977's A New Hope. Having Rogue One arrive for home viewing also means all you fans out their have access to HD video from every single glorious moment. So get ready for a lot of mash-up videos! The big daddy of them all is first out of the gate. Of course, some fan had to go and connect the epic final moments of Rogue One and directly connect them to the opening scene from a New Hope.
This fan-cut video arrives courtesy of Vimeo. And you can judge the results for yourself. Some love watching these two movies back-to-back, as they were meant to be seen. While some believe the movies work against each other in the long run. One minute we're watching Darth Vader go on a Rebel killing spree. The next minute, as he boards the Tantive IV, Vader looks like a tired old man, and as well he should be, after using the Force to ceiling slam Rebel soliders.
Rogue One tells the story of the Rebel spies who stole the Death Star. And it was always meant to set up the events seen in A New Hope. The spin-off ends just moments before the original begins. And now, as Rogue One comes home, fans all around the world can finally watch the Rebel's entire effort to defeat this monstrous planet killing machine, a story that distracts from the Skywalker saga at the heart of the first trilogy.
The transaction between the two movies is seamlessly edited by super fan Barre Fong. He removes the opening crawl from A New Hope, much like Lucasfilm decided to ditch the opening crawl for these new standalone adventures. We get to see everything from Vader's walk of death to the discovery that the plans were jettisoned in an escape pod. Perhaps the biggest take away from all this is that despite a 40 year gap between the two movies, the VFX remain quiet consistent. The look of the two different movies isn't quite as jarring between 1977 and 2016 as one might expect. But the character motivation? That's another story. About making sure Rogue One blend seamlessly into A New Hope, ILM's John Knoll had this to say to CinemaBlend.
"One thing that was a general theme on the show was match your memory of things, not necessarily the reality of them. What that means is that we were depicting a lot of things that you had seen in the other films like the Yavin base and Star Destroyers and X-wings, and stormtroopers, and a lot of things that are very familiar. But when you go back and actually look at what was in the original film, we went out to the archive building out on the Ranch and we very extensively photographed a lot of those original miniatures. And, I remember them being better than they actually were in reality. So, what we would do was try and match how you remember them, not necessarily how they actually were."
The old design look of A New Hope is matched by the new VFX methods utilized in Rogue One. Sure, it doesn't explain all the Tie-Fighters on Scarif and the lack of such a squadron when the Rebels went to destroy the Death Star, but, you know, modern audiences need that extra kick of adrenaline. You can watch the opening moments from Rogue One here before the full movie hits Blu-ray April 4, 2017. This Star Wars story is available for streaming on VOD right now.