Star Wars: The Force Awakens is in theaters this weekend. That can only mean one thing for sites like ours. We must now move onto next year's exciting franchise adventure Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. While we didn't get the trailer for this spinoff as some expected, we do have some new intel on the production. Director Gareth Edwards and his team want to ensure they have the most realistic looking war scenes in any sci-fi movie. And they've found the perfect way to pull that off.
All of the extras who have signed up to do intergalactic air battle are actually soldiers. It's their day job. Lucasfilm and Disney have hired actors from the British forces to serve as part of the Rebel Alliance who go on a mission to retrieve plans for the Death Star. Some of the soldiers on set have been trained to fly attack helicopters in missions over hostile territory, so their expertise is expected to come in quite handy as this squadron of X-Wing pilots face off against a legion of TIE-Fighters.
Forces.tv bring us the initial report, which claims that all of the British forces members who have enlisted in this fake war are sworn to secrecy until the movie comes out. Julie Knox was able to talk with some involved. The report states the following about Rogue One and how these soldiers are helping to make it a better movie.
"They may not be classically trained, but in some ways they're a natural choice. Members of the Army Air Corps aren't easily star-struck: they had Prince Harry as a colleague until recently. So when personnel were given the opportunity to take leave from their Apache squadron and re-deploy to the film set, they used their summer stand-down to fulfill boyhood dreams: getting to grips with the Death Star, waving around a light sabre, and seeing Princess Leia close up. Well, perhaps those dreams are still the stuff of science fiction and fantasy..."
Director Gareth Edwards is still hard at work shooting Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, with production to wrap early in the new year. Top secret scenes were shot at Cardington in Bedfordshire. It formerly served as an airship station, where the ill-fated R101, the largest British aircraft ever constructed, was housed. It is also the same location where barrage balloons were developed for WWII. The sheds at this location are being called legendary, and are said to be more than twice the length of 2 football fields. This isn't the first time they've been used for movie sets, either. Along with Batman and Pirates of The Caribbean: The Curse of The Black Pearl, scenes for Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope were shot at this same location why back in 1976. More than a dozen soldiers were used in these sequences, from Majors to junior Air Troopers. A source close to the production stated the following.
"All the guys on our squadron are massive Star Wars fans. When our Officer Commanding asked us if we wanted to be an extra in the next film during a morning brief, nobody put their hands up. We all thought it must be a wind-up. It took him most of the day to convince us that he really did know someone who was looking for a body of men to mill around in the background and do what they were told."
It is said that more than 40 current and retired members of the Royal Navy, British Army and Royal Ari Force have participated in fighting Stormtroopers in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. Pilots and instructors, ammunition loaders and ground crew all became X-wing pilots, ground crew and Marines for the movie. The actors are all being held under a non-disclosure agreement, and all phones and cameras were confiscated during the shoot. As well, all of the real-life soldiers were required to wear black cloaks when they were not shooting scenes for the movie.The extras were not allowed to approach any of the main cast when shooting was not taking place.
We still have an entire year before Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is in theaters. We're not sure when the first trailer will drop. Felicity Jones is the main lead in the movie. She is joined by a cast that includes Mads Mikkelsen, Ben Mendelsohn, Alan Tudyk, Diego Luna, Forest Whitaker and Donnie Yen. What do you think? Does this sounds like a better movie now?