The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has officially revealed their list of nominees for the upcoming 89th Annual Academy Awards. As expected, La La Land cleaned up in a big way, scoring a record tying 14 nominations, but Disney and Lucasfilm came away likely feeling pretty good, because their latest adventure in a galaxy far, far away managed to score a couple of nominations itself. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story was nominated for 2 Oscars, including Best Visual Effects and Best Sound Mixing.
Star Wars: Rogue One was already a big commercial and critical success, but if the first Star Wars anthology movie can actually win an Oscar, that would pretty much be the last piece of the puzzle needed in order to make the movie a success in every way. Star Wars: The Force Awakens managed to earn 5 Oscar nominations last year, for those who like to see how those two movies stack up against one another. Rogue One most definitely seems deserving in the categories that it was nominated in, but winning in those categories is going to be a bit trickier, because there is some very stiff competition. The other movies nominated in the Best Sound Mixing category include Arrival, Hacksaw Ridge, La La Land and 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi.
The Best Sound Mixing category is anyone's guess, but it helps to understand what that category actually means. Sound mixing is one of the final stages in the production process and involves taking all of the isolated sounds and the music in the movie and determining their appropriate levels. This can mean taking hundreds, in some cases thousands of individual audio channels and trying to make everything balance out correctly. With something like Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, it is easy to imagine that was an enormous task.
As far as the Best Visual Effects category goes, it is also pretty easy to see why Rogue One scored a nomination, as Star Wars has a long, storied history of advancing visual effects in cinema. The other movies nominated in that category this year include Deepwater Horizon, Doctor Strange, The Jungle Book and Kubo and the Two Strings. Disney actually has a three in five chance of winning that category, which is emblematic of just how dominant 2016 was for them.
Even if A Star Wars Story doesn't actually win in either of the categories in which it is nominated, it will still go down as a home run for Disney and Lucasfilm. As of this writing, the movie has made $1.012 billion at the worldwide box office, which is huge for a Star Wars movie that takes place outside of the main Star Wars saga. At the very least, Disney can slap a couple of Oscar nominations on the Blu-ray box when the movie comes out. Be sure to tune into the 89th Academy Awards ceremony on February 26 at 7 p.m. EST on ABC to see if Rogue One: A Star Wars Story can take home an Oscar or two.