ANDI GUTIERREZ -MODERATOR: - Hi, Iím the host of the Star Wars show, and lucky enough to be up here and joining this conversation with you guys. So without further ado we are going to get started here. Weíre going to welcome out the cast and crew of Rogue One. [CHEERS AND APPLAUSE] All right, so we are currently being joined by Ms. Kathy Kennedy, Gareth Edwards, Diego Luna, Alan Tudyk, Donnie Yen, and John Knoll. Good morning. Hi guys. How are you guys?
KATHY KENNEDY: Good morning, good morning.
ANDI GUTIERREZ -MODERATOR: So I think to kick things off, Gareth, Iím going to pick on you first, because youíre easy to pick on.
GARETH EDWARDS: No fair. Do the actors. Theyíre really good in front of the camera. Iím not used to this.
ANDI GUTIERREZ -MODERATOR: So weíve talked quite about how youíve been a Star Wars fan pretty much your whole life, so the lead up to Rogue One has been a pretty long road. Now that people are seeing the movie and youíre getting feedback, how do you feel?
GARETH EDWARDS: Itís strange. This is a very strange period in making a film, this little moment here, because for about two and a half years youíre really busy making it and your headís down and you canít really think about anything else. And now weíve finished the movie but we havenít released it, I feel like weíre a little bit pregnant and you know, the due date is Ė weíre just ready to give birth and like share it with the world.
ALAN TUDYK: My water broke!
MALE SPEAKER: Bad Timing
GARETH EDWARDS: [laughing]
ALAN TUDYK: Sorry.
FEMALE SPEAKER: Youíre just like right on the cusp of it.
GARETH EDWARDS: Yeah. Itís kind of frustrating in a weird way to not be able to just show you all the movie now Ďcause the cast got to see it for the first time two days ago and well, let them speak about it Ė
FEMALE SPEAKER: I was jazzed.
GARETH EDWARDS: - but it went down very well I think.
MALE SPEAKER: Itís fantastic.
MALE SPEAKER: Yeah.
ANDI GUTIERREZ -MODERATOR: Well, I think weíll open it up to the audience now. Iíve got some questions. Yeah?
PRESS: Hi, James from Brazil. My questionís for Kathleen Kennedy. You already gave an interview saying there wonít be a sequel for this story, Rogue Two. Iíd like to know can we expect to see one of these characters Ė
KATHY KENNEDY: This is devastating to everybody. [LAUGHTER]
MALE SPEAKER: But we donít know that yet. Thatís a conversation we havenít had.
KATHY KENNEDY: No, you know, when we came up with this idea to do the standalone movies, whatís liberating in many ways is the notion that we can come up with these stories inside the Star Wars universe that really have a beginning, middle and an end, and they stand truly on their own, and this does.
MALE SPEAKER: Itís still not finished.
PRESS: Can we expect to see one of these characters in other Star Wars movies?
KATHY KENNEDY: Doubtful. [LAUGHS] Lot of tears, lot of tears.
ANDI GUTIERREZ -MODERATOR: Okay moving on.
MALE SPEAKER: No.
JOHN KNOLL: I think the sequel to Rogue One is Ė itís Episode 4, weíve already made it.
KATHY KENNEDY: Thatís true, thatís true.
MALE SPEAKER: And we canít [SOUNDS LIKE] begin that.
JOHN KNOLL: Not without some substantial rework.
MALE SPEAKER: No.
KATHY KENNEDY: Actually, John, you could probably figure that one.
JOHN KNOLL: Iíll get right on that. Weíll talk, weíll talk later.
PRESS: Hello, this question is for Gareth, and Gareth I was wondering, what was the most interesting thing for you in relation to the fight between the Empire and the Rebels, because it seems that this version is like grittier, youíre trying to just like talk about like moral issues. I donít know how was for you to just like try to add something more complex maybe to the mythology.
GARETH EDWARDS: Yeah, I mean, when we started this whole process it was one of the things Kathy would, you know, be asking the whole time is, okay, how is this going to be different, we need to differentiate ourselves from the saga. And so it was like, okay, when we start playing around and experimenting, one of the things we did was we took real war photography like photographs from Vietnam and World War II and the Gulf and stuff like this and we used this bit of software that John wrote for Photoshop and put in rebel helmets on the soldiers and rebel guns and some X-Wings in the background instead of fighter jets, and suddenly you looked at this stuff and it was really engaging, and everyone who came and looked around the building and we showed them things, theyíd get to these images and go oh my god, wow, I really want to see that film, and the studio loved, everybody loved it, and they would say like, just go make that, and thatís kind of what we went off and did. But it was also like being in a war, like you know, the film crew became like the characters in a way. Itís sort of a clichť that the process of making the film becomes like the story youíre telling, and in this case we were all literally in the trenches together trying to achieve these impossible tasks, like the characters were trying to steal Death Star plans but as a group weíre trying to make a great Star Wars movie and so you feel like youíve been through a battle together and thereís like Ė I mean, maybe Iím speaking for myself here but I feel like thereís this connection you have now Ė like no matter what happens, Diego, if I see you like in 20 years, weíre just going to have that, like weíve been through a way together, right?
DIEGO LUNA: I donít know what youíre talking about. I never felt that connection. I just to be reminded every day I was getting paid.
MALE SPEAKER: Yep.
PRESS: Hi, [PH] Louis Leco with [PH] Nuke the Frage and the [PH] Nerdreport. Thanks for having us here. Last year I had a chance to ask J.J. Abrams, what was the most important thing about the original trilogy that he brought into The Force Awakens, so now Iím going to ask the director, what was the most important thing from Lucasís original trilogy that you are bringing into Rogue One? And by the way, the footage looks fantastic.
GARETH EDWARDS: Oh, thank you. Thanks. The problem with Star Wars is that question takes about four hours. Thereís not an individual thing Ė as long as you do this, itís Star Wars and youíre golden Ė itís like youíve got to do about a thousand different things and mix them all together and get the balance just right. Itís like a really tricky thing to emulate what we love about the original but feel like weíre telling a different story and itís fresh. But for me, you know, thereís like, we could have done like a very, you know, specific genre film and stuck Star Wars on it and said thatís our movie. But George was always really good at mixing the genres together and creating this very emotional sort of mythological story that just happened to have robots and spaceships in it Ė no offense, Alan, but itís really got some like, thereís meaning behind it, thereís like meat on the bone, and it took us a long time to try and crack that code and find all those different ingredients that we needed to have and go okay, now it works. And itís not something that you just do in a week and you go, okay, letís go make this; itís like a two and a half year process.
PRESS: Diego, over here.
DIEGO LUNA: Hi.
PRESS: Hi. Could you just talk about, in finding this character, was it all on the script or did you go back and look at other Star Wars films to sort of figure out where your kind of character fits into the hierarchy or was it just all there for you, once you read the story?
DIEGO LUNA: It was a mixture of everything. At the beginning, yes, I started just with the script that was already interesting enough for me to kind of dig into myself and try to find this captain inside me and I guess the most important part was to do the military training, you know? You have to establish a parallel too, you know, with this galaxy far, far away and the world the live in, and it was very interesting to be Ė I spent two weeks with this ex-military in London, just taking about experiences and about the last 10 or 15 years of his life, and that gave me enough material. And then I mean, I love Star Wars and I love the films and A New Hope is probably the first film I really connected with, so I would go back to that film to find a connection again. But it was more about seeing war films, you know. Apocalypse Now, for example, stuff like that. Because my character needs that kind of military structure and itís a guy that is willing to risk anything for this cause, you know? But he thinks in a hierarchical kind of a structure and he has to start there at least in this film, so yeah, that was the research I did.
PRESS: Hi guys, Lucas Siegel from Comicbook.com. Donnie, I have a question for you. Iím right up front here, Donnie. I have a question for you, Donnie. Obviously the force is very much derived from Eastern philosophy. How much of your study of martial arts helped you develop your relationship with the force as Chirrut őmwe?
DONNIE YEN: Well, thatís a good question, but I never thought about relating to the martial arts. You know, I always think of the force Ė we all have the force, itís just we donít realize it. Itís kind of like Ė I think itís interesting to see, to me, Star Wars story is about reminding us the things that we neglect and forget. And the force is Ė we always have [SOUNDS LIKE] kind of ability, and to answer your question, I donít think of it as having the martial arts ability, itís just being a human being Ė you do have the Force.
PRESS: Thank you.
PRESS: To your right, question for Gareth. [OVERLAPPING] Itís been revealed that George Lucas came to the set of this. Whatís it like to have George on set, and has he seen any footage yet? Does he have plans to see?
GARETH EDWARDS: So 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 donít want to put words into his mouth, but I can honestly say that I can die happy now. He really liked the movie, so it meant a lot. To be honest, and no offense to anyone here, it was the most important review to me, was what George thought of it. You know, you guys are important too, but come on, heís kind of God when it comes to Star Wars. Whatís that?
FEMALE SPEAKER: - the wildest phone call, though, I mean.
GARETH EDWARDS: Yeah it was. Weíre in the middle of doing press and you know, you have one interview, another interview, and then suddenly they said, ďWe need to take a break.Ē And I was like, ďIím okay.Ē And itís like, ďNo, we need to take a break.Ē And then they go, ďWe need to talk to you. Weíre going to just go out of the room.Ē And itís like whatís going on? Somethingís bad happened? And we go into a room, they say, ďGeorge wants to speak to you.Ē And they made the call and I was like arghhh. And yeah, and I will take that conversation to my grave. It was a real privilege. And you know, his opinion means the world to me, and John and Kathy have spoke to him. So itís yeah.
PRESS: So obviously one of the most exciting things about this film is seeing the diversity and representation from these main characters. How important was that in crafting the cast and characters of this film? And also you know, for future Star Wars movies what would you like to see from underrepresented groups in Star Wars future films?
KATHY KENNEDY: No, I think itís incredibly important to Star Wars. I think itís more important to the film industry in general. I think, you know, having cast that represent and reflect the world today and having characters that people can relate to all over the world, this is very much a global industry, films mean something to people all over the world, and it was certainly important to this story. It lent itself very, very well. These are a group of people who come together in ways that are kind of inexplicable, but they share a very common belief and they feel very strongly in their desire to do the right thing and they work together incredibly well, and having that sense of diversity as people come together was really important to our story. Every movie has reasons for why you cast certain people, but I think what weíre doing today is just being much more mindful of that, and I think itís important.
PRESS: Hi, Iím Maggie Lyons from Amy Poehlerís Smart Girls back here. This is a question for Kathy, sort of a follow-up on the last question. In terms of women specifically in gender, what do you think the future of women in Star Wars could mean for women in media and the world at large and why is it important to you to foster that change?
KATHY KENNEDY: Well, first of all, I hope it has that level of impact. That would be great. You know, I think it is really important. You know, I found it really interesting when I first stepped into this job and I started to look at, you know, what does it mean to be a female hero, a female heroine? And when you started to look certainly online at imagery, it was pretty shocking what came up, and I think the character of Rey, the character of Jyn, I think these are empowered women that are not necessarily just taking on male characteristics, theyíre genuinely female heroines. And I think thatís really important to the way we tell stories and so I do hope youíre right, I think it will make a difference.
PRESS: Toys are a big thing, part of Star Wars [INDISCERNIBLE].
KATHY KENNEDY: I was laughing at myself as these guys were all standing in the hall as we were waiting to come in here because they were all scrutinizing the toys that are lined up there.
FEMALE SPEAKER: You guys are Hot Wheels now.
KATHY KENNEDY: Yeah.
MALE SPEAKER: Hot Wheels, yeah, thatís the weirdest one. But you know, I always felt sorry for those musicians or those writers that for Christmas give their own record, you know, as a gift, but I think this Christmas Iím going to be giving a lot of those toys with my face, itís so cool, and when I saw my kids playing with them, it was perfect, like it just made complete sense. My daughter, I gave her mine, and she was like, no, no, do you have Jynís? [OVERLAPPING] Jyn, and she loves Felicity. But itís a cool feeling, and I donít know, probably in 20, 30 years itís going to be really cool to open that drawer and find your toy, you know. I like Alanís because it doesnít have his face, [LAUGHTER] and it doesnít do the voice, so itís like he cannot really say itís his toy, even though heís been saying itís his toy.
ALAN TUDYK: Itís a selling point, for sure. Mine is a lot bigger than yours, I should say. Maybe thatís what thatís about. Thereís one thatís like this tall and I have it sitting on my couch, just kind of chilliní, chilliní at home. K-2 is just there. Itís neat. And they donít just make one action figure of you, thereís like five, and a car, although yeah, I donít have a car Ė yet. But yeah, itís pretty exciting. Do you have action figures already?
ANDI GUTIERREZ -MODERATOR:: Yeah, Donnie, is this your first one?
DONNIE YEN: Quite a few. [LAUGHTER]
ALAN TUDYK: In your life, do they get like young Donnie to like older Donnie?
DONNIE YEN: No, the biggest one I have is 9 foot tall, bigger than [SOUNDS LIKE] you, baby.
ALAN TUDYK: Wow, no doubt. You could just crush mine with your foot.
ALAN TUDYK: Wow.
ANDI GUTIERREZ -MODERATOR:: Next.
ALAN TUDYK: John, you have an [INDISCERNIBLE] figure.
JOHN KNOLL: I donít actually.
ALAN TUDYK: Oh, oh, oh. You can take one of the K-2SO ones.
JOHN KNOLL: Oh, thank you.
FEMALE SPEAKER: Weíll have to get that worked out.
FEMALE SPEAKER: You can make one, John.
PRESS: [PH] Jerome May, [PH] Philadelphia Daily News. I have a two part question. Oneís for Gareth. I just want to say from the footage I saw itís a tremendous accomplishment. What was your challenge, you think, Ďcause the tone on this is so much different from other Star Wars films. Itís more a war movie and a heist movie as they say. And how you have that different tone, so you get something different, but still feel like Star Wars was the challenge with that. And for Kathy, you know, follow-up question a lot of people ask is, you know, one of the things that slightly annoys me when people bring up, oh, you have a female lead, itís as if weíve never had a strong female character before, you know, from Bette Davis to Katniss Everdeen, thereís been a lot of strong female characters. You know, how do you feel about that, and how do you feel that I just feel that from what Iíve seen, she has an opportunity to be one of the most [SOUNDS LIKE] verbal characters, period, that weíve seen.
GARETH EDWARDS: For awhile I couldnít see who was saying that. [OVERLAPPING] I was like, [INDISCERNIBLE] are you hearing that voice.
KATHY KENNEDY: Sorry if we look weird up here because these two lights are shining in our eyes and so itís really hard to see you guys, so maybe if you like wave at us or something.
GARETH EDWARDS: I thought it was Ben Kenobi again, [LAUGHTER] it was like [OVERLAPPING]. Yeah, you hear that sometimes, right? During the shoot I would hear him, he would say like, put down the camera, let go.
ANDI GUTIERREZ -MODERATOR: So what was your question?
PRESS: Okay, my question is Ė
GARETH EDWARDS: Tone, it was about tone.
ANDI GUTIERREZ -MODERATOR: Tone.
GARETH EDWARDS: Yeah, the tone was Ė I mean, we essentially got license to be different on this movie and take a risk, you know? The great thing about being a standalone film we donít really have to exist for other movies to continue, etc., and so we could be brave and thatís what we did. And I feel like in terms of Star Wars that I love, tonally, I guess the one were like, you know, aiming for was something like Empire Strikes Back, where our movie even though we take it quite seriously thereís a lot of fun and humor in it, and hope, you know, is the key thing, is that itís about trying to achieve something. I mean, the story really behind the movie is like all these different people from all these different backgrounds that have very little in common, if they believe in a good, you know, future for the world, they could come together and we all are better off when we work together than on our own and so we just tried to make the most realistic version of Star Wars that weíd seen and it involved a lot of different techniques but I canít even remember Kathyís question.
KATHY KENNEDY: I can remember it.
GARETH EDWARDS: You can remember it.
KATHY KENNEDY: So I think youíre absolutely right. I find that it is a bit irritating that when thereís progress being made and strong female characters being created, it tends to be forgotten, and I think thatís because long periods of time go on in between. But I think it speaks to what I was talking about before which is these are big tent pole sort of frankly male driven, boy driven kinds of entertainment in the past, and thatís why I was saying that I think the idea of a female hero is whatís new. I think that heroine concept is whatís been lacking, and I think in this movie the irony is sheís not, as you say, necessarily just a female hero, sheís just a very strong, wonderful character in a movie, and to highlight that as being something specific to being a woman, I agree, I think that thatís what I hope disappears over time, that weíre not constantly highlighting this as though itís something unusual, but that it actually just becomes the vernacular of storytelling.
PRESS: Okay, Iím to your left. This question is for Gareth. I know I canít see you but Iíll put my head here. [OVERLAPPING] Thereís obviously a huge anticipation for this movie and rightly so, but for those, you know, who are not the diehard sci-fi fans or Star Wars fans at all, do you feel that they have to maybe revisit the whole Star Wars universe to appreciate this or is this more of a standalone and we can [INDISCERNIBLE].
KATHY KENNEDY: Itís absolutely a standalone. I think the great thing is that this could be a real introduction to the whole franchise for many people who havenít necessarily followed it, or younger people who donít know that much about Star Wars, and other parts of the world who donít know that much about Star Wars. So it really does stand on its own.
PRESS: So my name is [PH] Brian. Iím asking about the footage last night. There seemed to be a moral complexity to the universe there, whether thatís Cassian doing things that maybe arenít the most [OVERLAPPING] heroic.
DIEGO LUNA Shhh.
DIEGO LUNA What do you mean?
PRESS: Or even all the toy packaging for K-2SO says that maybe heís trying to make up for something. I mean, he is an Imperial droid. Iím wondering if all of you could kind of speak to that moral gray area where Star Wars before always seemed to very black and white about heroes and villains.
KATHY KENNEDY: Diego, you talked a lot about that.
DIEGO LUNA: Yeah, I think itís Ė and it connects with Ė hello Ė itís like censorship [OVERLAPPING]. I want to communicate to the world, please. Let me Ė there you go. I think itís a modern approach to Star Wars, and we live in a different world today, you know. If you revisit all the films, itís kind of like a stamp of what was going on and a reflection on the world back then, you know? And ours has to do the same. And we live in a diverse Ė a diversial world where racial and cultural diversity is in fact making us richer and more interesting. But it is a complex world we live in, and making the right choice many times looks horrible, you know? And these people are in war. You know, when you mentioned Cassian doing something not heroic, I would say, no, Cassian, itís a true hero, as Jyn and everyone in this team, you know? Itís just that they are the heroes we can be, just regular people doing amazing stuff you know, and no special powers, no Jediís, itís just conviction and teamwork and yeah, that hope of actually being able to shape the reality we live in, and that makes them great, you know? But yes, they have to make choices on the way and war is horrible. I mean, no one wants war to happen, none of these characters would choose war, you know, but itís the last chance, you know, and they have to do it.
ANDI GUTIERREZ -MODERATOR: Before we take a break, I have a question for you, Alan. A lot of people Ė
ALAN TUDYK: What?
MALE SPEAKER: Just a very good answer [OVERLAPPING].
ALAN TUDYK: Thank you, because I was very nervous of screwing [OVERLAPPING]. Iím glad you say it.
MALE SPEAKER: Spot on.
MALE SPEAKER: Thank you very much [INDISCERNIBLE]. Thank you. Okay, we can keep going.
ANDI GUTIERREZ -MODERATOR:: Alan, I have a question for you. So a lot of people think that the K2 is strictly CG, but you were actually on set in like a [PH] mocap suit and stilts and stuff.
ALAN TUDYK: Yes, yes.
ANDI GUTIERREZ -MODERATOR: What was that performance like? What was like being on set with everyone who was in character and you were kind of removed from it a bit?
ALAN TUDYK: I got this, Diego. Heís going to give his opinion of it. Diego is very funny about certain aspects of my costume, letís say. I was wearing a, you know, fully body jumpsuit sort of thing, and itís such a new technology, even still. Weíve been introduced to it a lot of different ways. Sometimes people wear cameras on their heads, sometimes thereís dots all over their face, they have balls all over their suit. The way that ILM did it, I wore a suit that was very comfortable, it didnít have all of that restriction on it, it just had interesting designs on it which [OVERLAPPING]. It was very cool looking [OVERLAPPING]. Come on. It was like a luge costume from like the Italian team, like it looked cool. And yeah, I mean, it didnít have the colors, but still Ė and then I was on stilts so I was 7 foot 1, so I towered over everyone most of the time, and it was great, you know, just even at that height it colors how you move and helped me get into character. It was fantastic.
DIEGO LUNA It wasnít
ALAN TUDYK: It was [OVERLAPPING] basically just acting, but then the makeup and the costume came later, but because youíre on set you are able to create a character with the other actors. Without that, you canít tell a story with the true character who can react in a moment. With some of the stuff Diegoís throwing at you, you need to be able to throw it right back.
KATHY KENNEDY: And Alan, I think youíre shortchanging yourself a little bit too because you stepped into amazing iconography with robots in Star Wars and you know, when you figure that C-3PO and R2-D2 and now BB-8, what was amazing about what Alan did is he had to find what that individual sense was so that he could create another robot in the family of robots in Star Wars, and I think he definitely did that. Heís going to be very memorable.
GARETH EDWARDS: I think John Knoll [INDISCERNIBLE] to this is that thereís a feeling, you canít help it because itís CGI, thereís a feeling on set which is, you know, if we change our minds, you want to change his performance a little bit, itís in the computer, maybe we can worry about that later.
ALAN TUDYK: You kept saying that [SOUNDS LIKE] again and again and thatís why - -
GARETH EDWARDS: No, and we shot the whole thing as if K2 was Ė whatever Alan did on set, whatever it was, was exactly what K2 was going to do in the final film. And so, you know, K2 would get, you know, when Alan, no offense, but would screw up a few times, and weíd do multiple, multiple takes. Even though youíre thinking, oh, canít you just animate this stuff Ė and you canít Ė and what we learned was on the very few occasions, there were times where we wanted to tweak something, weíd go, you know what, just make it do something a little bit different to what Alan did, and every single time it didnít work, and we had to be true to Alanís performance all the time. And even when we wanted to tweak something, we got Alan back and we re-recorded him on film and copied his performance, Ďcause he is K2. And a lot of the humor thatís in the film thatís really funny is just this guy improvising. He was given freedom to do whatever he wanted whenever he wanted, and there are shots we couldnít use Ďcause sometimes I was behind the camera and Iím laughing, and the cameraís rocking up and down and thereís stuff we canít even talk about, but it was hilarious.
ANDI GUTIERREZ -MODERATOR: It will be on the behind the scenes documentary right?
GARETH EDWARDS: Yeah.
DIEGO LUNA I can tell you the truth now. No, itís completely right, like when they go like youíre going to do a science fiction film, or youíre gonna, yeah, work with droids, you have the feeling youíre just going to have to imagine everything. And here we were interacting with an actor and making choices on the way. After the first month Ė because the first month we just couldnít look at him because he did look ridiculous with this outfit. It was the tightest pajamas ever, and because he had the stilts you were always the height of his balls here, you know? [LAUGHTER] I mean, that just made Alan Ė it was quite intimidating. [LAUGHTER] And then heís Ė yeah, well, heís really tall, right? So he was there. But then when he had to run there was a version of him that it was just a backpack
ALAN TUDYK: backpack of shame.
DIEGO LUNA without the stilts, with like the face of K2 on the top. But it just looked so cheesy, like so badly done, like suddenly they went for the Mexican version, you know [LAUGHTER] and [OVERLAPPING].
ANDI GUTIERREZ -MODERATOR: All right. Well, I think we are going to take a quick break.
ANDI GUTIERREZ -MODERATOR: On that note.
ANDI GUTIERREZ -MODERATOR: We can leave it at that. Weíll take a quick break and then weíll be back up here with another group in just a few minutes. So hang tight. So thank you guys.
MALE SPEAKER: Thank you.