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‘Rogue One’ Celebration Panel: What We Learned

Today’s Rogue One panel at Star Wars Celebration Europe lit the internet on fire as surprise guest Gwendoline Christie — Captain Phasma, herself — took the stage to host the anticipated live-streamed event.

Christie introduced Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy and director Gareth Edwards, before bringing out the film's entire main cast -- Diego Luna, Riz Ahmed, Felicity Jones, Donnie Yen, Jiang Wen, Alan Tudyk, Mads Mikkelsen, Forest Whitaker and Ben Mendelssohn in costume as the villainous Director Krennic.

Edwards treated the audience to a reveal of the new poster and introduced a 3-minute behind-the-scenes sizzle reel.

The tropical world on which much of Rogue One is set officially has a name: Scarif.

Rogue One star Felicity Jones was presented with her character, Jyn Erso's, Hasbro Black Series figure -- noting that her belt is a lot like Han Solo's. She described Jyn as a character who, unlike Luke and Rey, hasn't been sitting around waiting for her life to begin. She may even be a little tired of adventure.

Diego Luna, who plays Capt. Cassian Andor, says his character is so committed to the cause that he has just one friend, a reprogrammed Imperial droid named K-2SO, played by Alan Tudyk.

A short clip of Tudyk playing Kaytoo via performance capture was screened. In the clip, Jyn shoves her bag into the tall, black droid's hands, only to have him drop it on the ground seconds later, which Tudyk says is reflective of Kaytoo's just-can't-with-this disposition.

Riz Ahmed confirmed that his character, Bodhi Rook, a pilot for the Rebels, is a former Imperial (traitor!), which explains the badge on his uniform spotted by sharp-eyed fans in the film's first publicity still.

Donnie Yen, who plays Chirrut Imwe, and Jiang Wen, who plays Baze Malbus, are from the planet Jedha, described as a "holy site" to the Jedi.

Of his character, Saw Gerrera, Forest Whitaker told fans, "He's been fighting for years against Imperial occupation. He’s a guerrilla fighter. There's a series of different rebel groups coming together as an Alliance. All of these different people are parts of that. By any means necessary, he'll do what he has to do to save the world. He was trained by the military, and by the Jedi, too."

Mads Mikkelsen, who plays Jyn's father Galen Erso, would only confirm that his character is a scientist who "invents something so beautiful that it might change the universe."

Mendelsohn, who later returned to the stage out of his Director Krennic getup, was similarly tight-lipped, half-joking that Krennic is a different kind of villain because he's "smarter" and "sexier" than "most of his predecessors."

The panel closed with a special Celebration teaser that was omitted from the live stream, focusing on Jyn's character. It opens with her as a young orphan girl and ends with a quick tease of Darth Vader's appearance in the film -- he's seen in reflection and we hear his iconic breathing.

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story opens on December 16. Watch the full below:


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Brian Linder

Brian Linder, Senior Editor at Fandom, has been on the fan media scene since dial-up. He loves space sagas and superheroes. Arriving at Fandom by way of IGN, TheForce.net, and FilmForce, Brian cut his teeth at the birthplace of today's Star Wars fan culture, the "legendary" RASSM newsgroup.

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