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Kathleen Kennedy talks Rogue One: A Star Wars Story and Han Solo spin-off

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

Story by Jack Foley

KATHLEEN Kennedy, chief of Lucasfilm, has been dropping some hints about what to expect from the imminent Rogue One: A Star Wars Story as well as the forthcoming Han Solo spin-off.

In an interview with Variety, she described Rogue One as “a World War II-style adventure”, which would mark something of a departure from the more traditional Star Wars style.

For instance, Rogue One will mark the first film in the series without a score by John Williams, as Michael Giacchino (Jurassic World) has been recruited to put his own spin on the music.

And unlike previous Star Wars adventures, rumours abound that Rogue One will not begin with a narrative crawl updating viewers on the latest goings in a galaxy far, far away.

Commenting on the WWII adventure style, Kennedy commented: “We felt that’s so indicative of what those saga films are. Initially, we probably will begin the film in a way that is traditional, with just the title.”

Kennedy’s comments would seem to echo those made by JJ Abrams, director of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, who also told Variety that “going forward, you’re going to see movies that shift tonally, some that are grittier and tougher, and some more comedic in nature”.

One of the films expected to adopt a more tongue in cheek tone is the still untitled Han Solo spin-off, which is being directed by Chris Miller and Phil Lord (of The LEGO Movie fame), and which will look at the early days of Han Solo and Chewbacca.

Alden Ehrenreich will step into the shoes formerly worn to such iconic effect by Harrison Ford.

Kennedy said of that film: “This moves closer to a heist or Western type feel. We’ve talked about [Frederic] Remington and those primary colours that are used in his paintings defining the look and feel of the film.”

Looking further ahead, Kennedy said she was also keen to further the culturally diverse nature of the Star Wars empire, which was established so well by Abrams in The Force Awakens when he cast Daisy Ridley and John Boyega, a woman and a black man, in lead roles.

Indeed, she maintained that finding a female director is a priority, given that fewer than 12% of the biggest box office hits last year were overseen by women.

“We want to make sure that when we bring a female director in to do Star Wars, they’re set up for success… They’re gigantic films, and you can’t come into them with essentially no experience.”

Hence, owing to the shortage of women directors helming big films, the Lucasfilm team is trying to identify talent at the early stages of careers.

“We want to really start to focus in on people we would love to work with and see what kinds of things they’re doing to progress up that ladder now, and then pull them in when the time is right,” she concluded.

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