Thursday, March 30 2017 20:58

'Rogue One: A Star Wars Story' - Reigniting Fascination in Secondary Characters...

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The Rock Father™ has collaborated with Lucasfilm for the #RogueOneDigital launch.

With the release of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, it was confirmed that cinematic audiences were more than ready to embrace Star Wars stories beyond the "Saga" lineage and ties to the Skywalker clan. Director Gareth Edwards brought to life a compelling film spawned from the opening crawl of 1977's Star Wars: A New Hope, presenting on the big screen for the first time a type of adventure that was previously only explored in ancillary storytelling like books and games. After revisiting Rogue One now that it's come home on Digital HD and Disney Movies Anywhere, I realized just how much the film has both captured and reignited my interest in the characters that live slightly to the side of our main heroes - an interest that directly relates to what I loved about the original trilogy growing up.

During a release weekend twitter party (wrapped-up here), mention of a "round-faced" alien kept coming up - one that appears only twice in Rogue One, and devoid of dialogue. That little guy, Weeteef Cyu-Bee is portrayed by actor Warwick Davis (who's played several Star Wars characters, most notably Wicket the Ewok), and his presence is one that shows just how important the creatures and secondary characters are in the Star Wars universe. Immediately, someone tweeted an inquiry about where to find a Weeteef action figure... something that doesn't exist, at least not yet. In few other franchises could a silent, briefly-seen "extra" inspire not only the desire to learn more about them, but also the expectation that more would be available.


Growing up, characters like "Walrus Man" (later known as Ponda Baba) and Dr. Evazan, inspired countless adventures that played-out in action figure form. Seen in the Mos Eisley Cantina, where they had a scuffle with Obi-Wan Kenobi and a young Luke Skywalker, audiences wanted to know more about them, and those stories took shape. In Rogue One there's a whole new assortment of creatures and aliens - like Pao, Bistan, Moroff, Two Tubes and Kulbee Sperado, all characters whose names aren't even present in the film. Appropriately, in bringing back the whole vibe of the "classic" Star Wars, even Ponda Baba and Dr. Evazan show up - bumping into Cassian Andor on the mean streets of Jedha. 

Though the main focus of Rogue One is on Jyn Erso and her crew of Rebel spies on a mission to steal the plans for The Death Star from The Empire, there's much more to explore and ponder now that the film is available for viewing at any time. And like the aliens help to connect Rogue One to other corners of the Star Wars galaxy, there's a host of other Easter Eggs just waiting to be uncovered, many of which are highlighted in must-watch bonus features.

Rogue One

Rogue One Bonus features include*: 

  • A Rogue Idea – Hear how ILM’s John Knoll came up with the movie’s concept – and why it’s the right film to launch the Star Wars stand-alone films.
  • Jyn: The Rebel – Get to know Rogue One’s defiant, resourceful survivor, and hear what it was like for Felicity Jones to bring her to life onscreen.
  • Cassian: The Spy – Diego Luna shares insights into his complex, driven character, who becomes a hero through selflessness, perseverance and passion.
  • K-2SO: The Droid – Explore the development of this reprogrammed Imperial droid, from initial pitch and character design through Alan Tudyk’s performance.
  • Baze & Chirrut: Guardians of the Whills – Go deeper into the relationship between these two very different characters, with Chinese superstars Jiang Wen and Donnie Yen.
  • Bodhi & Saw: The Pilot & The Revolutionary – Forest Whitaker and Riz Ahmed reflect on Saw Gerrera, the broken Rebel leader, and Bodhi Rook, the Imperial pilot who defects.
  • The Empire – Meet a dangerous new Imperial adversary…and cross paths once more with the most iconic villain of all time.
  • Visions of Hope: The Look of “Rogue One” – The filmmakers describe the challenges and thrills of developing a bold new look for the movie that can fit within the world of the original trilogy.
  • The Princess & The Governor – See what it took to bring the vibrant young princess of “Star Wars: A New Hope” – as well as one of her most memorable foes– – back to the screen.
  • Epilogue: The Story Continues – Filmmakers and cast celebrate Rogue One’s premiere and look forward into the future, to the Star Wars stories yet to be told.
  • Rogue Connections – Uncover Easter eggs and film facts hidden throughout the movie that connect “Rogue One” to the Star Wars universe. 

* Digital bonus offerings may vary by retailer. 

James Zahn

James Zahn is not a journalist, nor a blogger, though he may be credited as such by others, or even accept the title... depending on the circumstance.  Instead, he considers himself largely to be an "entertainment and lifestyle writer," bringing 25+ years of experience in the entertainment and publishing industries into the family realm as THE ROCK FATHER™.

As a media personality, commentator, adventurer and raconteur, James now finds himself raising a pair young girls - The Rock Daughters™ - along with his wife from their Illinois home.

He is a member of The Toy Insider Parent Advisory Board, has contributed to The Toy Book and writes a regular Star Wars column - Transmissions from a Galaxy Far, Far Away for The Pop Insider. He also regularly serves as a Brand Ambassador and spokesperson for several Globally-recognized pop culture and lifestyle brands in addition to consulting for a number of toy manufacturers. 

Creatively, James has directed/edited music videos, lyric videos, and album trailers for bands such as FEAR FACTORY, has appeared as an actor in feature films and commercials, written comic books, and performed in bands. He currently serves as an artist manager and video director for PRODUCT OF HATE, whose debut album was released by Napalm Records in 2016, distributed by ADA/Warner Music in the U.S. with Universal Music handling global.

James and/or his work have been featured in/on CNN, FOX Business, NBC, ABC, WGN, G4, The Chicago Tribune, BusinessWire, Babble, Fangoria, Starlog and more. He's appeared as a music expert on CNN's AC360 alongside Anderson Cooper, and has been interviewed by Larry King. In the past he served as a writer for the Netflix Stream Team,  Fandango Family and PBS KIDS, penned articles for Sprout and PopSugar, and was a contributor to Chicago Parent.

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