Rogue One: Felicity Jones Reflects Shooting Grim Star Wars Ending

It's no secret the warm reception of Gareth Edwards' standalone Star Wars film in 2016's Rogue One. It certainly belongs in the pantheon of one of the most depressing but inspiring films of the franchise, given its primary characters' fate. While promoting her latest space sci-fi for Netflix in The Midnight Sky, Felicity Jones spoke with The Hollywood Reporter about shooting Rogue One's climactic scene.

Rogue One: Felicity Jones Reflects Shooting Grim Star Wars Ending
Felicity Jones as Jyn Erso in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016). Image courtesy of Lucasfilm

The scene in question saw the final two surviving members of the band of rebels in Jyn Erso (Jones) and Cassian Andor (Diego Luna) having just completed their mission transmitting the plans to the Death Star to the awaiting Rebel fleet above the planet surface, in an embrace beachside as they prepare for their inevitable end. The Galactic Empire fired a controlled blast to their outpost on Scarif, which housed an imperial archive full of military plans and schematics incinerating everyone on sight.

"We shot it every single evening over a week to get the right light of sunset, to get the perfect pink light, so we knew that scene inside out by the end of the week," Jones said. "It was just amazing to see how it morphed and shifted and changed. We shot that film in a very visceral, naturalistic, gritty way, which I think is why so many people responded to it. I think they loved that it felt so real and had elements of the '70s Star Wars films that had that similar feeling of naturalism and reality."

Much of the film used as many practical effects and recreated much of the designs from sets right down to the costumes to match up with the 1977's A New Hope as much as possible. One tech that wasn't available during the original film's release that the 2016 film takes advantage of is CG-recreations of actors like that of Peter Cushing, who played Grand Moff Tarkin in the George Lucas-directed film. A physical stand-in was used, which the late actor's likeness was superimposed in post-production with permission of the Cushing's estate. A soundalike was brought to record Tarkin's lines. A similar process with done with Carrie Fisher's permission to re-create her 1977 counterpart for Leia Organa. The Midnight Sky is currently available to stream on Netflix.

About Tom Chang

I'm a follower of pop culture from gaming, comics, sci-fi, fantasy, film, and TV for over 30 years. I grew up reading magazines like Starlog, Mad, and Fangora. As a professional writer for over 10 years, Star Wars was the first sci-fi franchise I fell in love with. I'm a nerd-of-all-trades.

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