As you know from my review of director Gareth Edwards’ Rogue One: A Story Wars, I was in awe of the movie’s dazzling spectacle and its characters worked their way right into my affections. And now thanks to author John Kushins’ new book, The Art of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, I’ve been able to take a deliciously long, deep dive into the various worlds and characters created in the movie.
Kushins’ hardback book from Abrams & Chronicle is an absolute delight, with 256 pages packed with fascinating information and 300 beautiful colour illustrations inside. The sheer volume of concept paintings, sketches, storyboards, and matte paintings included in the book is really impressive and is bound to quench any Star Wars fan’s thirst for more understanding about just what went into the creation of Rogue One and the meaning behind some of the incredible designs we see, sometimes all too fleetingly, in the film.
The book takes you right inside Lah’mu, Yavin 4, Jedha, Eadu, Mustafar, and Scarif, giving plenty of insight into how each location and its inhabitants was developed, the thinking behind their various concepts, and how ideas changed throughout the process of bringing the movie to the big screen. There’s tons of visual and written detail on everything from characters and costumes to vehicle design, as well as forewords from production designers Doug Chiang and Neil Lamont, as well as the movie’s director Gareth Edwards. Of course, with this particular film, there’s been a lot of talk of long reshoots and just how much of Chris Weitz’s script was reworked by the Bourne movies’ Tony Gilroy. So, it’s particularly intriguing to see get an insider’s view of the whole development process.
For example, the book includes details of the original line-up of characters, which was rather different to the final team we see in the movie and included two aliens. We also get the lowdown on the character of Krennic during the early concept period, which again, differed considerably to his role in the final film.
It was amazing to see Mustafar again in the movie, and there’s even more stunning images of Vader’s lair, and lots of information on its conception too, in The Art of Rogue One, all of which, quite frankly, is a real treat.
To sum up, The Art of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is an incredible companion to the movie and is brimming with gorgeous artwork as well as exclusive interviews and facts. It will definitely keep you happily entertained and give you an even greater appreciation of the work that went into making the movie a reality.