5 Behind The Scenes Secrets No One Knows About ILM, The Studio Behind 'Rogue One: A Star Wars Story'
From Alan Tudyk's LOLs to setting off explosives in the Maldives, here are 5 behind the scenes secrets you need to know...
It takes more than just The Force to make Star Wars movie magic.
Hidden just a mile or two from San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge are a series of clean, white office buildings. They might not look like much, but within these walls, movie history is constantly being rewritten.
Industrial Light And Magic (ILM) was founded in 1975 by George Lucas to help make the original Star Wars. Over the years, ILM did exactly that on every film in the iconic franchise and then some.
The Indiana Jones films? ILM. The Harry Potter series? ILM. The Jurassic Park series? Yep, ILM again. A host of major Marvel movies, including Captain America: Civil War? Who else but ILM?!
Recently, the special effects studio lent their considerable weight to help Gareth Edwards bring Rogue One: A Star Wars Story to life. MTV went on our own intensely covert* mission behind the scenes at ILM to find out the secrets behind creating one of the highest grossing films of all time…
Alan Tudyk’s Legendary LOLs Made Diego Luna Corpse
When K-2SO (Alan Tudyk), Cassian (Diego Luna) and Jyn (Felicity Jones) are apprehended on Jedha early on in the film, K2 pretends to have taken the pair prisoner for the Empire.
K2 explains himself to a Stormtrooper, but then Cassian speaks up and - WHACK – K2 brings a slab of imperial steel across his face. “Silence!” K2 shouts. Cassian clutches his face for two reasons.
Number one, he’s just been struck in the face. (Ouch.) Number two, this moment wasn’t in the script, and Diego Luna is pulling on all of his inner strength to stifle his laugh.
The whole ad-libbed thing made it into the film. Make sure to pause and see for yourself, it’s great.
Why K-2SO is a step-up in the world of Star Wars droids
As Hal Hickel (Animation Director at ILM) told us, most droids in the Star Wars universe haven't been very expressive. Outside of C-3PO, the closest to a proper face was the droid from Episode VI, on Jabba The Hutt’s slave ship, who had a flappy mouth that moved when it talked.
So, with Rogue One, Gareth Edwards wanted to push Star Wars’ droids forward. K2 was that next step.
A key part of this was K2’s eyes. ILM with experimented them, the way they move (the ability to rotate was chosen as the best bet), the size, whether K2 could blink and more.
Blinking was scrapped because, as Hal said, it pushed "things too far into animated territory, too much into Buzz Lightyear, rather than Star Wars territory."
Three different locations were used to create Scarif
Scarif, where Rogue One’s blistering final hour takes place, wasn’t easy to create.
Crafting a whole new planet isn’t a doddle – who knew?
Gareth Edwards and ILM used a combination of a set in the Maldives (which looked amazing), the UK (because explosives couldn’t be set off in the Maldives) and a visual set, which ILM crafted themselves. All of these elements were then blended together into one location, Scarif, where the film's epic finale takes place.
ILM’s offices are a movie geek’s dreamland
Considering the bumper list of movie credits ILM is featured in, it’s no surprise that ‘one or two’ mementos from some of history’s biggest films have been kept.
Movie posters adorn every wall in the expansive campus, each including a handwritten note from a thankful director. MTV’s favourite note was on the poster for Elysium (starring Matt Damon), where director Neil Blomkamp wrote: “I can't believe I got ILM in the credits of a film I directed. Holy shit!” Aww.
Rogue One director, Gareth Edwards, took a different approach. Rather than thanking them, he noted every part of the poster that could’ve been improved. ("The lighting could do with a touch-up!" Obviously, they’re all jokes.)
Elsewhere, props from Star Wars (including a movie-quality Darth Vader suit in the reception), Ghostbusters (a Slimer suit that would be used by an actor with a moving mouth – a filmmaking style which wouldn’t be used in today) and much, much more.
You could spend a week going back through movie history by spending time in this office, basically. There’s even a Yoda fountain out front. What more could you want?
ILM plays host to George Lucas’ private film poster collection
Fun fact: George Lucas has one of the world’s largest foreign film poster collections. While Lucas might have sold ILM to Disney, he still allows the studio – his former baby – to keep a selection of his posters.
Huge, original prints from classics such as Dracula, Lawrence of Arabia and more are on display for all to see. Pretty neat.
- Bring home “ROGUE ONE: A STAR WARS STORY” on DVD, 3D Blu-Ray™, Blu-Ray™ and digital download from 10th April.
Want more Rogue One? HIT PLAY to watch the cast play a hilarious game of NEVER HAVE I EVER!
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