Star Wars Prequel ‘Rogue One’ Thrills Audience at World Premiere

Michael Buckner/Variety/REX/Shutterstock
Michael Buckner/Variety/REX/Shutterstock

The force took over Hollywood on Saturday night as Disney-Lucasfilm’s “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” premiered to wild applause at the Pantages Theatre.

Celebrities and fans cheered throughout the end credits of the film, which has a running time of 2 hours and 18 minutes.

Some observers in the crowd remarked afterward how surprisingly action packed and beautiful the film looked. Others noted how much they liked the new characters in the prequel, which opens next Friday.

“It was excellent,” said fan Chris Canole. “The new characters and story lines really engaged me. It reminded me of ‘The Dirty Dozen.'”

The “Rogue One” screening began at 7 p.m. with no introduction, unlike last year when Disney Chairman Bob Iger spoke before “The Force Awakens.”

Felicity Jones, the Oscar-nominated star of the film, got the night’s biggest raves. Actors Donnie Yen and Alan Tudyk, who play Chirrut Imwe and robot K-2SO, also received enthusiastic responses. The film co-stars Diego Luna, Ben Mendelsohn, Mads Mikkelsen, Jiang Wen and Forest Whitaker.

Dane Cook told his Twitter followers the movie could be the best of the eight Star Wars films.

Reaction to the first public showing of “Rogue One,” which begins opening in international markets on Wednesday, will no doubt represent a relief to the multitudes of Star Wars fans. Disney’s review embargo lifts Tuesday.

“Rogue One” is the eighth film in the Star Wars franchise but the first to step outside the narrative of the other seven films in a standalone story set shortly before the events of 1977’s original “Star Wars” — though Darth Vader, the Galactic Empire and The Death Star remain key elements.

Related

‘Rogue One: A Star Wars Story’ Red Carpet Arrivals (Photos)

It follows a group of rebel spies trying to steal the schematics for the Empire’s Death Star. It’s directed by Gareth Edwards (“Godzilla”) from a script by Chris Weitz and Tony Gilroy.

Anticipation has been building for several days, particularly with a massive model of an X-Wing fighter placed on front of the Pantages. The festivities began with a red carpet that started at about 5 p.m. Saturday.

Disney is launching “Rogue One” accompanied by enormous expectations, four years after it acquired Lucasfilm from founder George Lucas in October, 2012, for $4 billion. “Star Wars: Episode VII — The Force Awakens” fulfilled the initial hopes last year with a $248 million domestic launch on its way to a worldwide box office gross of $2.1 billion. But Disney is on the hook for four more Star Wars films through 2020.

Recent forecasts have predicted that “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” is on pace for an opening weekend of more than $130 million in the U.S., according to pre-release tracking.

Company head Bob Iger  said in September the studio was not expecting the film to do “Force Awakens”-level business because it exists outside of the main narrative about the Skywalker clan. It relies largely on a new cast of characters, instead or bringing back fan favorites such as Han Solo and Princess Leia.

Watch our exclusive interviews from the “Rogue One” premiere:

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  1. R Troy says:

    I’ve read the ‘prologue’ to Rouge 1, Catalyst, and it sets you up to understand SOME of the important figures in the film, albeit about 15 years earlier. At a minimum, very interesting people and motivations. As to how well the film will do, I’m guessing very well based on the various trailers; there has been an opening to tell this story since A New Hope (Ep 4) first started the whole craze back in 1977. The Force Awakens reignited the desire for much more from Star Wars, especially after the horrid episode III, which had some of the worst writing and acting I’d seen in years.

  2. FAAmecanic says:

    I for one cant wait to see this. Looks like it gets back to the original gritty feeling of Star Wars (the first 2 movies…New hope and Empire). To hell with JJ and his crap…he pretty much ruined Star Trek, and this last Star Wars was Ok… The Order’s costumes were campy/cartoony and really well… just cheesy. To include Kylo’s costume and over modulated voice that was hard to understand.

  3. Jimmyhhh says:

    Looking forward to this. They need to make new prequels as well and wipe out the Jar Jar mitochlorian dance fight crap that was the prequels.

  4. IT--II--IT says:

    Intel RUN Hollywood’s franchise slum ‘latest’ ???

    BULLLLLLLEH

  5. Jihn says:

    Looks like a halo game on a big screen without controllers for active audiences
    Hmmm now there’s an idea….
    Chaos in space….. In a theater. When is the first grand opening?

  6. JT says:

    Look at the bright side, no matter how bad the movie is, it couldn’t possibly suck as bad as movie 7.

    • JarJar4Ever says:

      I think you meant to say, The Phantom Menace, Attack of the Clones, and Revenge of the Sith.

      • uspunx says:

        First, Carrie Fisher has acted steadily over the past 30+ years. Star Wars was not her first and only film. Learn how to do a google search. Second, the film made very clear Kylo Ren is not yet a sith lord which is probably why he is so sniveling (which is the word I’m guessing you meant to use since snibling is not a real word). Third, you’re right about episode 3, it was pretty solid. Compared to episode 1 and 2. Compared to any other Star Wars is was garbage.

        On a side note, did Drudge Report make snowflake the word of the day today? Because all you drudge suckers on here seem to be using it. Congratulations, you learned a new word! But be careful you don’t over use it. Right now you’ve like a little kid on douche bag Christmas, if you play with that new toy too much you won’t want to use it anymore!

      • JT says:

        No, movie 7 was even worse than those. Blowing up the Death Star for a 3rd time? A whining, snibling, snowflake millennial sith lord? Carrie Fisher, not having acted in 30+ yrs and it completely showing…..

        And btw….movie 3 was actually pretty solid.

  7. Don't Mind Me Now says:

    Fun fact: 2 hours and 18 minutes makes this the third longest Star Wars movie, behind only Revenge of the Sith (2 hours and 20 minutes) and Attack of the Clones (2 hours and 22 minutes).

  8. John says:

    If anyone is wondering why the comments are unusually negative, it’s because Drudge Report linked here. His trolls – per usual – are in full force. EVERYTHING to them is political (even a Star Wars movie).

    • Sal U. Lloyd says:

      More like the Sludge Report.

    • dave says:

      John…Trump won. Get over it. I can’t wait to see this flick.
      May the force be with you

      • Sal U. Lloyd says:

        Dave, funny how you and your co-religionists couldn’t get over a biracial president with a middle name “Hussein,” and now you demand others do what you right wingers couldn’t do in EIGHT BLANKING YEARS!!!

        Will you be checkkking Diego Luna’s ID at the movie???

  9. Chris says:

    Wait so they had a sequel with the force awakens, then a prequel? Are we going to have multiple timelines now with sequels to the prequel and sequels to the sequels? Or did they just kill it after force awakens? I wanted to see Skywalker come back. Whatever, this is why I watch Star Trek. Star Wars is for nerds!

    • uspunx says:

      Really? A Star Trek fan talking about multiple timelines and sequels to sequels? This is a joke right?

    • FAAmecanic says:

      This is the part just before “A New Hope” that shows us HOW the rebels get the plans for the Death Star so Luke can go blow it up with a Torpedo down the exhaust port.

    • cadavra says:

      1) It’s the same timeline. They clearly stated this takes place between #3 and #4.

      2) Skywalker is coming back in #8, which will be released next year. They clearly stated this as well.

      Conclusion: Nerds read up on things instead of making rash, uninformed comments.

    • Sal U. Lloyd says:

      Sheeeesh! No kidding! Where will it end???

  10. LOL…man, reading most of these makes me think pretty much just one thing; if you don’t want to go, then don’t go. What type of people bitch and moan about something they aren’t going to take part in? Oh yeah…I know…miserable people. I can’t wait to take my daughter to see this. Ordered tickets weeks ago, and this is something we share together and cherish.

    • JarJar4Ever says:

      John, a whole lot of bitter George Lucas fans are out there, and they can’t stand how popular The Force Awakens is. It’s ok. We get new, exciting movies, they get to watch DVD copies of Red Tails and Strange Magic.

  11. Jim says:

    So a bunch of people who got to go to a fancy premiere are interviewed after seeing it say they liked it. What else are they going to say…. it was rubbish. Give me a break. They’re not exactly an unbiased audience. I think I’ll wait for the proper reviews before I waiste my money. I made that mistake with the Force Awakens.

  12. Farmboy says:

    Another She roe epic, (yawn). I wish Hollywood would get out of agenda pushing and just do movies again. I’m really sick of it. Not going..

  13. Shaniqa says:

    Wait, is this the fourth or the fifth Star Wars movie where the plot is that the rebels destroy the Death Star? No thanks. I’ve seen that one already.

    • uspunx says:

      Well if this was about the Death Star being destroyed, which it’s not, it would be the THIRD film to feature that as a plot point. But since it’s not about that there have been two movies that feature the Death Star being destroyed. Two.

      • R Troy says:

        Makes me wonder how hard it is for some people to understand that this story / film is about how the rebels got the plans to destroy the first death star. You need to read Catalyst to understand how and why the death star was built in the first place, and to best understand the motivations of those behind it. Unfortunately, badly written reviews don’t help; in one it said that Jin’s father designed the death star.

    • Sal U. Lloyd says:

      Touche’!

    • daveolden says:

      Relax. I can guarantee you: In NO part of “Rogue One: a Star Wars story” does the Death Star get destroyed.

      That’s not what it’s about.

  14. Mike says:

    If I had a knickel for everytime I have to hear the word “diversity”….

  15. Edwin Giebel says:

    I’ll pass. Did not see any of the Star Wars Snowflake movies and won’t see this one either. Saw Arrival yesterday. Was the stupidest most pretentious movie I have ever seen. You can’t make movies unless your hire real actors, which there are ostensibly no more of.

  16. Dalton says:

    I’ll hold off on my judgement until real reviews come in. The audience for this premiere is obviously hand-picked and loaded with Disney Corp shills.

  17. Might watch it when it’s free someday, but not one dollar to a Disney product.

    • uspunx says:

      I hope that means you have never consumed a single Disney film, television show, video game or toy. Never consumed a Marvel comic book, film, television show, video game or toy. Never consumed an ABC television show. Never watched a single sporting event or television show on ESPN. Never watched a single television show on A&E. And also never watched a single thing on Hulu. Ever. Because Disney owns all of those entities in part or whole. So if you’ve never ever done any of those things even once in your life then good for you. I guess…

    • SmartMFer says:

      Take a stand. Now take a seat. No one cares.

  18. A.R. says:

    It’s just a movie.

  19. Rick James says:

    You couldn’t pay me to watch this liberal social justice warrior makeover of a third Star Wars trilogy. The original Star Wars trilogy (Episodes IV-VI) drew a mostly male Gen-X and Gen-Y audience…the SciFi nerds. They now have nobody to identify with in this latest franchise, either hero or villain. Never mind the fact that this franchise is unoriginal and a mash of ideas stolen from the original trilogy. I knew Disney would ruin the franchise. Mission accomplished of alienating tens of millions in your audience, social justice warrior Hollywood/Disney liberals.

    • uspunx says:

      You totally called it. Star Wars definitely “alienated tens of millions” of its fans. Which is obviously why Force Awakens is the third highest grossing film IN THE HISTORY OF CINEMA. Nailed it. Great observation. We all really appreciate your “thoughts” and “insight.”

    • Edwin Giebel says:

      You got it. More sweetness and goo.

      • Laura Carr says:

        Gen X and Gen Y….nice dream world there pal. Gen Y wasn’t even born yet. And we women were there, would you like to see my original toys, or my 6th birthday party with the R2-D2 cake? Grow up, if you can’t empathize with a lead that doesn’t match how you look then you in fact are the snowflake.

    • Mark says:

      Shouldn’t you be busy hacking for drumpf and putin?

    • SmartMFer says:

      Weak minded. You’re just repeating what you’ve heard on your television. Pathetic.

    • Cass says:

      Whaaaaaaaaambulance lol Not everything is political. Repubs are supposed to be hardy, not whiners. Stop making us look like pansies.

      • uspunx says:

        So a movie featuring a white person as the main character and in which 5 out of 6 main cast members are male is “anti white propaganda” and “anti male man hating feminist claptrap.” Are you that afraid of the world?

      • Cass says:

        Naw, you’re just being a whiny bitch. Suck it up Sally.

      • Derek Diaz says:

        Pointing out anti white propaganda and intense racism as well as anti male man hating feminist claptrap is not being a pansie. That is you, down on your cucked knees taking it from the low IQ, inferior genetics of the Communist SJWs. Enjoy.

  20. Mike says:

    Yawn. Movie sucked. No bothans gave their life for this piece lol. But man that death star looked even cooler this time!

  21. Joe Campbell says:

    Another sequel bomb…save your money, unless you read comic books…

  22. curmudgeoninchief says:

    Rouge One: The Girls Take Over needs to check its feminist privilege at the door.

  23. San Francisco PM says:

    Fake news. It’s gonna suck even more than the last one.

  24. datro@netzero.com says:

    Looking through these comments, it’s pretty apparent that Star Wars fans are possibly the most miserable people in the world.

  25. Geert Wilders Rules! says:

    Let me guess…. this movie has a Death Star (same one, or different one, whatever..) and it’s going to be destroyed the same way as the others…. Spare me the high anxiety. .ZZzzz ZZzzz, ZZzzz.

    • Johnson says:

      Uh, no. This is a war movie is about stealing the plans for the original Death Star from Star Wars Episode 4: A New Hope that were then given to Leia, who in turn stored them in R2-D2 and sent him off to find Kenobi during the first movie

  26. depressionbaby says:

    Did Dane Cook see a different movie about cosmetics?

  27. Complete trash. The series is ruined by Abrams, Kasdan, Arndt, Kennedy and Burk. I love the fake news about how great it is. The franchise is dead.

  28. W.M. Morgan says:

    Iger said the studio did not expect “Force Awakens”-level business because Rogue One “exists outside of the main narrative”. That’s one of the most dunder-headed things I’ve ever heard said by a studio exec, and I don’t think I have to explain why.

  29. Reminiscent of the rave reviews for The Phantom Menace.

  30. I guess we’ll just forget about this nonsense and support it with our consumer power huh?

    In November, two Rogue One writers took up the cause of multiculturalism, digging at the alt-right calls for a boycott. “Please note that the Empire is a white supremacist (human) organization,” screenwriter Chris Weitz wrote in a tweet. Write Gary Whitta retweeted his coworker’s statement, adding, “Opposed by a multi-cultural group led by brave women.”

    Both writers deleted their tweets, but Weitz followed up with a more subtle statement: Star Wars against hate.

    Me too, hateful writers who have to ruin a culture of science fiction with their liberal sentiments.

    • uspunx says:

      The Empire is clearly a white supremacist organization. Even if you are too vacuous and stupid to see the similarities between the Empire and Nazis on your own, George Lucas has said in literally dozens of interviews since the 1970’s that the Empire was based on the Nazis. Everything from their uniforms to their ideology was based on Nazis. Are you actually saying you sympathize with the Empire? Because that says a lot about how horrible of a person you are.

    • SmartMFer says:

      The writers can do whatever they want to, just like you can choose not to see the movie. Good riddance.

  31. Mine says:

    Pfft! I don’t support hollyweird.

  32. Star Wars: The Farce Engorges was horrible. Ma-Rey Sue won.. what’s the point on making more? So we can watch Ma-Rey Sue win some more?

  33. Wow this sounds like a PR piece for Disney. The owners of ABC News. I though they were all upset about FAKE NEWS. Now lets try the honest, brief approach: At a Disney premier, Disney hosted a party for invited guests to screen the new Disney Star Wars films. All Disney guests and Disney’s Bob Iger said it was great and it succeeded in emulating the classic “Dirty Dozen” film.

  34. So whiny, there’s no pleasing the so called ” real Star Wars Fans”. If you think Return of the Jedi was a better movie than Force Awakens you should have your head examined. I cant wait to see Rogue One.

  35. Wallis says:

    Over saturation. Bored of it. It’s just thinning down the quality of the original movies to the point that I can no longer watch them. Thanks Hollywood for your sequel, prequel, rehash, reboot, cash in attitude. Your just ruining everything.

    • SmartMFer says:

      Then don’t see it. I don’t know who want to hear your mouth-breathing in the auditorium anyway.

      • Staurt Vince says:

        I don’t think he’s going to. After all, that is the point he’s making. He’s leaving that to the mindless sheep like you.

    • ravengirl57 says:

      The force — and the fan base — are not with you.

      • DeanG says:

        Sorry Ravengirl57 but your wrong. I’m a massive OT Star Wars fan I know exactly what Wallis is talking about. I hate that you can no longer watch those movies without thinking Darth Vader made 3pio & Luke turned out rubbish as a Jedi master. Or Han is killed by his idiot kid. I dilutes everything. But hey, you go ahead and accept this mediocre rubbish & even praise it. But you don’t speak for all fans. Just your misguided self.

  36. Bs says:

    This one cannot wait for, Han Solo the early years no thank you take that rubbish else. Give us more characters who are only mentioned in the originals.

  37. I was the kid who suggested that “The Star War”, singular, be filmed in the first place. Some of the dialog of the first, fourth film, I also provided. When Han Solo ran off those storm troopers with a wild yelp, that really happened! Nobody cares. I provided the plots, mostly, of the first 123, too. I am Yo! (me?) DUH! I invented the Jedi, the Training, and the Force, not to mention the Pirate Code, the Flux Capacitor, and the Independence Day, Armageddon, Deep Impact, Wag the Dog, and Braveheart speeches (minus the one I stole from Benedict Arnold, but who cares, right?)
    So, did anybody ask me anything? I did Avatar and Titanic for that truck driver guy. Oh well, I’m all washed up I guess. I forced it to be Indiana Jones, not Indiana Smith. Nobody cares.

    • If you get an old VHS recording of E.T., you will see my sole screen credit. My name, top left, is on the doodle that Elliot’s teacher picks up from his desk and shows to the camera. Ross Nicholson about 3 frames. Don’t try it on the improved edition though, my name’s been replaced by grafitti.

  38. Anand Ghody says:

    This statement is proof Disney just does not get it. This is exactly what is wrong the the star wars remake and why rogue one will be more sucessful than the disappointing fprce awakens crap they put out.

    “Company head Bob Iger said in September the studio was not expecting the film to do “Force Awakens”-level business because it exists outside of the main narrative about the Skywalker clan. It relies largely on a new cast of characters, instead or bringing back fan favorites such as Han Solo and Princess Leia”

  39. John Th says:

    Obi wan standalone film directed by Christopher Nolan

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