“I find that answer vague and unconvincing” is probably your response when you hear that I’ve uncovered a trove of secrets from the home release. But I’d recommend trusting in me like Chirrut trusts in the Force, as there’s plenty of behind-the-scenes shenanigans that was kept under wraps - until now. I’ve dug through all the bonus features to bring you the six most revelatory tidbits from the mouths of the cast themselves, like how Felicity Jones had a habit of shrieking “DAD!” whenever she saw Mads Mikkelsen on set. You can sink your teeth into these revelations for yourself as Rogue One is out today to download, plus you can treat yourself to rewatching the entire movie safe in the knowledge that now you know as much about it as director Gareth Edwards himself.
1. Felicity Jones used Wookieepedia (a lot) for research
Looks like we’re not the only ones who consult the gigantic, fan-built encyclopedia for all things set in a galaxy far, far away. Speaking as dirt got lovingly brushed onto her face to get that trademark ain’t-got-time-for-this-shit Jyn Erso look, Jones revealed how she buffed up on the admittedly complex canon by consulting Wookieepedia. The online trove gave her a solid footing for her portrayal of Jyn and a comprehensive understanding of the world around her. Seeing as each page links to at least a dozen other entries, I’m picturing Jones getting deeper and deeper into the wormhole that is Star Wars, whiling hours away on the wiki… hey, we’ve all been there.
2. Diego Luna's cousins used to scare him by making Darth Vader noises
Even before the chaotic massacre at the end of Rogue One, Vader was always rather terrifying. Not surprising, then, that when Diego Luna was growing up, his cousins used to scare him silly by chasing him around the house whilst making the sound of Vader’s breathing, leading the young Luna to be somewhat petrified by the masked fiend to say the least. I bet he’s glad that Cassian didn’t have a solo scene with the Sith Lord, despite him having some real life inspiration to draw on.
3. K-2SO was suppose to be the "anti-C-3PO" and was originally just a black version of the droid
He’s a slim-limbed, rather elegant robot, but right from the drawing board Chief Creative Officer John Knoll was certain he wanted an “anti-C-3PO” in the movie. In an earlier version of Rogue One K-2SO looked just like a gothy C-3PO: painted from head to toe in black, concept art showed Tudyk’s droid looking like a nightmarish version of the golden robot we’re used to. But after looking back at some of Ralph McQuarrie’s concept art, the designers went for a taller, less bulky design with a silhouette that made K-2SO stand out from his human rebel comrades. The added bonus is that K-2SO is more believable as an Imperial droid thanks to this radically different appearance - just looking at him tells you there’s absolutely no chance that he and the golden protocol droid came off the same production line.
4. Donnie Yen was the one who suggested his character, Chirrut, be blind
The blind warrior-monk Chirrut Îmwe drew a lot of attention from the get-go with his devastating martial arts skills and level-headed demeanor. But before Donnie Yen was cast to play him, the monk had perfect vision. Speaking about his impressions of the character, Yen said that it was he who suggested that Chirrut should be blind, and in that moment one of Rogue One’s most recognisable characters was born. Truly customizing Chirrut to make him fit Yen like a glove, it’s hard to imagine the monk being played by anyone else, and now we know that the character would have been incredibly different without Yen’s input.
5. Riz Ahmed sent Gareth Edwards thousands of Bodhi auditions... even after he got the part
Never one to settle with being cast in a multi-million Star Wars film, Riz Ahmed didn’t stop sending Gareth Edwards audition tapes when he heard he got the part. Remembering that it felt like he sent 50,000 different takes, his audition footage in the bonus features shows Ahmed trying out the Rebel pilot Bodhi in a ton of different styles until he settled on the slightly on-edge portrayal that made it into the final cut. And every single one got sent to Edwards. Ahmed remembers thinking “screw it, I’ve got his email address, I’m going to keep sending him them”. Directors, be warned: Ahmed doesn’t take ‘yes’ for an answer.
6. Felicity Jones called Mads Mikkelsen Dad on set
Most actors do some crazy things to get into the mindset of their chosen character - during Suicide Squad filming; Shia LeBeouf pulled a tooth out for Fury - and Jones revealed in the bonus features that she was inclined to yell out “DAD!”, throwing her hands in the air whenever she saw Mads Mikkelsen on set. Although she realised that the Hannibal actor might have found that a bit weird, Jones wasn’t deterred. Who knows, maybe yelling it helped to get her more into Jyn’s headspace.
Star Wars: Rogue One is out to download today with the DVD and Blu-ray editions released on April 4 in the US and April 10 in the UK.