MTV News on the Creatures of Rogue One, The Force Awakens, and Re-hydrating Bread Rations

Star-Wars-The-Force-Awakens-creatures-FeatuerdMTV News has an interesting piece up today about the differing processes faced by Neal Scanlan, Star Wars creature supervisor, between Star Wars: The Force Awakens and Rogue One.

 

According to the piece, Gareth Edwards is seeking a more realistic tone for the creatures and aliens of Rogue One. Looking for more emotive faces and the ability to feel as if they are interacting in a real world with their human co-stars.

 

Scanlan on Rogue One:

“They move more realistically, they’re able to emote more than maybe the characters that we did for ’The Force Awakens.’ So they’re a closer part of the storytelling. They’re less of the world, and they’re more of this group who have a mission, and play a part in that.”

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This is contrasted against The Force Awakens where JJ Abrams put the emphasis on creating background texture for the world. Trying to recreate the fantasy that sparked the imagination of so many back in the original Tatooine Cantina scene. In order to capture that texture and feel, Abrams employed a broader and more simplistic technique in his character creation, and using on a performance director to rough out the brush strokes of the stories of those creatures in Maz’s castle to make the world fell real and inhabited by these creatures.

 

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But the rest of the 110 different practical aliens and droids for the film, many of whom were only on screen for a few seconds at a time, were a bit more simplistic in design. When there’s so many people in such elaborate costumes on set at once, the challenge isn’t making them as expressive as they can be, but creating an infrastructure around them. “How do you get these people dressed in the creature costumes? How do you keep them cool? How do they see? And how do the people who are performing them on the outside, the operators, get to see in them as well?” he said.

 

To help with these problems, there was a “performance director” on set whose job it was to speak to the creature performers through a microphone and act as the eyes of every person on set who couldn’t see out of the alien they were standing in. The creature team also created smaller character arcs and stories for each group of aliens to play out themselves during takes, “which allowed J.J. [Abrams] to just treat them as part of the cast and feel free just to shoot the environment without worrying necessarily that these were particularly special in any way.”

 

“We didn’t try to treat them as a special effect,” Scanlan admitted. “We just wanted them to be part of the ’Star Wars’ world, and to feel natural in that world.”

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Elsewhere, MTV News also had a nice little piece on one of the most surprisingly captivating little details of world building in The Force Awakens. Rey’s re-hydrating bread rations. Although many would immediately assume this was created digitally, it turns out that was in fact a completely practical effect. MTV has the story here.

 

For the full story on creature supervisor Neal Scanlan, head to MTV News here.

 

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34 thoughts on “MTV News on the Creatures of Rogue One, The Force Awakens, and Re-hydrating Bread Rations

  • January 15, 2016 at 5:07 pm
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    They really need some alien rebels/pilots in Rogue One as leads.

    • January 15, 2016 at 5:26 pm
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      I was just going to say that. The moody official photo of the main cast in their costumes gathered in that place is all humans and that has always annoyed me. I really hope that was because the alien masks of the non-humans in the movie weren’t ready to be photographed with the actors and not because any other reasons.

        • January 15, 2016 at 6:56 pm
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          This trilogy needs more Wraith.

        • January 16, 2016 at 6:14 pm
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          holy shit, I forgot about that book! what a blast from the past.

      • January 15, 2016 at 6:56 pm
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        Yeah, It would have felt less Scy-Fy TV movie had they done that. They could even stick with what we know, A Wookiee pilot couldn’t be that hard to do. I’d also like to see the Dresslians back.

        • January 16, 2016 at 5:47 pm
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          Me too, it’d be nice to see the Dresselians in action finally since they didn’t get any combat time in RotJ. I’d love to see Major Locmarcha in a movie since his only appearance was the book Moving Target but he was described in their to be an integral part of the Rebellion’s military, it’d be awesome if he was in Rogue One but I won’t get my hopes up.

          • January 17, 2016 at 12:41 am
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            Only thing holding them back is that the prosthetics on the original aliens looked kind of wonky which is why they were not featured more in the film. I’d still prefer it over CG though.

      • January 15, 2016 at 10:33 pm
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        You’re probably right. And if the creatures were ready at the time, given how much time it takes to get such everybody into costume, they probably didn’t want to go through the hassle for just a publicity shot.

    • January 15, 2016 at 5:45 pm
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      Only if it doesn’t feel forced. There needs to be an in-universe justification for it. I don’t want them to do it just to ram some alienist, multi-species agenda down our throats.

      lol

      • January 15, 2016 at 5:51 pm
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        stop offending me

        lol

      • January 15, 2016 at 6:54 pm
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        I’d like to see First Order ones too actually just to balance it out. Especialy since they are desperate for numbers now.

        • January 15, 2016 at 8:43 pm
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          no there not they still have stormtrooper’s in backup like After the battle of Yavin

          • January 15, 2016 at 8:45 pm
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            Still nowhere near the Empire in terms of numbers, Less so now. It pretty much says as much in the source books,

        • January 16, 2016 at 1:44 pm
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          I’ve had this theory for several years, and the movies (including TFA) seem to indirectly confirm it:

          The Empire, and First Order, have a strain of “humans first” prejudice about it.

          Humans, especially in the Prequel era, seem to have been susceptible to being exploited (enslaved, for example) throughout the SW galaxy.

          Part of the reason why this could be is that humans in the Star Wars universe could be the one intelligent species that has the shortest lifespan — while most of the other species (Wookies, Mon Calamari, Yoda’s people, Maz’s people, etc.) appear to have really long average lifespans. This means humans are “expendable” compared to the other species. This could be why there didn’t appear to be much moral qualm about creating the Clonetroopers, who were made from human DNA.

          Now, humans among themselves have a social class order. The ones who speak with what we hear is an English accent are upper class, while the ones who speak with what we hear is an American accent belong to the middle to lower class.

          When Hux rants about the “chaos” of the New Republic, this could be a dog whistle term for all the various human and non-human races trying to work together under a single government.

          Yes, Snoke appears to be in charge of the First Order, but he could be exploiting human prejudices toward non-humans for his benefit.

          I’ve had this theory since the original trilogy, and the Prequels didn’t contradict it. And neither did The Force Awakens, to my surprise.

          So I believe that unofficially the current maintainers of the Star Wars canon are abiding by this, too. They may not want to directly reveal this because it could be interpreted as a touchy matter (it’s analogy to racism in our real world), so they instead let the movies and EU material hint at it.

          • January 17, 2016 at 12:22 am
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            In Star Wars: Aftermath, they talk about how the Empire never hired non-humans.

          • January 17, 2016 at 12:37 am
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            Well it was confirmed in the old EU that the Empire hated aliens and that the core accent is identical to the UK one in our world, So that that theory works for me even if it’s no longer canon anymore.

    • January 15, 2016 at 6:29 pm
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      I would like to see the Duros guy from Shattered Empire

      • January 15, 2016 at 6:53 pm
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        Could be a good test run for Cad Bane, Long as it’s more convincing than the Nemoidians,

        • January 15, 2016 at 8:53 pm
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          lol a.k.a. Green Duros.

          Although the Nemoidians are better in phantom edits where they don’t speak Basic, but Cad Bane would probably have to, his voice is too defining.

          • January 15, 2016 at 9:04 pm
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            The Henson group did a decent job with Farscape, They should hire them. I mean the last time they used someone from there they got Yoda, So good track record. Corey Burton is too old and out of shape to play him physically but he can still do the voicework. Unless they make him old too which would kind of suck.

    • January 15, 2016 at 6:48 pm
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      Where were they at the Battle of Yavin?

      • January 15, 2016 at 6:52 pm
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        Lack of budget hence why he threw some in Jedi but the technology wasn’t fully there to do it where they could get more action. The old EU had them everywhere though.

        • January 15, 2016 at 9:37 pm
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          Yeah but I think there’d be also an in-universe explanation for the lack of aliens seen at Yavin.

          • January 15, 2016 at 9:57 pm
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            They sort of do in Rebels by saying there were different Rebel cells throughout the gakaxy which is why they were called the Alliance and didn’t really all come together till Endor which is where all the new ships came from. In the old EU, Ackbar didn’t even join till after Yavin.

          • January 15, 2016 at 10:02 pm
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            The only thing that urks me about Rebels is the A-Wings, not a big deal but it does kind of bother me sometimes.

          • January 17, 2016 at 12:33 am
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            Yeah, They were a prototype in the old EU finished just before Jedi but now they been around a lot longer. Kind of prefer the old explanation, Not crazy about most of the new canon at all.

  • January 15, 2016 at 6:17 pm
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    Anyone remember when MTV was actually “Music” Television? lol

    • January 15, 2016 at 6:48 pm
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      And the History channel was actually history.

      And the Learning channel wasn’t … whatever it is now. xD

    • January 15, 2016 at 6:57 pm
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      eMpTyV now.

  • January 15, 2016 at 10:24 pm
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    I’d like to see some CG creatures that don’t look like Gollum or orcs.

    • January 17, 2016 at 4:07 pm
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      Doomsday!!!!
      lol

  • January 16, 2016 at 3:20 am
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    I want CGI creatures also.
    Some thing can be done only with CGI.

    • January 16, 2016 at 8:35 am
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      Only if it looks good. Ideally, you’d be able to do anything practically. I think there were very few background aliens in the PT that couldn’t have been done practically (at least partially).

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