Rogue One Special Effects Supervisor Neal Scanlan Talks K-2SO and Gareth Edwards


Gareth Edwards’ upcoming spin-off film Rogue One will introduce several new CGI characters that will fight along side the heroes of the rebellion. Neal Scanlan, one of the special effects masters who worked on last year’s The Force Awakens is back for yet another Star Wars film. CNET spoke to Scanlan about Rogue One at London’s Pinewood studios, during the launch event for Gillette’s new Star Wars-branded Mach 3 razors, that we covered yesterday.



The new Gillette ad was shot on the Rogue One set with extras and production design that appears in the film, giving us another look at droids, vehicles and costumes already glimpsed in the recent trailers.


When asked about Gareth Edwards, Scanlan revealed that the director is not afraid to go against the rules:


What’s amazing and exciting about ‘Rogue One’ is that Gareth Edwards is a young, dynamic guy who’s brave enough to throw out the rule book. It’s very respectful, but he’s stamped his own personality on it.


rogue one


The Oscar winning creature and special makeup effects master was one of the people who brought to life BB-8 in The Force Awakens. Now he is confident that like BB-8, the new Rogue One droid K-2SO will be very popular with the audience. He describes the new droid as “full of attitude” and very different from C-3PO.


The lanky K-2SO is played by “Firefly” actor Alan Tudyk, whose performance was motion-captured while he wore stilt-like prosthetic legs. The sophisticated prosthetics let Tudyk jump around even though he was standing a foot above the ground, making K-2SO “the first droid with athletic prowess.




Scanlan also went on to describe what is more important – the practical effects or the CGI in a movie. It’s neither. It should be a good balance of both:


Something deep inside us knows when something is real. It may not be as mind-blowing [as CGI], but we accept it in our heart and soul. A combination of practical and CGI effects gives the best of both worlds. We’re at the point where we can find a middle ground we haven’t fully explored yet. It’s a great place to be.



Source: CNET



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12 thoughts on “Rogue One Special Effects Supervisor Neal Scanlan Talks K-2SO and Gareth Edwards

  • November 2, 2016 at 6:53 pm

    I can’t believe it! They’re actually trying to sell K-2SO as not a full cg character!

    • November 2, 2016 at 7:31 pm

      Hmmm… yousa point is well seen

    • November 2, 2016 at 9:41 pm

      Where do you see that?

    • November 2, 2016 at 10:23 pm

      I think you’re reading two separate thoughts as a single statement. Scanlan talks about the droid, and how they approached it, then later he says that, approaching visual effects, ideally you utilize the best of both practical and CGI together to sell an image to the audience. Those aren’t directly connected thoughts though.

      • November 2, 2016 at 10:24 pm

        I thought that both because of those statements, and because of the mentioned prostetic legs.

      • November 3, 2016 at 3:07 am

        Yes, thank you. Hey, we agree!

    • November 3, 2016 at 3:20 pm

      BB-8 was CGI and practical …K2 is the same. Puppet for some shots and motion capture for others. That combination plus good acting and story help sell it. That’s what made BB-8 work so well. That and the lack of over the top things like flying R2 units etc…

      • November 4, 2016 at 7:29 pm

        Ergh, K2 is so obviously 0% practical. you can’t build a practical droid like that that also moves. The fact that Alan Tudyk had to stand on these prostetic things doesn’t make it practical at all… it’s like saying that prequels CG yoda was practical too because they used a box to picture it on set.

  • November 3, 2016 at 5:29 am

    K-2SO is already awesome from what I’ve seen. I even like his name… rolls off the tongue. Maybe I’m expecting to much but I really feel this has a chance to be a much more solid movie than TFA.

    -note- I liked TFA.

    • November 3, 2016 at 6:33 am

      It very well may be a more solid film, but it has 3 things going against it, in terms of mass appeal.

      1. TFA took a lot of the Star Wars hype that had been building up
      2. Rogue One is not apart of the main story
      3. We already know the ending, so there can’t be that many surprises.

      While VII and onward are new territory, we know the outcome of rogue one. The Rebe;s won’t be destroyed, the Death Star won’t blow up, The Empire will not fall, the plans will be stolen, etc.

      I’m not saying it won’t be a better film, i’m just trying to point out that if it indeed only pulls in like $1.5Billion, it doesn’t mean it wasn’t a more solid story than TFA, just means VII, VIII, and IX are much more special.

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