The Art of Rogue One
Mission imp ossible Explore the many concepts and behind-thescenes insights that helped craft the first standalone Star Wars film
Explore the character, vehicle and environment concepts behind Gareth Edwards’ standalone Star Wars film.
The book’s main draw is the acres of space given over to the evocative art
The weight of expectation that accompanies a new art book on a galaxy far, far away is immense, given how influential the classic trilogy’s art of… books have been on today’s concept artists. Thankfully, The Art of Rogue One picks up the lightsabershaped baton and runs with it.
Following forewords by art director Doug Chiang, the film’s co-production designer Neil Lamont and director Gareth Edwards, the first text in this book lists all the artists featured, along with their job titles. You soon realise that Rogue One was a film where concept art mattered. “Of all the films I’ve worked on, this one probably has had the most art, and that’s all because of Gareth,” it quotes Doug as saying. You then discover how the director worked closely with concept artists in both the US and the UK as both the narrative and the film’s designs evolved simultaneously throughout its production.
The book follows the film’s timeline. Chapters chart the different planets of Rogue One and the designs that first appeared onscreen in each locale, along with storyboards and imagined scenes. This self-contained approach means you can easily chart a concept’s development, rather than have to flick back and forth through the book to see its next iteration, à la The Art of The Force Awakens.
Anecdotes a-plenty spice up the text. For example, the thinking behind the Imperial droid K-2SO was to make him a laid-back character, and so the designer gave him a stoop as a visual shortcut to his personality. Elsewhere, it turns out that coming up with a Rebel ship to rival the iconic X-wing was tricky; the team was only partly joking when they reveal they drew “a million ships” before locking in the look of the U-wing troop carrier.
While the text is comprehensive, the main draw is the acres of space given over to the evocative art. Each artwork is captioned; mostly just with title and artist credit (though some are more detailed). And it’s all reproduced beautifully, enabling you to appreciate the finer details and be drawn back into the worlds of Rogue One all over again.
Glyn Dillon, co-costume designer on the film, worked on the look of lead character Jyn Erso.
This early illustration by costume concept artist Adam Brockbank captures the essence of militia leader Saw Gerrera.