Rogue One [2016]

movie: Rogue One

year (of the story): a long time ago

location: in a galaxy far, far away

population: humans + various races (some humanoid)

category (of the story): other worlds – alien mosaic


in true SW fashion we are given various locations, each with its own style but also resembling already known locations.

The moisture farming in the beginning looks a lot like the one from the desert planet Tatooine in the first movie but  instead of having a open inner courtyard below ground level here it’s mostly inside a large rock formation.

The trading outpost on asteroids is an interesting and quite unique location, connecting two asteroids with buildings. The physics of it might be debatable (as to how these buildings are not torn apart, how do they have an atmosphere since the buildings and people on the ground are not inside a shell/shield or dome or why does the gravity is not different than any other much larger planet) but it looks very cool from the distance. On a closer look thou the buildings are pretty generic skyscrapers.

We are also treated to a closer look of the rebel base on Yavin 4 and its mayan temple looking structures.

Jedha is a cold desert planet and we see, among several ruins, the fortified temple city up on a rock formation and the hideout of another rebel faction partially inside a mountain, with its entrance carved in the red stone – much like Petra Temple in Jordan. In fact the entire design of this location and its color palette reminds us of the Middle East. The fortified city is densely packed, with narrow streets, domed buildings, arched passages, colonnades with classical details and all in the pretty much the same building materials: stone/limestone or clay

Another location is on the rocky planet Eadu: the weapons research facility set inside a mountain with only a landing platform stretching outside the cliff and several capsule looking elements on the sides with slit openings for light.

We are also given a look at the lair of Darh Vader: a medieval fortress looking building on top of a lava river. It is there to remind us of the battle between Anakin and Obi-Wan on the planet Mustafar, the moment this iconic villain is truly born.

The last act of the movie takes us to the planet Scarif, a tropical paradise, where the main building of the security complex looks like a combination between Burj Khalifa and the brutalist architecture of the ’80s with a dash of industrial elements.

If in most cases (in this movie but also throughout the saga) the buildings are contextualized to the location, creating a natural extension of the environment and looking like they belong there, the last one is in strong contrast with its surroundings. A stern, grey, mostly opaque, massive tall object dominates a small archipelago. There’s nothing comfortable about this association; the tension between structure and context comes in support of the narration – the stakes are high, rebels vs. empire, a battle for the future of the galaxy. A metaphor for the way the empire took hold of the republic, transforming a peaceful (somewhat idyllic?) assembly of worlds into a fascist regime that dominates though brute force, large numbers and fear.

This is a lesson in how architectural design in sci-fi movies help the story, how visual cues such as this dissonance give something extra to the audience and support the narration.

COLAJ Rogue One2017-03-19 14_57_02-Rogue.One.2016.1080p.BluRay.x264-[YTS.AG].mp4 - VLC media player2017-03-19 15_03_37-Rogue.One.2016.1080p.BluRay.x264-[YTS.AG].mp4 - VLC media player2017-03-19 15_33_25-Rogue.One.2016.1080p.BluRay.x264-[YTS.AG].mp4 - VLC media player2017-03-19 15_35_15-Rogue.One.2016.1080p.BluRay.x264-[YTS.AG].mp4 - VLC media player2017-03-19 16_21_45-Rogue.One.2016.1080p.BluRay.x264-[YTS.AG].mp4 - VLC media player2017-03-19 16_38_22-Rogue.One.2016.1080p.BluRay.x264-[YTS.AG].mp4 - VLC media player2017-03-19 16_58_02-Rogue.One.2016.1080p.BluRay.x264-[YTS.AG].mp4 - VLC media player2017-03-19 17_01_11-Rogue.One.2016.1080p.BluRay.x264-[YTS.AG].mp4 - VLC media player2017-03-19 18_00_46-Rogue.One.2016.1080p.BluRay.x264-[YTS.AG].mp4 - VLC media player

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