The next Star Wars movie is ready for widespread viewing by audiences. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story officially wrapped post-production this week, about two and a half weeks ahead of release. It's not uncommon for a movie of this scale, with this many special effects, to go down to the wire.
Industrial Light and Magic (ILM)'s Todd Vaziri made the announcement on twitter as only a Star Wars fan would: with a meme of Admiral Ackbar. The Mon Calimari Rebel Alliance military leader's visage was posted next to the words "It's a Wrap!" mimicking his famous line from Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi, when he declared, "It's a trap!"
Vaziri worked as an animator and supervisor for visual sequences in Rogue One, having previously worked on small independent films like two editions of Star Trek, two Mission Impossible movies, two of the Star Wars prequels, Avatar, Transformers, and of course Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Interestingly, despite his craft being on display in them, Vaziri tweeted a reccommendation to not watch the many commercials and trailers for his latest endeavor, instead preferring fans to see it directly on the big screen for the first time. While that was a popular movement amongst the Star Wars fan community last year for The Force Awakens, they don't seem as pressed this go around to avoid any and all extra footage.
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Rogue One: A Star Wars Story hits US theaters December 16, 2016. Directed by Gareth Edwards, it's the first of the new standalone features from Lucasfilm and Disney, which take place outside the core "Skywalker Saga" of films noted by an Episode number. Rogue Onetells the story of the small band of rebels that were tasked with stealing the plans to the first Death Star. The story spins directly off the opening crawl from the original Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope. In that crawl, it read: "Rebel spaceships, striking from a hidden base, have won their first victory against the evil Galactic Empire. During the battle, Rebel spies managed to steal secret plans to the Empire’s ultimate weapon, the DEATH STAR, an armored space station with enough power to destroy an entire planet."