In hopes of establishing an otherworldly galaxy far, far away, filmmaker George Lucas included references to a variety of creatures and environments in the original Star Wars trilogy, with subsequent adventures allowing creatives to expand upon some of those pieces of information, as writer Gary Whitta recently detailed how one pitch for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story featured nerfs being herded on an alien planet. Eagle-eyed fans who had recognized the creatures in the films would have likely picked up on how this paid off Leia Organa's attempts to insult Han Solo in Star Wars: The Empire Strick Back by calling him a "scruffy-looking nerf herder."
The artwork of the scene was posted by artist Matt Allsop, who detailed of the images, "A snippet from the 100's of frames made for Rogue One. I spent many hours in a room with [Jon McCoy] working on boards. Very rewarding to see the super talented previz team bring them to life."
That first page of storyboard panels is from my first draft, wherein Jyn led a rebel commando team to Edu (later re-spelled as Eadu), the planet where the Empire was building part of the Death Star. Yes, those are nerfs, and they were being herded! https://t.co/DyFbAkBqur— Gary Whitta (@garywhitta) April 26, 2021
Whitta then retweeted the images, while pointing out, "That first page of storyboard panels is from my first draft, wherein Jyn led a rebel commando team to Edu (later re-spelled as Eadu), the planet where the Empire was building part of the Death Star. Yes, those are nerfs, and they were being herded!"
While audiences might not have gotten to see the nerfs being herded, Rogue One still marked a pivotal entry into the Star Wars saga, as it was the first live-action Star Wars film that debuted in theaters and didn't center around the Skywalker Saga. Clearly knowing what a gamble such an endeavor would be, Rogue One went through a number of different changes not only during the development stage, but also in its actual production. As late into the process as trailers being released, the film continued to evolve, notably resulting in impressive sequences that were teased in those trailers being entirely omitted from the final film.
That gamble, however, ultimately paid off, as Rogue One became a critical and financial success, so much so that the film's Cassian Andor (Diego Luna) is getting his own prequel series with Star Wars: Andor.
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