‘Rogue One’: Meet Admiral Raddus, A.K.A. Alien Winston Churchill

     November 18, 2016

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Yesterday’s behind-the-scenes featurette for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story showed off a lot of characters and action from Gareth Edwards’ upcoming space adventure story, along with plenty of commentary from cast and crew. But nestled away within one or two of those frames was a new character who will play a part in the anthology film. Meet: Admiral Raddus, a Mon Calamari officer inspired by Winston Churchill.

EW has the details on this new character courtesy of franchise creature effects supervisor Neal Scanlan. Raddus’ particular plot details still remain a mystery, but if he’s anything like his inspiration, he should act as the figurehead for the rebellion against the Empire. What we do know is that the Rebels in this film are led by Jyn Erso (Felicity Jones) whose father (Mads Mikkelsen) was forced to build the Death Star by the Empire. Joining her in liberating the plans for that destructive weapon are Diego Luna, Donnie Yen, Jiang Wen, Alan Tudyk, Riz Ahmed, and Forest Whitaker, though Ben Mendelsohn will do his best to get in their way. The film opens December 16th.

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Image via Lucasfilm

Here’s what Scanlan had to say about Raddus’ design and inspiration:

“We always tried to find a real world example of who these creatures may be, and in this case we used Churchill. Admiral Raddus is a very strong figure. We would use [Churchill] not only as visual reference for his physical features, but also when it came to performing him and expressing him through the actor.”

Apparently that’s a fairly common practice; depending on edits and cuts, you might even see aliens modeled on such celebrities as Bela Lugosi, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Ernest Borgnine, Lee Van Cleef, and Peter Lorre.

“You try to look at a famous actor, or a statesperson or something like that. Someone you could use. It helps to have someone to reference in the real world. It grounds our creatures and ideas. We use these references to pull these creatures back and make them feel like they belong here in our world.”

Keep your eyes peeled for Raddus & Co. when Rogue One hits theaters in just a few weeks!

For more on Rogue One, take a look at some of our recent write-ups below:

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