I’m back and still smiling from the #RogueOneEvent this weekend. I was part of the press event put on for Rogue One (in theaters 12/16). We were in San Francisco for the weekend where we attended Skywalker Ranch to preview some footage from Rogue One, Lucasfilm HQ where we interviewed cast and a trip to the Walt Disney Family museum (more on that later). I sat down to write about the trip and couldn’t figure out where to start. As I told the boys stories and went through all the photos I saved the ones they thought were cool and figured that was the perfect place to start!
I arrived in San Francisco Saturday afternoon and checked in to the Fairmont San Francisco which was decked out in it’s holiday finest!
That evening we piled onto shuttles with some other media and drove about an hour to Skywalker Ranch. It is home to a 153,000-square-foot Technical Building (where we spent most of our time), which features a world-class scoring stage, six feature mix stages, 15 sound design suites, 50 editing suites, an ADR stage, two Foley stages, and the 300-seat Stag Theater (where we screened 28 minutes of Rogue One).
The property also includes the iconic Main House and the beautiful Lake Ewok (which unfortunately we didn’t see because the sun had already set).
As I mentioned when we first arrived we went straight to the Stag Theater which is the same theater that George Lucas sits just down these stairs.
Afterwards, there was a reception and the option to check out the gift shop!
I definitely came home with some souvenirs (though some are a secret until Christmas)!
That Fire patch is the only thing with a reference to Star Wars (besides the ranch name of course) and has a Millennium Falcon in the middle, but I was told these patches were switching over to the new ones with a photo of the main house on the front so I picked up a few of these.
There was also a fun photo opp. with some Storm Troopers that I couldn’t pass up.
It’s definitely going to be a goal of mine to come back and see more of the property during the day! If you’re a wine fan you can actually buy some of the Skywalker Vineyards wine online!
The next day we drove to the Lucasfilm HQ (Letterman Digital Arts Center) home to the iconic Yoda fountain.
The center is actually located in Presidio National Park and the campus is absolutely beautiful.
It was a Sunday but a busy day here at the office with all of us (25 bloggers), other press and talent from Rogue One!
We had a day full of some really fun interviews (more on those this week and next) but my favorite parts of the day was shopping at the gift shop (with Ben Mendelsohn) and our tour of the facilities! Our tour guide reminded me a lot of my oldest and is actually the one who responds to letters written to the company by kids.
As I’m sure you can imagine there is a LOT to see around the facilities so here are some of the cool artifacts that the boys really enjoyed seeing. I texted them throughout the day and then they looked through all my photos when I got home.
My favorite part of the tour was getting to visit a working motion capture studio. We got to see a motion capture suit in action and see how it was used to create K-2SO. Alan Tudyk (not pictured here) actually acted as K-2SO as well as doing the voice over.
Of course we had to sneak in a photo with K-2SO!
We also talked to Russell Paul a Digital Supervisor at Industrial Light & Magic. He showed us just a glimpse of what goes into making the Star Wars ships. Did you know that originally the used parts from different model sets to create some of your favorites?! Encourage your kids to grab some models and mix them up to create something new!
I have to say, learning about the companies, people and dedication that goes into film making makes me love the movies and characters that much more.
You can buy Rogue One tickets NOW. We have ours for Thursday night already! Who’s excited?!
Stay tuned for some really fun interviews with the cast!
I attended the #RogueOneEvent #StarWarsRebelsEvent #MickeyRacersEvent #PinocchioBluray as press. Opinions expressed are my own.