The Star Wars Mon Calamari species are best known to audiences in the form of Admiral Ackbar who shouted the famous words “It’s a Trap!” in Return of the Jedi (even though Princess Leia said shouted it first in The Empire Strikes Back). The alien species joined the rebellion in the early days of the galactic civil war and provided the Rebel fleet with Mon Calamari cruisers, some of the largest and most powerful ships to fly in the fleet. The cruisers provided invaluable support in some of the galaxies most famous battles including the battle of Endor as well as the battle of Jakku.
The upcoming Star War spin-off film Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is set to introduce many new yet familiar objects into the Star Wars universe including new starfighters, new Imperial Walkers, and you guessed it, new Mon Calamari. Through behind the scenes photos and featurettes, we have seen several new colored Mon Calamari in the background of the temple base on Yavin IV. But one of these Mon Calamari isn’t just another Mon Calamari, creature effect supervisor and special effects wizard Neal Scanlan has revealed some interesting inspiration behind the films highest ranking Mon Cal.
Meet Admiral Raddus. In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Scanlan cited former UK Prime Minister Winston Churchill as the inspiration behind the character.
“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.”
Over the years Churchill has been portrayed by many actors in film and television, most recently by John Lithgow in Netflix’s brilliant drama The Crown, but never before has an alien creature been modeled after the prime minister’s likeness. It’s incredible to see the thought and attention to detail the new Star Wars films are being crafted with. This genius creativity shows that George Lucas did right by passing the torch to Kathleen Kennedy who has selectively chosen some of the most talented individuals in Hollywood to help realize these films with the level of excellence the Star Wars franchise deserves.
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is the first spin-off film in the franchise’s history. Lucasfilm will continue to flesh out the Star Wars universe, following Rogue One up with the young Han Solo Star Wars Story in May of 2018 but in between that Lucasfilm will deliver Episode VIII next Christmas. It’s an incredible time to be a Star Wars fan.
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story hits theaters December 16, 2016.
Produced by Lucasfilm, the film stars Felicity Jones, Diego Luna, Ben Mendelsohn, Mads Mikkelson, Donnie Yen, Alan Tudyk, Jiang Wen and Forest Whitaker with a script penned by Chris Weitz and Tony Gilroy. Directed by Garreth Edwards.
From Lucasfilm comes the first of the Star Wars standalone films, “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story,” an all-new epic adventure. In a time of conflict, a group of unlikely heroes band together on a mission to steal the plans to the Death Star, the Empire’s ultimate weapon of destruction. This key event in the Star Wars timeline brings together ordinary people who choose to do extraordinary things, and in doing so, become part of something greater than themselves. In theaters December 2016.