Pablo Hidalgo on Rogue One: The Ultimate Visual Guide

The Star Wars creative head goes behind the scenes on Rogue One

As creative executive and resident Star Wars authority within the Lucasfilm Story Group, Pablo Hidalgo is a font of all knowledge from a galaxy far, far away, which means there’s no better candidate than him for a comprhensive guide to the latest film from the saga, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.

We were lucky enough to speak to him about tie-in repository Star Wars: Rogue One™: The Ultimate Visual Guide, and what to expect:


Firstly, what were you trying to achieve with Star Wars: Rogue One™: The Ultimate Visual Guide?
With any Star Wars movie, the film is the tip of a big iceberg of ideas, characters, details and stories. The Ultimate Visual Guide adds extra context to Rogue One, and also helps shine a light on the interesting details in the margins. Star Wars production design imbues a real sense of history and weight to every object created for the film. This book helps us showcase that, from the perspective of the universe, not of a film production. It’s different from an ‘Art of’ book in that it doesn’t break the fourth wall and stays in the Star Wars vernacular.


How would you say that it enhances the viewing experience of Rogue One?
I would hope it encourages new things to look for during repeat viewings. It also lays out individual character backgrounds and history that came out of the story development process. You get to know more about what Jyn, Cassian, Krennic and others were up to prior to the events of the movie which should give you an ever better understanding of them.


What are your personal favourite parts of the book?
There’s a two-page spread that features Jyn’s toys. You barely get a look at them in the movie, but the prop department did such an amazing job drawing from across Star Wars history to make these handmade toys. And they’re period accurate, so there’s a bunch of stuff from the Clone Wars. I had a lot of fun imagining what Jyn as a little girl would name these things.


How would you describe the responsibilities of your role as creative executive at Lucasfilm?
It’s a creative development role, so that means reading a lot of treatments, outlines, scripts and manuscripts and offering advice on how I think they could be improved and connected to the larger storytelling. I work a lot with the screenwriters and directors in supplying Star Wars history and information they may need. There’s more to it, and it’s always different as we get into new storytelling platforms, but that’s as succinct as I could be about it.


Up next we have the Thrawn novel and final Aftermath novel. Can you give us a hint about any more potential plans for future novels/comic-book series?
That’s for our publishing team to reveal, but we have already announced some Rogue One-connected works, like Beth Revis’ Jyn Erso book. Right now, Marvel has kicked off their Darth Maul series, as well as their Doctor Aphra series. As you can imagine, with Star Wars Celebration in a few months, it’s not quite time yet to talk about what’s coming in the future.


Speaking of Thrawn, his inclusion is significant in that there may be a use for characters and concepts from the ‘Star Wars Legends’ imprint. Was his inclusion a one-off, or can we expect more?
We take inspiration from everywhere and we’re all fans of what has come out of Legends, so keep an eye out. It’s not done lightly, especially for such major iconic characters, like Thrawn.


Star Wars: Rogue One™: The Ultimate Visual Guide is available to buy now, published by DK. For all the latest Star Wars news, pick up the new issue of SciFiNow.