Last week we were treated to an interview posted on the official site between Lucasfilm’s senior content coordinator Dana Jennings and Pablo Hidalgo in which they spoke about several of the aliens showcased in the Rogue One Ultimate Visual Guide (available in stores now). Anthony Breznican also spent time chatting with Pablo about the book and much more in this latest piece from Entertainment Weekly. Check out an excerpt from the interview below and be sure to take the source link for the full read.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Where did you start? How did you get involved in this project, documenting the furthest reaches of the Star Wars story universe?
PABLO HIDALGO: Well, it really kicked off [last year] with The Force Awakens Visual Dictionary. I had already had a relationship with DK, which is the publisher that creates these books, because I had worked on a project a few years back called Star Wars: Year-by-Year which was a history of Star Wars as a franchise, as a brand. And in my own personal writing experience, I’ve done a lot of source material for Star Wars, dating back to the old role-playing game in the ’90s. So I had had this background of writing for and in the universe.
EW: How does the partnership between you and the creature shop work? Because when I talk with Neal Scanlan and those guys, they’ll refer to creatures as “Ackbars” when fans know the crustacean aliens are called “Mon Calamari.” They come up with nicknames, but you give them actual identities.
PABLO: So there’s the production reality of what the creature represents, and then there’s the story universe reality of what the creature is. So whenever possible, I try to talk to Neal and his crew and find out what was the thinking behind this creature? And using that as foundation, I’ll then come up with a backstory that fits the narrative, that fits with what’s established and known in the universe and hopefully really try to encapsulate and hopefully enhance what it is that the creature department had thought.