MakingStarWars.net have a brief but enlightening post about the aliens and monsters of Rogue One: A Star Wars Stor. Enlightening because it may give us a hint at how involved the aliens will be with our core group...
Firstly let's look at a quote from the creature workshops resident genius Neal Scanlan:
Ok, I'm going to read between the lines here so bear with me. Saying they are going to be more realistic than the characters in The Force Awakens could mean a couple of things but I'm going to speculate that the main motivation for having more realistic aliens is to speed things up on set. Imagine trying to include that huge beast from Maz's Castle, you know the one, he had the woman who looked like Harley Quinn laying on him. How impractical I would it be to try and shoot long complicated shots with him in. Also consider a character like Maz, who was originally planned as a puppet. Doing multiple passes on a shot with a performance capture crew and stand ins for eye lines and then plate passes for the composite, it's just too costly and time consuming. Building alien characters that can run around in the action scenes, and emote without too much reliance of cables and wires would be a great dealer simpler and much more affordable, so expect plenty of Star Trek style aliens with limited prosthetic make up applied to foreheads and noses.
I loved Maz's Castle and all the creatures we get to look at in there. But one thing is for certain, there were a lot of humans with faces locked into one expression, like the laughing guy playing the game at the table, or the obvious puppets that looked like shrimp, or the man in a suit that looked like a giant worm. They were all wonderful, and completely "Star Wars", which is fine in an environment like the Cantina, Jabbas Palace and Maz's Castle, but imagine choosing to have a Hutt on your strike team in Rogue One: A Star Wars Stor. Never going to happen.
Neal Scanlan is an incredibly talented man, and his work on The Force Awakens is bound to furnish him with an award this season. But the restraint, and calculation implied in his statements here only reinforce my enthusiasm for Rogue One. It's the right choice to do something more sensible, and personally I can't wait to see the results.
Check out my earlier post about a new character from TFA called Vober Dand. It was his character that got me thinking about the practicalities of using heavy prosthetics or being reliant on pupp[ets in future Star Wars movies. Looks like this statement from Neal Scanlan might support my position a little.
Thank you for reading,