When Rebel intelligence operative Cassian Andor meets a shady contact in the Ring of Kafrene, the shadowy underworld mood is a little reminiscent of Rick Deckard hunting down murderous android replicants. And that similarity between Rogue One: A Star Wars Story and Blade Runner is intentional. Concept artists behind Rogue One have revealed that Ridley Scott’s noir cult sci-fi classic was a direct inspiration for the Ring of Kafrene.
On February 3, the London comic book store Gosh! hosted artists and costume designers from Rogue One including Glyn Dillon, Dave Crossman, Adam Brockbank, Matt Allsopp, Vincent Jenkins, Jon McCoy, and Will Htay. Part of a promotional tour for the book The Art of Rogue One by Josh Kushins, the artists and designers revealed a variety of Rogue One tidbits. For example, Saw Gerrera wasn’t originally going to be hiding out on the moon of Jedah, and concept art for the final Darth Vader scene had to be done in a hurry.
But the Blade Runner detail was probably the most interesting. Rogue One added a bunch of new locales to the Star Wars galaxy, but the briefly glimpsed Ring of Kafrene helped to set the darker, more espionage-centric mood of the film early on. According to fans in attendance, the Rings of Kafrene were directly inspired by the cityscapes and marketplaces of Blade Runner. This isn’t the first time Star Wars has cribbed from Blade Runner either. George Lucas specifically wanted aspects of Coruscant to resemble Blade Runner in Attack of the Clones, too.
With Harrison Ford returning to the role of Deckard this fall, it will be interesting to see if reverse-Star Wars references crop up in Blade Runner 2049.