Star Wars: The Force Awakens Spoiler Review

Having been officially playing for a day, Collider‘s John Campea of The Anniversary and Jon Schnepp of The Death of “Superman Lives”: What Happened? have reviewed J. J. AbramsLawrence Kasdan and Michael Arndt‘s Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens:

The problem with Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens

A narrative is a synthesis. A protagonist and an antagonist pushing against each other, powering the story machine. Often, the conflicts are a conflict of interest, and they deal with that in their own way. That’s the story.

That’s how films are driven. And audiences will be a lot more forgiving of a film if the protagonist and the antagonist work as characters. Contrivances and forced scenes are a lot easier to swallow if we can at least understand why the protagonist and antagonist are fixed against each other. The old adage of “no story without conflict” is referenced so often because it’s imperative.

Without a convincing conflict between protagonist and antagonist, nothing else is convincing. Star Wars has worked with audiences because the fantastical world it builds is irrelevant – the characters have releatable desires, so the space battles feel important because they’re driving a conflict we can believe. That’s why Star Wars succeeds at storytelling. From the first shot, a conflict’s established.

The opening crawl tells us that the protagonist is fighting in a rebellion against an empire. The first thing we see in this civil war is a rebel transport ship, followed by a much larger imperial battleship. All in one shot. That immediately establishes the conflict and how powerless the rebels feel against the Empire, and how oppressive the Empire is.

Therefore, we can relate to it. From that point on, we want the rebels to succeed and for the imperials to be crushed, because it reflects real situations in the world. There are many oppressive governments resisting uprisings, and that’s what makes Star Wars a recognisable conflict. So when we meet Vader, we already understand what Vader wants.

In Star Wars, Vader wants to recover the stolen Death Star plans, while Luke wants to return them to Leia, the character that’s come between them. That’s synthesis. And it works brilliantly. Whereas Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens has the same problem that just about every Abrams-directed film has.

The characters don’t have established motivations, which makes them difficult to feel any empathy toward. Alfred Hitchcock once said that motivations are irrelevant in fiction, and thus was propelled onto a pedestal Hitchock doesn’t deserve. Character motivations do matter, and it’s where Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens falls short. Remember: story-telling is building a house, and you need capable foundations to support it.

Without the foundations being capable, the whole structure doesn’t work. Motivations are the foundation of storytelling. Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens doesn’t have them. While Han’s motivations aren’t established very well -Han seems to pilot Finn, Rey and Chewie just about anywhere Han senses may be convenient or just feels like going – Han’s a character I can put aside.

This isn’t about Han. I do consider Han the protagonist for being the first character credited and for Han’s familial connection to the antagonist, but Han’s not the antagonist. That’s Ren. And Ren’s motivations aren’t established at all, which makes understanding why Ren’s so hell bent on destruction difficult to understand (like his voice).

When we first meet Ren, here’s what happens: Ren arrives on Jakku, seeking the map to Luke; Ren intimidates and kills The Vicar and orders the Jakku village to be burned down. So basically, Ren’s seeking a MacGuffin. The problem is… so was Vader. Except the MacGuffin of Star Wars was the Death Star plans, and they’re recovered at the end of Act II – Luke’s accomplished Luke’s goal of returning the schematics to Leia, making Act III the resolution, as the Death Star schematics’ relevance pays-off in a battle sequence.

The Death Star schematics are never just a plot-driver – they provide the conflict but also the resolution. Whereas the map to Luke is itself not explained well and ultimately contribute nothing to Ren’s character. Instead, the map to Luke is established as being important early-on in order to lead Rey to Luke at the end. But finding Luke is completely irrelevant.

All Rey wants is to return Luke’s lightsaber, but Luke’s location could have been revealed through any arbitrary plot device. And that’s what the map is – arbitrary. Through Star Wars, Vader’s character is driven by the desire to recover the schematics to a weapon that will empower the Empire, and in Act III, becomes desperate as the Rebellion now has the power to destroy the Death Star. Vader’s developing motivations affect Vader’s actions and it makes Vader work as an antagonist.

But Ren is dispatched to Jakuu to for no reason other than to introduce something that’s only present for the purposes of nostalgic fan service. And Ren justifies this by claiming to fulfil Vader’s own wishes, even though it’s also acknowledged that Luke taught Ren the ways of the Force. Did Luke not mention that Vader found inner peace and turned to the Light? And why exactly did Ren turn his back on the Jedi?

These things are given as back story, as an attempt to flesh-out Ren’s character and make Ren seem complex and interesting, but a back story is more than just vague descriptions of his past – character establishment requires being told why Ren took those actions, based on Ren’s world view. Ben explained in Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi that the truth depends on our points of view. It’s one of the key scenes in the Saga, as it defines the ongoing conflict present: these character just disagree on certain aspects. Whereas Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens decides to insert a character – Maz – to explain that the First Order is simply evil’s new form, following the fall of the Galactic Empire.

And as soon as something is labelled as evil, it’s no longer complex. And when something’s not complex, there’s no space for relateability, and that makes me ultimately not care about what a character wants. So why should I care about anything else? Ren might feel an inner turmoil within him as he struggles with the Dark and the Light, but I prefer that to actually be developed, and not just used as an excuse for objectively incompetent storytelling.

Star Wars premiere report and pictures

On 15th December, Collider‘s John Campea of The Anniversary and Jon Schnepp of The Death of “Superman Lives”: What Happened? shared their experience of the Star Wars: The Force Awakens (J. J. AbramsLawrence Kasdan and Michael Arndt) premiere.

Force Awakens thoughts before tomorrow’s big opening

(Via Collider)

The Anniversary‘s John Campea and The Death of “Superman Lives”: What Happened?‘s Jon Schnepp give a spoiler-free post-premier review of J. J. AbramsLawrence Kasdan and Michael Arndt‘s Star Wars: The Force Awakens before the midnight opening.


A long time ago in a galaxy far,

far away….

Star Wars released its VII Episode today. That’s VII Episodes of C-3PO, R2-D2 and everything from that evocative Main Title, to the iconic medal ceremony. It’s also VII Episodes of Star Wars fans.

The Saga has endured good Episodes and bad Episodes, but even during the hiatuses between the Original Trilogy, Prequel Trilogy and Sequel Trilogy, Star Wars was never forgotten. It has always been loved. Star Wars fans are as loyal and passionate as Chewbacca is to Han Solo. There cannot be a Master without an Apprentice, an R2 series astromech droid without a 3PO unit. Star Wars fans recognise the magic of the Force, their own madness and the fact that since STAR WARS Episode IV A NEW HOPE From the Journal of the Whills (George Lucas) premièred on XXV May MCMLXXVII, Star Wars has been one of the most powerful Forces in the Galaxy.

Star Wars fans are the Human celebration of Star Wars… the Saga itself is a celebration of empathy and positivity. Today Star Wars: the Force Awakens (J. J. AbramsLawrence Kasdan and Michael Arndt) officially premièred. Plus, it’s also available in III-D, following a Saga marathon in a number of cinemas. Episode VII’s release has been hyped following the release of a trailer on Monday Night Football. The Force visions foretell what is certain: the Force will surround the cinemas, penetrate the auditoriums and bind the audience together.

The concept of Star Wars Episode VII has been long desired since the release of Episode VI, RETURN OF THE JEDI on XXV May MCMLXXXIII. And now, it’s finally real. One expects Episode VII to be a celebration of the past, as well as the future. It’s said that this Saga will release I film a year until there’s no longer a desire for that. I can’t see that happening. Episodes I – VI have already been told. Episode IX will follow in MXIX. Hopefully Episode XII will follow that in MXXV, X years from now. If ever there were a time to become excited about Star Wars, now has never been more appropriate.

I for one intend to follow this Saga through to its end, and inevitably it will outlive me, and you.

Every generation has a story.

May the Force be with all of us… always.

(Original announcement here.)


The opening crawl is an iconic event in every Star Wars Episode. Through Episode I THE PHANTOM MENACE, Episode II ATTACK OF THE CLONES, Episode III REVENGE OF THE SITH, STAR WARS, Episode V THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK and Episode VI RETURN OF THE JEDI, every live-action Star Wars film has included an expository crawl of text before the story commences to bring the audience up-to-date on galactic events. Each opening crawl reveals the Episode number – e.g. “Episode V” – and the subtitle in capitals – e.g. “THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK”. The opening crawl text is divided into three paragraphs, describing what instigated the events of the film, how it developed, and how its resolution triggered the first act. None of the odd-numbered Episodes (Episode I THE PHANTOM MENACE, Episode III REVENGE OF THE SITH and Episode VI RETURN OF THE JEDI) featured capitalised pronouns, but all opening crawls were yellow. Until Episode V THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK, every opening crawl ended with a three-dot ellipses (“…”). Whether Star Wars: the Force Awakens (J. J. AbramsLawrence Kasdan and Michael Arndt) – the Saga’s intended Episode VII – will continue with a three dot ellipses is unknown, but the three-dot version is considered correct among scholars, unlike the “informal” four-dot ellipses (“….”), so that’s the version I’ll be sticking with. STAR WARS Episode IV A NEW HOPE From the Journal of the Whills screenwriter George Lucas describes the creation of the opening crawl as such:

“The crawl is such a hard thing because you have to be careful that you’re not using too many words that people don’t understand. It’s like a poem. I showed the very first crawl to a bunch of friends of mine in the 1970s. It went on for six paragraphs with four sentences each. Brian De Palma was there, and he threw his hands up in the air and said, ‘George, you’re out of your mind! Let me sit down and write this for you.’ He helped me chop it down into the form that exists today.”

In the original screenplays, the opening crawls were presented as such:


(THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK didn’t feature the opening crawl in its screenplay.)

Star Wars: the Force Awakens will probably include an opening crawl. We don’t know it will, but it most likely will. But we still don’t know what it could be. Some fans have already made their predictions, and now I will be making mine. Just what will Star Wars: the Force Awakens‘ opening crawl be? ….

A long time ago in a galaxy far,

far away….


Episode VII
It is a period of uprising.
Resistant spaceships, striking
from a hidden base, have won
their first victory against
the evil First Order.

During the battle, Resistant
spies managed to steal secret
plans to the Order’s
ultimate weapon, STAR KILLER
BASE, a weaponised planet
with enough power
to destroy an entire system.

Pursued by the Order’s
sinister agents, stormtrooper
Finn escorts a pilot to
Kylo Ren’s landing craft,
possessor of the
ancient weapon that can free
their people and restore
freedom to the galaxy….

Editorial: a due change

My goal with reviewing films was to do so every day, but as anyone who’s actually tried to follow this blog will know, that isn’t happening. So I’ve been reconsidering my approach to film-reviewing, and this how I’ll be doing so going forward:

Reviews will now be weekly based on opening weekends. Opening weekends begin Friday evenings and end on Monday, so I’ll be reviewing films opening then, with exceptions. The weekend’s openings will be based on what my local cinema has added, and I’ll be selecting the film best reviewed to view. While that’s not to say I’ll agree, I’ve been hurt too many times by needing my own opinion. I’ll also be referring to percentages on Rotten Tomatoes, as well as Schmoes Know, the only YouTube channel verified by them. I’ve already booked my ticket for Star Wars: the Force Awakens (J.J. Abrams and Lawrence Kasdan), so that’s the film I’ll be seeing that week regardless. So it’d better be good*.

So this week’s new releases are The Last Witch Hunter (15%, Cory GoodmanMatt Sazama and Burk Sharpless)Paranormal Activity: the Ghost Dimension (unrated, Jason Harry PaganAndrew DeutschmanAdam Robitel and Gavin Heffernan) and Spectre (88%, John LoganNeal PurvisRobert Wade and Jez Butterworth). Three films, only one of which has received positive reception. So therefore, Spectre will begin my weekly reviews of new films.

I just feel this system is less pressuring, and more in-touch with modern films.

My Spectre review will be posted next week.

Episode V rated 95%

Episode IV rated 94%

Episode III rated 80%

Episode VI rated 78%

Episode II rated 67%

Episode I rated 57%

Space Quest

Space Quest
Written by Bertie Gilbert

Two reviews of Space Quest on Letterboxd describe it as a piss take of Star Wars/Star Trek and the hype over their next films, the most anticipated of these being Star Wars: the Force Awakens (J. J. Abrams and Lawrence Kasdan), which Abrams has directed. And he deserves it. Looking back at Abrams’s Star Trek reboot films, Star Trek (Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman) and Star Trek Into Darkness (OrciKurtzman and Damon Lindelof), the story isn’t the strongest element, but Abrams directs them with a vision, almost like Star Wars: the Force Awakens test footage. Say what you will about the Alternate Reality – which I regularly criticise – but it’s not entirely Abrams’ fault.

A director might have creative authority over a film (apart from the producers), but what Abrams did was to not alter elements that clearly weren’t working, rather than create those faults himself. And yeah, those new films did cause a rift in the fanbase, and it’s for a good reason, but it shows that Abrams, when applied to something that already works on its own, can make it even cooler. Look no further than the final shot of the first Star Wars: the Force Awakens trailer. That shot on its own could be a whole trailer by itself.

To be honest, it looks more “realistic”, in the visual sense, than any of the other Star Wars films. That’s not just because of advances in digital technology, but because of the choices made in using it. Already, I’m sold on a franchise that didn’t really appeal to me before. I do like Star Wars, but the matte boxes and jump-cut/crossfade explosions were always a bit weird.

But I’m not going to judge a sci-fi film on its special effects – pulp appeals to some people. And, as someone who used to think Doctor Who was pretty neat – especially the Classic Series – I’ve come to see special effects as simply a story-telling mechanism. So Space Quest, then. And not the video game series, either.

Space Quest is a television series within the short film Space Quest, and is clearly an homage to Star Trek. And I do think it’s an homage. Why? Because making a film so accurate in spirit yet also with such a precisely-controlled Roger Corman-esque B-movie feel to what inspired it takes so much INSANE passion for that subject that dismissing it as a piss-take would be to accuse the film-maker of having instead an insane hatred.

There’s that shot of the door closing, which I guess was done through rota-scoping? And the simulated English dubbing of what’s supposed to look originally “foreign”. The reason genuine B-movies include these production methods is because of low budgets and unimaginative film-making. But with today’s access to technology, none of that comes-up unless done… deliberately.

There’s a myth that film-making is difficult. But it’s not. Making a film is easy. What’s difficult is making a good one.

And what takes even more skill is making a film resembling one that isn’t. A film so good it doesn’t look it. My previous review acknowledged the fun pulpiness of a film otherwise terrible – but the difference was, that was supposed to be good. Whereas Space Quest is a step-backwards to a more primitive style of film-making.

In an age of going forwards, going backwards requires more creative acrobatics than simply making a good film with special effects that aren’t laughable. So in creating special effects that recall cult sci-fi, when it’s easier to make them professional, they’ll actually not laughable at all. They’re applaudable. Abrams has been openly promoting his use of practical effects when making Star Wars: the Force Awakens, rather than digital effects.

One can only hope so. It makes “Episode VII” aesthetically consistent with its preceding instalments. Even though there’ll still be digital effects, simply because it’s more convenient in some places. Every mainstream film uses digital effects. Even genres that wouldn’t obviously seem to require digital effects use digital effects.

They’re shooting it on film, too. Actual film! Which means that Star Wars: the Force Awakens isn’t just called a “film”, but really is one. And I care about film more than digital, because it’s less convenient for shooting.

Yes, there’s a better picture quality, and every other reason you can find listed in Mark Kermode’s The Good, the bad and the Multiplex, but apart from that – it requires more care and precision. Which means, if a production’s using celluloid, it tells me the film-makers are of a certain mindset that ensures at least some immediate quality. There’s that question of – so if Space Quest didn’t emulate B-movies, would Space Quest be any good? But that’s question’s invalid.

Because, if Space Quest didn’t emulate B-movies, Space Quest would be pointless. I think. But that’s how I’ve read it. Just about every Bertie Gilbert film is about contrast in some way – contrast between the sane and the insane, contrast between one time period and another, and in some ways, contrast between between two ends of an infinite spectrum.

The contrast here is between digital and film, with digital being a bookend to the “main event”, like old cinema programmes that would present the feature with a shorter, less impressive piece, a… “B-movie”. And although the digital scenes are more presentable, ticking the boxes of YouTube’s video player, the Space Quest film itself is a better achievement because there was more to get right. It’s easy to reassure yourself with the knowledge that something can be added later, but it takes real balls to say “We’re doing it NOW!”. There’s a reason Gilbert’s considered the new Wes Anderson.

Anyway, point is – if these were two films, the Space Quest act in the middle is obviously the bigger achievement, because mimicking a specific style takes a certain kind of skill that requires a film-maker to go inside their own creativity and emerge on the other side having proven they can do minimal. And if I come out of Star Wars: the Force Awakens impressed with it, it’ll be because it looks like the Episode VII that should’ve already been released thirty years ago. The reason Star Trek Into Darkness is so controversial is because, even though it’s a good-looking film, it’s got “Star Trek” in the title, but doesn’t try to actually justify that on screen. And that’s the story here.

More reviews

The road to… Mission: Impossible Rogue Nation

This weekend was the opening of Mission: Impossible Rogue Nation, but the franchise began 17th September 1996 as a television series on Columbia Broadcasting System.

Inspired by the film Topkapi, the series followed the cases of the Impossible Missions Force, a division of the Central Intelligence Agency, that would complete the tasks no one else had been able to. Episodes used minimal dialogue, music to create suspense, and involved a team of people – in this case the Impossible Missions Force – to complete a task to exact timing – all elements borrowed from Topkapi.

Creator Bruce Geller vetoed any character development to keep a focus on the missions themselves. He felt that having characters not change and work as plot devices would say more about the characters than if they were elements of the narrative. In each episode, they’re only seen together in what The Complete “Mission: Impossible” Dossier author Patrick J. White called the Apartment Scene: at the end of the first act, the Impossible Missions Force would meet in the Leader’s apartment for debriefing. The set was designed to have a grey tone, despite being videotaped in colour. Here, characters would mention what they’d do during the execution of their plan, but in vague terms so as to tease the audience. This would help establish the equipment that would be used, and the roles of guest characters. It’s here that Jim Phelps would sum-up the deadline for mission completion, as well as take any questions from characters so as it fill potential plot holes.

Another decision taken to minimise character development was to not explain absences. Characters were never killed or released from duty, yet any actors departing the series would be unexplained, with their character just not appearing in future episodes with no acknowledgement of it.

In season five, producer Bruce Lansbury decided to scale back the budget, and moved the setting to be internalised within the United States of America, fighting an enemy known as “The Syndicate”, who were described as outside the reaches of “conventional law enforcement”. Such methods as manipulating targets into removing each other were replaced with obtaining evidence against them and tricking confessions using recording devices. These changes may have altered the methods by which the Impossible Missions Force tackled The Syndicate, but each episode still maintained – generally – the formula from previous seasons.

The final episode, Edward J. Lasko‘s Imitation, brought the count to 171 – the most episodes for an English-language espionage series until 24: day 8, 7:00 p.m – 8:00 p.m (by Chip Johannessen and Patrick Harbinson).

In the 1980s, the series was revived for another shot. The 1988 Writers Guild of America Strike prompted American Broadcasting Company to find written, but unproduced, scripts. This lead to the production of a new Mission: Impossible series, shot in Australia, which was twenty per cent cheaper than Hollywood. The only character to carry-over was Phelps. Everyone else was new. Though the plots were updated, American Broadcasting Company were worried that some episodes would need remaking due to lack of new material. The strike was resolved quickly enough for only four episodes to be modernisations of original stories. It’s for this reason that the new series is considered a continuation of the previous. Although the series wasn’t a success, the Australian tax credit was low enough for it to still generate a high profit margin, and it lasted for two seasons, when it was cancelled for low ratings due to a new time slot.

While the formula was still used, the scale was pushed more than before. One character was killed-off – as Geller was unable to veto the decision by being dead – and posthumously disavowed, the first for the Mission: Impossible franchise. Some of the gadgets used were also much closer to science fiction than the hard science of the original run, with the Impossible Missions Force now being a global force rather than a small operation. Some original cast members made appearances, but as new characters.

As a continuation of the new series, the premise was created that Phelps’ former protege is killed in action, prompting him to be called out of retirement to form a new Impossible Missions Force and, in the first episode, track-down the killer.

One fan of the show was actor Tom Cruise, who’d recently set-up his own production company, Cruise/Wagner Productions. Paramount Pictures owned the rights to the series, and had been trying to make a feature for a long time but hadn’t found the right treatment. As a producer, Cruise persuaded them to give him $70, 000, 000 to make Mission: Impossible. After several drafts of a story and screenplay by David Koepp and Robert Towne, production began and Mission: Impossible became a feature, disconnected from television continuity. Infamously, original cast members reacted harshly to this version. Phelps actor Peter Graves disliked the treatment of Jon Voight’s version of the character – the only one carried-over series used for the feature – who’s revealed to be a traitor in the final twist. Original cast member Martin Landau also considered it not true to what Mission: Impossible is – getting in and out without leaving a trace, not a generic action-adventure. With the widest release of any feature yet given, the highest-grossing opening Wednesday, and sixteen days and two weekends at the top of the box office, Mission: Impossible grossed five times its final $80M budget with $457M, prompting Paramount Pictures to greenlit a sequel.

Only Towne returned for Mission: Impossible II, which had 1.5 times Mission: Impossible‘s budget of $125, 000, 000, this time only grossing four times its budget, but still grossing higher than previously at $546, 000, 000, making it the highest-grossing of the franchise so far with a profit margin of 4. Its opening weekend grossed $57, 845, 279, making it not only number one at the box office – where it would stay for three more weekends – but the highest grossing domestic opening weekend of 2000, and the highest grossing worldwide opening weekend of 2000, with $546.4 approx. This once again lead Paramount Pictures to greenlighting a threequel.

Mission: Impossible III went through six years of development through three directors. Cruise had been watching Alias, and approached J. J. Abrams about writing and directing. Abrams brought with him his team of Alias writers – Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci. This had the highest budget yet – $150, 000, 000. But it had the lowest profit margin so far, only returning two times that budget with £357, 000, 000. It spent fourteen days and two weekends at number one in the box office, despite an opening weekend of $47.7M. But Mission: Impossible III was still profitable, and that lead to a third sequel.

Josh Appelbaum and André Nemec were hired as screenwriters after Abrams declined to return due to other commitments. Due to the underperformance of Mission: Impossible III, the budget was reduced to $145, 000, 000. But the total worldwide lifetime gross of $694M and foreign gross of $485M – the two highest for the spy genre – generated a profit margin of nearly five times that amount, a return to performance for the franchise. It remained at number one in the box office for fifteen days and four weekends, the first of which grossed $12M – the highest-grossing opening weekend for a limited release. With a domestic gross of $209M, it became the highest-grossing domestic spy feature. Its second domestic weekend grossed $29M, a drop of .5%, the lowest second-weekend drop for a spy feature.

These numbers were enough for Paramount Pictures to begin production on another Mission: Impossible feature, which is how Mission: Impossible Rogue Nation was greenlit. This shares Mission: Impossible III‘s high production budget of $150M, and is still playing worldwide. On 14th November 2013, Coming Soon first announced it as “Mission: Impossible 5“, with Drew Pearce screenwriting and Cruise and Abrams producing. The original release date was scheduled for 25th December. In a 15th November interview with Music Television to promote The World’s End, actor Simon Pegg confirmed he was to reprise the Benji Dunn role – his third appearance in the series, after Mission: Impossible III and Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol. On 9th May 2014, The Hollywood Reporter reported that Will Staples was rewriting Pearce‘s screenplay. He was replaced by director Christopher McQuarrie, with story credited to Pearce. In a 22nd May 2014 Yahoo! interview, Jeremy Renner also confirmed he’d been cast, reprising the William Brandt role, who first appeared in Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol. A week later, at the 29th May 2014 premiere of Edge of Tomorrow, Cruise told a Telegraph reporter that “Mission: Impossible 5” was to shoot in London. On 7th August, KTV also reported that Vienna was another location. After The Hollywood Reporter reported Alec Baldwin was in-talks with Paramount casting, on 9th July, Coming Soon reported Rebecca Ferguson had been cast as the female lead. On 16th August, McQuarrie tweeted that series regular Ving Rhames would return to the role of Luther Stickell. On 21st August, principal photography began, with initial set photographs released via Coming Soon, confirming that Baldwin had been cast. The following day, 22nd August, Express released more set photographs showing Cruise and Ferguson hanging from Vienna Opera House, confirming Vienna as a location. Principal photography continued through 26th August, with more scenes in Vienna, via more set photographs released by Daily Mail. On 28th August, Morocco World News reported the closing of Marrakesh Highway by National Company of Highways of Morocco. After one-and-a-half weeks of shooting, the crew departed Vienna on 31st August, which was revealed by Xinhuanet. More set photographs from Daily Mail showed them arriving in Rabat the same day. On 3rd September, Marrakesh Highway was used to shoot a chase sequence in the F80 BMW M3, which was broken by BMW Blog. On 4th September, Morocco World News again reported the closing of the stadium of Marrakech for more scenes. On 5th September, The Hollywood Reporter reported that Sean Harris was in negotiations for the antagonist role. On 26th September, Daily Mirror posted photographs of the same F80 BMW M3 being driven by Cruise in Kasbah of the Udayas. On 28th September, Daily Mail posted more set photographs of the crew arriving in London. On 2nd October, Variety reported that Simon McBurney was in negotiations to be Ferguson’s character’s boss. A week later on 6th October, actor Zhang Jingchu was spotted in London. Variety also reported this to be due to having been cast in a role important to a plot twist. The following day, 7th October, BMW Blog posted photographs of multiple damaged F80 BMW M3s being transported into London. On 11th October, the crew were spotted during an aerial scene using a helicopter in Monaco in more set photographs released by Daily Mail. Master Herald reported Ferguson had also been seen there. In yet more Daily Mail set photographs posted 3rd November, Cruise was seen at RAF Wittering atop a grounded aeroplane. Cruise was at times suspended from an Airbus A400M Atlas, rather than using a stunt double. On 8th November, Daily Echo reported that more scenes used Fawley Power Station. The 25th December release date was brought-forward on 26th January to 31st July. PR Newswire reporter on 13th February that Paramount Pictures were to remaster Mission: Impossible Rogue Nation for IMAX. According to Hollywood Reporter on 20th February, production was halted for McQuarrie and Cruise to work on the ending. Deadline reported on 5th March that Paramount Pictures has partnered with Lotte for South Korean distribution for release on Thursday 30th March. McQuarrie tweeted on 12th March that principal photography had wrapped. On 22nd May, Paramount Pictures debuted the first footage during a basketball tournament, which revealed the Mission: Impossible Rogue Nation title, advertising the full trailer debut the following day, 23rd May, and revealing that The Syndicate would be the target.

A second trailer was released 3rd June.

On 4th June, Entertain This posted an interview with Cruise where he revealed Fawley Power Station’s scene was underwater, where he held his breath for over a minute using training from Kirk Krack for a single long take. Hollywood Reporter reported on 22nd July that Mission: Impossible Rogue Nation was to be released in Dolby Cinema – combining Dolby Vision with Dolby Atmos audio. The South Korean opening night on Thursday 30th July grossed $4M. The domestic opening night on 31st July grossed $20.3M. The full opening weekend is projected to gross $40-50M.