Gareth Edwards is the man of the hour at Celebration. With the lull between The Force Awakens and Episode VIII, all eyes are focused on Rogue One. As director of that film he is front and center walking the line between hype and secrecy. The details of Rogue One are still quite a mystery. But as the weekend is unfolding we are being exposed to additional bits here and there that are starting to bring aspects of the film more into focus. A lot of good content came out of the main Rogue One panel yesterday, but after the panel ended a select group of media attendees got a chance to have a brief roundtable interview with Edwards.
Slashfilm has a full video and transcript of the interview up on their site. One of the most interesting exchanges was spurred on by a question from BMD’s Devin Faraci who asked Edwards for more details on the mysterious planet Jedha. Here is Edward’s very interesting response.
It came from the fact that the era that our film is set in in theory doesn’t have any Jedi. So the idea of having a Star Wars film that doesn’t talk about the Force… If you look at what George was great at is although he got a story about one thing, he’s implying a million other things in the background and ideas that are much wider, and obviously our film is using that and telling a story within it. But for me it’s like if A New Hope is kind of the story of Jesus, there must be a whole religion beyond that, and so it felt like what was it a thousand generations the Jedi were the leaders of the spiritual belief system, so it’s like there’s gotta be like a Mecca or Jerusalem within the Star Wars world. It felt very contemporary to have a situation where the Empire were imposing themselves on what means a lot to the spiritual side of Star Wars for their own reasons, their own goals, and within that area there’s a resistance that’s building and trying to fight back, but our characters end up having to go to Jedha and they basically end up getting pulled into their story a bit.
The whole real backstory of it all is really more a thing for the canon and Lucasfilm, but I feel like it’s definitely…if you believe in the Jedi and you believe in the Force, it feels like Jedha is somewhere you should visit in your lifetime. It’s like a spiritual home of the Jedi.
Edwards also discussed Vader’s role in the film a bit.
[Vader]’s got such a gravitational pull, the second he shows up you just get sucked into Darth Vader. So it was a process to try and figure out how to pepper that in in a way that felt right. When I read the first document, which is “this is what we’re thinking of doing” I was like “Oh my god, they’re going to do that film? Jeez.” And at the time I thought they must have sent it to hundred other people and I accidentally got it by mistake. Then I realized they were going to do it, and I was like “i could never live with myself to be two years from then and it’s coming out and this is happening and there’ some guy here going “yeah, so we filmed in 360” and I’d be going “God damn I could have been doing that!” So you have to do it.
Edwards also jokingly commented on the pains for him, as a fan and teh director, in having to correct so many questions and jokes about where all the Bothans are in the film?
Yeah, I don’t even want to start on that because this comes up all the time and you’re like “No, no…” … I don’t even have to [explain it] because for every person who says that there’s someone on the forum just below them that goes “You idiot!”
In a separate piece, ETonline had brief conversations with both Edwards and Kathleen Kennedy where they asked the directly about the presence of an opening crawl for Rogue One. It seems like it is a matter of much debate over at Lucasfilm, but from the comments it seems like Rogue One will likey not have one as they would like to differentiate these stand alone stories from the main saga.
Check out the video from ET below.