Gareth Edwards Confirms the Opening Sequence of Rogue One and Discusses the Chances of Leia, R2-D2 and Lightsabers Being in the Film


Director Gareth Edwards seems to be all over the world promoting Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. Last week, he was in Mexico for the start of the Rogue One promo tour, then he appeared on The Star Wars Show in LA, and now he is in France sharing more details about the first ever Star Wars stand alone movie, which is hitting theaters THIS month. Read on to find out what Edwards said on why they decided to drop the opening crawl and what the chances are that fans will see Leia, R2-D2 and lightsabers in Rogue One…



During the interview, Edwards spoke in English but the video is dubbed in French, so it’s hard to make out some of the things he mentions. We reached out to our French friends at MakingStarWarsFrance and Galaxie Star Wars, who were kind enough to provide us with a translation of the interview.



First, here are the most interesting parts.


Edwards was asked several questions which he only answered with a “yes” or “no”…


Q: Will there be Jedi?

A: Technically yes.


Q: Will there be lightsabers?

A: Darth Vader has one.


Q: Luke Skywalker?

A: No


Q: Will we see Princess Leia?

A: I cannot answer.


Q: R2D2?

A: I cannot answer.


We suggest you watch the video when he was asked these. Edwards’ reactions were very telling. This is just my speculation, but based on his replies and reactions I think it’s almost a certainty that we won’t see lightsabers in action. His gesture was very clear when he showed that there is a lightsaber in the movie, but it is hanging from Vader’s belt.

His answers on Leia and R2-D2 were also curious. My personal feeling always was that perhaps Rogue One could show us a glimpse at the very act of the recording of the message that princess Leia sent to Obi-Wan via R2-D2. Or maybe just a distant glimpse of Leia on board the Tantive IV.



Gareth was also asked about the opening crawl, and he pretty much confirmed how the movie will open:


Q: We all know the opening crawl. Will we see this crawl at the beginning of Rogue One?

A: There is no opening crawl. But there is a prologue at the beginning of the film that takes place 15 years before the action of the film and that is how the action is exposed. Our film comes from the text of episode IV if we give the text, it would be endless. We really had to differentiate Rogue One from the rest of the saga.


Q: Was that not frustrating?

A: At the beginning yes. But the more I thought about it the more it was normal not to have this text. The temptation as a director is to take the most character from other Star Wars to put them in his film. The film should last 10 hours. We have to make choices. We must cut, it is a universe too rich.


As you probably remember, we told you about this flashback scene back in August (here). Now it is confirmed that the movie will open with it, 15 years before the present.



And here’s the rest of the interview:


Q: Millions of fans don’t sleep in waiting of your movie. And you?

A: Yes. But we feel all the pressure of the fans and the studio. But when we turn, we become a child with stormtroopers and X-Wing on the set.


Q: How would you prepare for this shoot as a child?

A: There would have been LEGO (laughs). I was taken by surprise. All of my childhood, I saw this text coming up saying that the Rebels stole the plans of the Death Star. I never imagine how. When Disney said they wanted to make a film about this event, I thought this was a sacrilege. Why tell this? Do no touch it. Lucasfilm asked me if I wanted to realize it. It’s awesome.


Q: What kind of fan are you?

A: For my 30 years I went to Tunisia where Episode IV was filmed and spent the night in the house of Luke Skywalker. I was seeing the sunset on the salt lake as in the movie.



Q: The fans of Star Wars are very demanding, your film will necessarily disappoint, you will be criticized, is what you are prepared for this?

A: I’m ready. We can not make a movie for everyone, otherwise we make a bad movie. Obi Wan said to me: Turn off your computer and the Internet and trust you. There are only 15 days left.


Q: Why Star Wars makes people crazy?

A: This tells the lessons of life. Lucas combined the great myths and spaceships to make the perfect movie. And those of my generation have launched into the cinema by wanting to make this type of film.


Q: You wanted to make a dark film, a realistic war movie, what happened with Disney?

A: Yes, very well. Really. They remembered that idea. We took a real war picture and added elements of Star Wars. It was hard-hitting and I said to Disney, that’s what we want to do. They said OK. Disney put a lot of pressure to make the film different from the saga.


Q: So Disney was cool? They let you make your film. It was said that this was not the case?

A: No. They were very supportive, it was great.



Q: You have managed to contain the leaks. How is that possible in 2016?

A: We eliminated 10 members of the team so that they did not speak. It was ugly.


Q: No, but seriously. Are there any contracts?

A: No mobile phone, nothing on the set. I did not have to say anything. It was hard.


Q: George Lucas went on the set of Rogue One, did he give you advice?

A: No. There are two things to do in a life. Show his Star Wars movie to George Lucas and be George Lucas in making a Star Wars movie. He made jokes by asking for more digital effects and less construction of the trays. But we do as much practical effect as possible.


Q: How will you convey the emotion of the story between Jyn Erso and her father?

A: I was getting out of a big movie, I wanted a vacation and I got a phone call to attend a meeting. I went and it was for Rogue One. I was offered the realization. Shit ! We can not refuse that. I had to do it.





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Val Trichkov (Viral Hide)

Founder of SWNN, MNN and The Cantina forums.Born on April 24, 1980.

54 thoughts on “Gareth Edwards Confirms the Opening Sequence of Rogue One and Discusses the Chances of Leia, R2-D2 and Lightsabers Being in the Film

  • December 1, 2016 at 5:19 pm

    Will there be Jedi? He said ”Yes”. Interesting

    • December 1, 2016 at 5:27 pm

      Vader was one.

    • December 1, 2016 at 5:27 pm

      “Technically yes”. Could that be Ewan Mc Gregor doing the jedi temple message in hologram form as we ve seen in rebels?

      • December 1, 2016 at 5:41 pm

        Or he’s simply referencing the mere existence of Obi-Wan and Yoda.

      • December 2, 2016 at 1:08 am

        Jedi Easter Egg.

    • December 1, 2016 at 5:51 pm

      Yeah I agree with the rest. I see it in the sense that people say hot and cold when really there is no cold, just absence of heat. Same way between Sith and Jedi, if we reduce Jedi to being the generic term for any Force user in possession of a light-saber, then Sith are just Jedi who use the Force differently. So I think its definitely Vader.

      • December 1, 2016 at 10:18 pm

        Jyn’s mother is probably a secret, non practicing Jedi.

        • December 2, 2016 at 1:07 am

          Catalyst confirms Lyra Erso is not force sensitive but has a deep spiritual connection to the force.

          • December 2, 2016 at 2:16 am

            Ah, it’s probably that big broken, half buried statue in the desert then.

  • December 1, 2016 at 5:29 pm

    To my mind this all but confirms the movie will end with Leia aboard the Tantive IV.

    I am all about that.

    • December 1, 2016 at 10:27 pm

      i, also….. am all about that

    • December 1, 2016 at 11:12 pm

      Maybe she’s already under attack, calls her father for help, and he mentions Obi-Wan by name.

      I hope the name Obi-Wan gets a mention, even though we probably won’t see him.

  • December 1, 2016 at 5:42 pm

    There’s one lying in the sand (the statue); does it count as technically a Jedi?

    • December 1, 2016 at 8:49 pm

      There’s Anakin as well.

  • December 1, 2016 at 6:00 pm

    is it just me or was this article written by Yoda….

    • December 1, 2016 at 6:14 pm

      Translated from French the interview was. Says that it does.

    • December 1, 2016 at 11:11 pm

      Written by Yoda, this article was not 🙂

  • December 1, 2016 at 6:24 pm

    So how do they pull off having Leia in this thing?

    A new actress?
    A CG Carrie?
    A 59-year-old Carrie with massive amounts of de-aging?

    • December 1, 2016 at 6:26 pm

      I was wondering that. Maybe a combination of 1 and 2, or angle the shot so not to see her face? The expensive of 3 would wipe out the profit made…

      • December 1, 2016 at 6:34 pm

        Just show her back as she is facing R2, and use the same audio of her voice from ANH.

    • December 1, 2016 at 6:34 pm

      Just show her back as she is facing R2, and use the same audio of her voice from ANH

    • December 1, 2016 at 6:45 pm

      My guess would be a new actress with Carrie’s face digitally composited.

      • December 2, 2016 at 4:23 am

        The facial cg your referring to was rumored for Tarkin as well. I think its fair to say that to have a movie about this part of the saga, even though its not essentially a prequel but to leave out Leia when weve seen her in Rebels or Tarkin (because if hes not in charge now when would they have installed him ) would have raised questions the movie needs to avoid.

        Leia recieves and then smuggles those plans away from the Empifre. FACT.

        r2-D2 stores them. FACT

        Tarkin and Leia know one another. Tarkin blows up her home. FACT.


        Krinics “Boss” or direct report isnt Vader and its becoming more clear that in the space between episodes 3 and 4 something happens to Vader that lessens his actual power. Perhaps intentionally so. Either way theres someone in between Krinic and the Emperor and my best guess they magically shoved Peter Cushings face on to an able bodied actor and there was no speaking to complicate it.

        Need proof that this tech has matured and is worthy of a Star Wars movie?

        Watch Westworld. Its done perfectly.

        • December 2, 2016 at 5:55 am

          One way they could leave Tarkin out is of the meeting we see in ANH is him coming in to take over after Krennic fucks up and loses the plans and the first defeat to the rebels.

          I think it makes more sense if we see him but that would totally make sense.

          We need Leia, though.

        • December 2, 2016 at 10:01 pm


          The person between Krennic and the Emperor is Mas Amedda.

    • December 1, 2016 at 11:44 pm

      Or the cheap quick way: they’re only going to show her from behind putting the tapes into r2d2.

    • December 2, 2016 at 12:08 am

      I think they show her and R2 from behind, maybe just a glimpse as a door opens on the Tantive IV. R2 plugged into a computer terminal downloading the plans as they are “beamed to this ship from Rebel spies.”

    • December 3, 2016 at 12:53 am

      I’m very curious to find that out. They will probably have her back towards us.

  • December 1, 2016 at 6:25 pm

    Still not happy about the crawl. Every time I hear someone say this is not part of the Saga, it very much is part of the saga and integral to the happenings of A New Hope. It’s like saying here’s Vader but he’s not the same one, this is a different Vader than you see in the saga. Nevermind the previous 7 movies. this one uniquely leaves out Skaywalkers… Oh wait… Quit trying to be so different.

    • December 1, 2016 at 6:37 pm

      Going to be strange without a crawl for sure, but I’m excited to see how these stand alone films are going to be presented. Exciting times ahead

    • December 1, 2016 at 8:26 pm

      It’s not integral to A New Hope b/c we somehow have managed to love and enjoy A New Hope for almost 40 years without this story being told. It’s backstory, one that was readily and easily communicated during ANH’s opening crawl.

      That’s not to say that there is no story worth telling here, but it’s a bonus, it’s not necessary for the enjoyment of anything else.

      It’s not about trying to be different, it’s about expanding the universe beyond one family, so they can tell all kinds of stories in Star Wars.

      • December 2, 2016 at 7:11 pm

        We do not know them and what they look like their names how they got the death Star plans what happened to them and most of all what they did was a big deal to all of it and the movie and for the new Hope movie not to be forgotten now has a movie along with the first one and the rest of the movies you have to make it a movie or some people will forget and not notice them for what they did and they only know what they saw in new Hope movie and from rogue one movie to notice them has the one’s who took the death Star plans and giving them to Leia and died for if you do not put it there know one will notice or read with this movie will make them notice them and what they did not just from new Hope movie you may know but not everyone in the years to come just like going down into the history books would be with out it to tell who did what the same goes for rogue one movie of the people who took the death Star plans in this movie is for in telling everyone else who don’t know it

        • December 2, 2016 at 8:06 pm

          Did you just have a stroke?

          • December 3, 2016 at 2:39 am

            Did you have a stroke with your comments

          • December 3, 2016 at 4:39 pm

            No, mine are actually coherent while yours are a waste of time.

    • December 1, 2016 at 8:48 pm

      The first three Craig Bond movies didn’t start with the gunbarrel, but people got past it.

      • December 1, 2016 at 9:23 pm

        Really? Hadn’t even noticed that to be honest, must go back and rewatch them at some point.

  • December 1, 2016 at 8:42 pm

    I predicted there would be a cameo from THE droids some time ago, so his responses are interesting.

  • December 1, 2016 at 8:46 pm

    “For my 30 years I went to Tunisia where Episode IV was filmed and spent
    the night in the house of Luke Skywalker. I was seeing the sunset on the
    salt lake as in the movie.”

    I have done this (although no intentionally as a SW pilgrim) and watching the sun come up over Chott El Jerid, with virtually no civilisation in sight, was stunning. That and the night I spend in the Iranian wilderness were truly magical times. The world is wondrous and can be truly alien at times to city dwellers like me.

    • December 2, 2016 at 6:38 am

      Wow…amazing. Bucket list, updated!

  • December 1, 2016 at 9:36 pm

    The translation is a bit ropey, I haven’t got time to go over everything, but when the voice over says “plateau”, your translation says “tray” which is a litteral translation, when it should be “set”

  • December 2, 2016 at 2:44 pm

    Is Gareth Edwards William/MiB from westworld in another timeframe? #tinfoilhat

  • December 2, 2016 at 6:39 pm

    The movie rogue one has to go with everything happened in new Hope movie from the story to Darth Vader and Leia in how they will in rogue one movie in how they behave like and that goes with the rest from new Hope movie to like in rogue one movie

  • December 3, 2016 at 2:32 pm

    If Vader does not get on the front lines atleast once and mow down rebels, Disney has missed a golden opportunity and I must admit, I will be dissapointed

Comments are closed.