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?
Q: Will we see Princess Leia?
A: I cannot answer.
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.