Gareth Edwards Talks With Fans About Working on Rogue One, Darth Plagueis, George Lucas, the Name Scarif and More
Star Wars has always been a film series that has had some absolutely incredible directors. From the creator himself, George Lucas, Irvin Kershner, J.J Abrams, and the most recent, Gareth Edwards. All have done an incredible job of bringing the universe to life and leaving their distinct mark on Star Wars, but often times what’s happening behind the camera can be just as interesting as what’s happening on it. Gareth Edwards proved that this week when he gave the keynote speech at SXSW Film and shed some light on the beginning of his career in film, Star Wars, and an important visit and misspelling at a Starbucks. He also did a Reddit AMA session sharing even more interesting bits with the fans.
It’s crystal clear that Edwards is a huge Star Wars fan, in fact from the moment he saw Star Wars for the first time, he wanted to join the Rebel Alliance and fight the Empire. As he grew older someone let him know that he couldn’t do that and would have to find something else, and he chose to become a “professional liar” aka a filmmaker.
What I found most interesting and humbling about his talk was his struggles in the film industry and how it wasn’t what he thought it would be. Like almost every director of the past 30-40 years Edwards looked up the legendary Steven Spielberg and thought his rise would be just like his. Go to school for film, make a professional short film, and then get a contract with major movie studio to make films. He sent in his films to a producer and they sent him back a rejection letter. Succeeding in the film industry can be incredibly hard and comes with a lot of rejection, seeing that and how it affected Edwards makes me like him a lot more to see he persevered and finally succeeded and thrived.
Finally the name for the planet where the Death Star plans were hidden in Rogue One, Scarif came from a Starbucks barista misspelling Gareth Edwards’ name. The barista asked for his name and when he said Gareth, the barista heard “Scareth” and wrote it on his cup. It’s a really funny story and shows that creativity can come from just about anywhere.
There is a lot details in the article itself and if you’re even remotely interested in Edwards or Rogue One, it is well worth the read.
The whole article can be found here.
And here are the most interesting bits from the Reddit Ask Me Anything, where fans ask questions on Reddit in real time and the director answers:
Q: Was there anything cut out of Rogue One that you’d like to put back in?
A: There are millions of things that I would like to have put in the film… unfortunately films are only 2 hours long, so many ideas fall away before the final release… I guess if we had another 10 years to finish the film, the final version would evolve even more. The goal is to make sure the version that goes out into the world is the best possible version. So in that sense, no real regrets 🙂
Q: Did you ever hear the Tragedy of Darth Plagueis the Wise?
A: No, sorry, I hope he gets well soon.
Q: How did it feel knowing that George Lucas approved and really enjoyed your adaptation of the star wars universe.
A: The biggest relief in the world. George Lucas is GOD. Without him, no of this would exist. I would have traded his positive review for everyone else in the world if I’m honest.
Q: If you had to add an opening crawl to Rogue One, what would you have it say?
A: Gary Whitta actually wrote one in the first draft. You’ll have to pester him for it 😉 …I do believe that those opening crawl words are actually floating out there in space somewhere. We just have to fund NASA well enough so their deep-space telescopes can find them, lets crowd fund it and make it happen.
Q: Will we ever find out what the changes and reshoots were behind the scenes of Rogue One? From the first promotional material to the final cut of the film, it’s pretty clear a lot changed during production.
A: Lots of great shots were grabbed during filming, some of them were specifically designed for a sequence, others were just opportunistic. Marketing end up falling in love with things that might fall away during the post production of a film, and also might help strengthen others. I’m just glad they found a way to get into the world.
Q: What was your favourite easter egg that made it into Rogue One, and did you have any input on the inclusion of them?
A: I’m very bias… But my cameo would be my favorite… I don’t want to give it away, but let’s just say he was probably the savior of the entire rebellion 😉
Q: How many of the decisions that will probably influence the rest of the anthology films did you yourself take part in? Like, the lack of the opening crawl, or not having John Williams score…things that separate them from the core “episodes.” Were those decisions you made?
A: We knew from the start that John Williams would not be available for our film… The opening crawl decision was made before we started filming.
Q: If you could pick one character from your spinoff movie to do a spinoff about them which would it be?
A: Mads and Ben… Galen and Krennic or Baze and Chirrut or maybe it would be cool to see what happens to the Death Star plans, and if the rebels manage to actually blow-up the Death Star, that would be a cool movie!!!
Q: How do you feel about Micheal Giachinno’s score for Rogue One? What was he like to work with?
A: Michael is a massive Star Wars fan, and a great human being. He had very little time to write the music for the film, and I think there are moments within it, especially Jyn’s theme, where he smashed it out the park, it’s perfect for what we needed at that point in the film. Everyone had massive smiles on their faces during the recording sessions.
Q: What’s your favorite Star Wars movie, besides Rogue One?
A: My favorite is not Rogue One, but thanks for assuming it might be, my order would be:
A New Hope
Empire Strikes Back
Return of the Jedi
You can check the whole thread here.