Rogue One: A Star Wars Story recently eclipsed $790 million worldwide, showing just how powerful the Star Wars brand is. The film, which starred Felicity Jones, Diego Luna and Forest Whitaker, was released worldwide on December 15 last year. In 2014, the movie’s director, Gareth Edwards, directed the Godzilla remake, which got him on Disney’s radar for the first (of many) Anthology film. One of the film’s coolest components was its ability to build on the Star Wars universe. The ‘Saga’ films (Episodes) keep the franchise confined to the Skywalker family, and with Rogue One, Disney and LucasFilm expanded their universe significantly. Edwards recently sat down with Empire Magazine to reveal some awesome secrets regarding the film’s production. You can check them out, as well as Edwards’ discussion about them below:
There Was a Crawl In The Script’s First Draft:
The first screenplay that Gary Whitta wrote had a crawl in it – and you learn doing that that ‘a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away’ has four dots in it, not three. You get extra marks for that. And then at some point, probably like six months before we were filming, we were in a meeting, and they talked about not having an opening crawl, because these are standalone films, not part of the sagas. And if I’m honest, there was an initial kind of like, “whaaaa? I want the crawl!” The opening sequence is kind of the crawl of our movie. It’s like the setup. And our film is also born out of a crawl – the reason we exist is because of a previous crawl, so it feels like this infinite loop that will never end. It’s a small thing to give up to get to do Star Wars.
Edwards Wanted To Show A Different Side To Darth Vader:
I’m jealous of moments like in Empire Strikes Back where you see the back of [Vader’s] head and you just go, “oh my God, that is so cool,” and wanted to try and find something like that in our film. [The bacta tank scene] was actually a Chris Cunningham-inspired thing of the idea of being in milk [like in the Bjork music video] All Is Full Of Love. He’s really a burns victim, and it’s not going to be fun for him when he’s not in the suit – he’s going to be uncomfortable. I love the idea of showing that he’s vulnerable as well. Vader’s very, very bad, and so you try and just glimpse something of him that gives him some humanity, or it makes you empathise with him. Just seeing those scars and realising that he’s, you know, an amputee, and just reminding you of that before he does all his stuff, it makes you torn, I think. He’s just such a rich character, in so many ways.
The Hobbit‘s Peter Jackson Watched The Vader Scene Being Filmed:
We were at Pinewood, and Peter Jackson was in town. And we were like, “oh we should get Peter along, we should try and get him to come.” I was there, about to shoot that scene, and I thought, “ahh, you know what, screw it”, and I just wrote an email saying, ‘Peter, about to film Darth Vader if you want to come, it’s happening now’, and he’s like, ‘I’ll be there in half an hour!’ And then he perfectly timed it, he walked in literally for that shot where it goes from darkness to the lightsaber turning on. Whatever I do in my career, whatever happens next, it’s gonna be hard to top the honour of getting to direct that scene.
Disney Used This Shot For Marketing Reasons Only:
There was a bit of a process to refining the third act in terms of the specific shots and moments, and so certain things just fell away. But then what happens is marketing love those shots, and go, “oh, we’ve got to use that.” And you say, “well, it’s not in the movie”. And they say, “it’s okay, it’s what marketing does, we just use the best of whatever you’ve done”. And so there’s lots of little things, but towards the end you go, “I know that’s not in the film, but the spirit of it’s in the film”.
What do you guys think of all this? To be honest, the thought of Peter Jackson and Gareth Edwards fanboy-ing over Darth Vader makes me smile. Would you love to read the original opening crawl? You can check out Rogue One as it is in cinemas now!