Rogue One A Star Wars Story - X-Wing Starfighter

On Making Rogue One Feel Like Star Wars

When asked about what he borrowed from the original trilogy for Rogue One, Gareth Edwards explained that best way to capture Star Wars is to borrow from a mixture of different influences:

The problem with Star Wars is that questions takes about four hours [to answer]. There’s not an individual thing: “As long as you do this, it’s Star Wars and you’re golden.” You’ve got to do a thousand different things and mix them all together and get the balance just right. It’s a really tricky thing to emulate what we love about the original but feel like we’re telling a different story and it’s fresh. But for me, we could have done a very specific genre film and stuck Star Wars on it and said “That’s our movie.” But George was always good at mixing the genres together and creating this very emotional, sort of mythological story that just happened to have robots and spaceships in it. […] There’s meaning behind it. There’s meat on the bone. It took us a long time to crack that code and find all those different ingredients we felt it needed to have. It’s not something you do in a week and you go “Let’s just go make this.” It’s a two-and-a-half-year process.

Edwards later explained that Rogue One is tonally similar to The Empire Strikes Back, but it mostly sets out to be its own beast:

We essentially got a license to be different on this movie and take a risk. The great thing about being a standalone film is that we don’t have to exist for other movies to continue. So we could be brave and that’s what we did. I feel like, in terms of Star Wars that I love, tonally, I guess the one we were aiming for was Empire Strikes Back. Our movie, even though it’s…we take it quite seriously, [but] there’s a lot of fun and humor in it and hope is the key thing. It’s about trying to achieve something. The story behind the movie is all these different people from different backgrounds that have very little in common, [but] they believe in a good future for the world and they come together and we’re all better off when we work together than on our own. We just tried to make the most realistic version of Star Wars that we’ve seen and it involved a lot of different techniques.

rogue one: a star wars story international trailer 2

Rogue One‘s Opening Scene Directly Inverts A New Hope

While it wasn’t entirely intentional, Gareth Edwards noted that the opening sequence of Rogue One acts as a weird mirror of the first scene of the original Star Wars:

We went to Iceland to film the opening scene and it didn’t occur to me until later, but when you think about A New Hope, the very first time you see the antagonist come in, Darth Vader, it’s black guy in a black cape surrounded by Stormtroopers. And in the opening of [our] film, there’s a guy in a white cape surrounded by black stormtroopers. It’s all these subconscious things where we’re trying to take what’s familiar but invert it, twist it.

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Who Is That Cassian Andor Guy?

Diego Luna, who plays Rebel intelligence officer Cassian Andor in Rogue One, was specifically asked about how he built his character:

It was a mixture of everything. In the beginning, yes, I started just with the script that was already interesting enough for me to dig into myself and try to find this Captain inside me. I guess the most important part was the military training. You have to establish a parallel to this guy in a galaxy far, far away and the world you live in. It was very interesting. I spent two weeks with ex-military in London, just talking about experiences and the last ten, fifteen years of his life. That gave me enough material. I love Star Wars and I love the films. A New Hope is probably the first film I really connected with, so I would go back to that film to find a connection again. It was more about seeing war films, you know? Apocalypse Now, for example. Stuff like that. My character needs that kind of military structure. He’s a guy who is willing to risk everything for this cause. He thinks in sort of a hierarchal kind of structure. He has to start there at least, in that film.

Rogue One Extended TV Spot

George Lucas Has Seen Rogue One

We recently learned that George Lucas had visited the set of Rogue One, but Gareth Edwards revealed that the creator the Star Wars universe has now actually seen the complete movie. Spoiler alert – he liked it:

So, two days ago, we got show George the movie. We all had a phone call and I got to speak with him yesterday. I don’t want to put words into his mouth, but I can honestly say that I can die happy now. He really liked the movie. It meant a lot. To be honest, and no offense to anyone here, it was the most important review to me, what George thought of it. You guys are important too, but he’s kind of…God. [laughter] We’re in the middle of doing press and you one interview and another interview and suddenly they said “We need to take a break.” And I was like “I’m okay.” And it was like “No, we need to take a break.” […] We go into a room and they say “George wants to speak with you.” And they made the call and I was like uuuugggghhhh…and I will take that conversation to my grave. It was a real privilege. His opinion means the the world to me.

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