Director Gareth Edwards Explains His (New) Hope for Rogue One

Illustration for article titled Director Gareth Edwards Explains His (New) Hope for Rogue One

When Rogue One hits theaters in December, Gareth Edwards has a tall order: Make a movie that fits in with the events of A New Hope and is undeniably Star Wars, but is still new and tells its own story. But Edwards knows in order to do the former you have to focus on the latter first.


“I got pulled into making the film through my love of the original films,” Edwards said. “But then what was a clear conversation that happened early on at Lucasfilm that we’re doing new things here. This is not a karaoke number or just pure winks and fan service. That’s not going to make a good film. This has got to be characters that you care about and there’s an opportunity to create new people and events that pull you in, so hopefully the goal is that you come to the film for all the reasons that we love Star Wars and you get sucked in and start to care about the new people and when you’re in the midst of all that and that’s going on, familiar things start to pass you by, you start to remember ‘Oh yeah, oh yeah’ but the film should exist on its own terms.”

Darth Vader is the perfect example of balancing new and old in Rogue One. “He’s got such a gravitational pull, the second he shows up you just get sucked into Darth Vader,” said Edwards. “So it was a process to try and figure out how to pepper that in in a way that felt right.”

But Edwards feels if he can successfully achieve this balance, he’ll be honoring the legacy of George Lucas himself.

“If all these films are ever just, ‘And here’s that character you love, Yay! Here’s that other character you love, Yay!’ all the time, that’s all they’re doing. They’re not really doing what George did, which is he tried to find stories that were about something, that were saying something. [Stories] that you keep in your pocket 40 years later, that stay in your head and are still affecting you.”

Entertainment Reporter. NYU Cinema Studies Alum. Formerly Premiere, EW, Us Weekly, and /Film. AP Award-Winning Film Critic & CCA member. Loves Star Wars, posters, Legos, and often all three at once.



We Godzilla fans are a bit torn in the knowledge that Edwards won’t be directing the 2018 Legendary Godzilla sequel. On one hand, he did a decent job bringing Godzilla back to a state of respectability as a US film property and his stock is definitely up as a Star Wars director. But on the other hand, not all of Edwards’ directorial decisions on the 2014 Godzilla clicked with moviegoers and it’s tempting to hope that another director’s vision might be more rewarding for fans.