‘Rogue One’ Director Gareth Edwards Explains How He Views The Force In Star Wars

Yoda uses the Force to move Luke Skywalker's X-wing in Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back (1980), Lucasfilm

Rogue One director Gareth Edwards, who is currently promoting his upcoming science fiction film The Creator, recently shared how he views the Force in Star Wars.

Director Gareth Edwards on the set of 20th Century Studios’ THE CREATOR. Photo by Glen Milner. © 2023 20th Century Studios. All Rights Reserved.

Speaking with The Direct, Edwards informed the outlet, “I see the Force as, like, a religion, obviously. And it’s like, you might tell a child, ‘Have faith in God.’ It doesn’t mean that they’re the Messiah.”

He added, “So, it’s kind of, I see it like, you can believe in this idea that there’s something greater than us; there’s a destiny of some sort. But [you] don’t have to be the second coming of Christ to do something great with your life.”

Donnie Yen as Chirrut Îmwe in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016), Lucasfilm

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Star Wars creator George Lucas described the Force in a similar way in a 2015 interview with Charlie Rose.

He said, “The Force basically came from distilling all of the religious beliefs, spiritual beliefs, all around the world, all through time, finding the similarities, and then creating an easy to deal with metaphor for what religion is.”

“And the point was is that… I mean in the very beginning when you have people worshipping rocks and deer they called it life force, they called it the force. That’s what it was. And so where did the name came from? It came from basically life force of what the more primitive religions believed in,” he continued.

Yoda instructs Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker in Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back (1980), Lucasfilm

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Lucas elaborated, “And then you go through all the other religions and they have the same thing. You know its all the same. Whether you believe in God, don’t believe in God, believe in religion, don’t believe in religion, the issue is that you either don’t believe there’s anything else out there which is a little, I think hard to live with at the same time.”

“I mean I believe something’s out there, I just don’t know what it is, I have no idea or what I dare to guess. But I do know the religions are based on it. Their human psychological needs that have been put together mostly to create a society,” he added.

Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker and Alec Guinness as Obi-Wan Kenobi listen to Carrie Fisher as Princess Leia’s message in Star Wars: A New Hope (1977), Lucasfilm

In the original Star Wars film, Obi-Wan Kenobi describes the Force as such, “The Force is what gives a Jedi his power. It’s an energy field created by all living things. It surrounds us and penetrates us. It binds the galaxy together.”

In The Empire Strikes Back, Yoda informs Luke Skywalker, “For my ally is the Force. And a powerful ally it is. Life creates it, makes it grow. Its energy surrounds us and binds. Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter. You must feel the Force around you. Here, between you, me, the tree, the rock, everywhere! Yes, even between the land and the ship.”

Yoda instructs Luke Skywalker about the Force in Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back (1980), Lucasfilm

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Not only do we get these definitions of the Force, but we also get the distinction between the dark side and the light side of the Force.

Lucas explained this difference back in 2010 during a writers room meeting for Star Wars: The Clone Wars, “The only way to overcome the Dark Side is through discipline. The Dark Side is pleasure, biological, and temporary, and easy to achieve. The Light Side is joy, everlasting, and difficult to achieve. A great challenge. Must overcome laziness, give up quick pleasures, and overcome fear which leads to hate.”

This was also described by Yoda in The Empire Strikes Back, “But beware of the Dark Side. Anger, fear, aggression- The Dark Side of the Force are they, easily they flow, quick to join you in a fight. If once you start down the dark path forever will it dominate your destiny. Consume you it will as it did Obi-Wan’s apprentice.”

When Luke asks if the Dark Side is stronger, Yoda responds, “Quicker, easier, more seductive.”

Yoda then instructs Luke on how he can determine the good from the bad, “You will know when you are calm, at peace, passive. A Jedi uses the Force for knowledge and defense, never for attack.”

David Prowse as Anakin Skywalker in Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi (1983), Lucasfilm

What do you make of Gareth Edwards’ explanation of the Force? How do you view the Force?

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