Gareth Edwards Explains Why He Believes ‘Rogue One: A Star Wars Story’ Is A George Lucas Film
Director Gareth Edwards, who is currently promoting his science fiction film The Creator, recently explained why he believes that Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is a George Lucas film.
Controversy surrounding Rogue One: A Star Wars Story began before the film ever released to theaters when Page Six reported a source informed them, “The execs at Disney are not happy with the movie, and ‘Rogue One’ will have to go back into four weeks of expensive reshoots in July.”
Lucasfilm would bring in Tony and John Gilroy to rework the film’s script as well as participate in the reshoots and the editing room.
Following the film’s theatrical release, John Gilroy explained what his role in editing the film was to Yahoo! Entertainment, “I was finishing up a movie and I got a call from Lucasfilm at the beginning of the summer. They were reconceptualising some of the story and there was some additional photography and they wanted a fresh pair of eyes in the room, so I went off and joined Colin and Jabez. They’d been carrying the water for a long time.”
He later explained how the reshoots changed the film, “They gave you the film that you see today. I think they were incredibly helpful. The story was reconceptualised to some degree, there were scenes that were added at the beginning and fleshed out. We wanted to make more of the other characters, like Cassian’s character [Cassian Andor, the Rebel spy played by Diego Luna], and Bodhi’s character [Bodhi Rook, the defected Imperial pilot played by Riz Ahmed].”
“The scene with Cassian’s introduction with the spy, Bodhi traipsing through Jedha on his way to see Saw, these are things that were added,” he elaborated. “Also Jyn [Jyn Erso, the reluctant leader of the film, played by Felicity Jones], how we set her up and her escape from the transporter, that was all done to set up the story better.”
Fellow editor Colin Goudie also added, “The point with the opening scenes that John was just describing was that the introductions in the opening scene, in the prologue, was always the same. Jyn’s just a little girl, so when you see her as an adult what you saw initially was her in a meeting. That’s not a nice introduction.”
“So having her in prison and then a prison break out, with Cassian on a mission… everybody was a bit more ballsy, or a bit more exciting, and a bit more interesting. They got there eventually in the film, but this way we came in on the ground running, which was better,” he relayed.
Gilroy also detailed how much of the third act of the film changed, “It changed quite a bit. The third act has a lot going on. You have like seven different action venues, the mechanics of the act changed quite a bit in terms of the characters, and I don’t want to go into too much detail about what had been there before, but it was different.”
“We moved some of the things that our heroes did, they were different in the original then they were as it was conceived,” he went on. “Because you needed to figure that out, and everything else changes. Everything was connected to everything so doing something to one venue would change all the other venues, so really we had to… we were working on that until the last minute, because we working closely with ILM, they were giving us temporary shots and we’d put them in, we’d work them, we’d reconceive again.”
“It was really like a very tight puzzle and we had to keep honing that and honing that, and I’m very proud of what we did there,” Gilroy concluded.
Gilroy’s brother John commented on his role and the state of the film back in 2018 during an appearance on The Moment With Brian Koppelman podcast.
He said of the film, “I came in after the director’s cut. I have a screenplay credit in the arbitration that was easily won. Did I sweat it? No, because…No, no I was actually- in fact that was my superpower. A.) I don’t like Star Wars. Not that I don’t like I’ve just never been interested in Star Wars ever. So I had no reverence for it whatsoever. I was unafraid about that. And they were in such a swamp… they were just in so much terrible, terrible trouble that all you could do was improve their position.”
While promoting The Creator on Josh Horowitz’s Happy Sad Confused podcast, Edwards was asked, “I’m curious to what your relationship is as like the creative owner of a film like that? Do you feel the creative authorship of Rogue One that you feel for an original thing like The Creator or Monsters? There’s so many cooks in the kitchen, frankly, on something that size. So what is your relationship to Rogue One? Is that your film?”
He responded, “No. Honestly, what I feel all the time is that it’s George’s film. Basically, everything that is in that movie that’s any good that people love is probably somehow from George Lucas in someway.”
“We didn’t realize this when we were shooting it, but everyone, obviously- the thing that gets talked about the most is the Darth Vader scene at the end. And I feel zero ownership of that because it’s George’s character. George invented that corridor. He invented that character. And the lightsabers and the Rebels, do you know what I mean? And the Death Star plans,” he explained.
When asked if the drama surrounding the film bothers him, he responded, “Look, making films is very hard, right? And I got to make a film in the probably the best world and story that I could ever hope to be offered. And the idea of nitpicking or complaining about some aspects of it feels very ungrateful. So even if I went back in time I wouldn’t do anything differently.”
“At the end of the day people aren’t shouting at me across the street saying I ruined their childhood,” he concluded.
What do you make of Edwards’ comments about Rogue One: A Star Wars Story?