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Director Gareth Edwards Reveals How He Broke From Star Wars Tradition While Shooting Rogue One

Star Wars Celebration 2016
Photo: Ben A. Pruchnie/2016 Getty Images

Rogue One director Gareth Edwards recently spoke to io9 regarding the more “organic” look of his contribution to the Star Wars canon.

“We went to Jordan to film and we built this set in Pinewood that was 360 degrees so you could kind of look wherever you wanted,” says Edwards, describing the shooting of desert marketplace Jedha, featured prominently in the trailer. “Normally on a set the extras are told, ‘Okay, on action you walk over there and on cut you stop.’ We said, ‘Okay, for the next hour you’re cooking food, or you’re doing this car thing,’ and the crew were wearing costumes so if the cameras turned around on them, they wouldn’t be in the shot … We tried to keep it all flowing and the actors were given the freedom to go where they wanted and do the scene in a way that felt right. So there’s a lot of freedom and it had this organic, different vibe to it than you associate sometimes with Star Wars, and so that felt really exciting. As a fan, I wanted to go to these places. It’s gotta feel right; that’s what was a massive learning experience.”

When one experiments with a beloved franchise, one of course risks incurring the wrath of the fandom. As Edwards explains, he’s very aware of the directorial tightrope act he’s performing. “There’s such a fine line in Star Wars, if you go just slightly to the left it’s not Star Wars, it’s another sci-fi movie that doesn’t feel right. And if you go slightly to the right, you’re just copying what George did. So trying to navigate this thing where it’s new but feels fresh was like the dance that was the process of making the film.”

Read the rest of io9’s interview with Edwards here.

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