Tag Archives: Gareth Edwards

A Childhood Dream, Realised – by Gareth Edwards

This is the forward by Gareth Edwards in The Ultimate Guide to Rogue One by Entertainment Weekly, and he is you’ll agree ‘after you read this’ the ultimate Star Wars fanboy.

As a kid growing up in Britain, Gareth Edwards watched A New Hope every single day. That youthful obsession led him straight to the director’s chair on Rogue One.

I WAS JUST 2 YEARS OLD WHEN STAR WARS, A New Hope came out in the cinema. Being so young, I don’t really remember the world before it. It was just sort of always there. My first real memory of see­ing the film was on videotape, I think just after my parents bought a Betamax player. I was about 7 years old. Knowing my neighbour had a tape of Star Wars, I imme­diately ran next door and I asked if I could borrow it. With the tape in hand, I returned home to play it and got as far as the scene of C-3PO walking down the cor­ridor in the blockade runner before my mum shouted at me for dinner I remem­ber stopping the tape and eating as fast as I could and, at that moment, knowing what I wanted to do for the rest of my life … I was going to watch this film over and over until the day I died.

entertainment-weekly-the-ultimate-guide-to-rogue-one-a-star-wars-story-gareth-edwards
Gareth Edwards

So each morning before school I would sit in my pyjamas with some cereal and just hit play on that tape. I would get through about the first 15 minutes until l was forced to get ready. Then the next morn­ing I would rewind the tape and watch the opening again and again each day, learning the first act by heart. In my youthful mind, I

“OF ALL THE STAR WARS MOVIES …BEING CONSIDERED FOR PRODUCTION, THIS ONE, ROGUE ONE, FELT THE MOST PERSONAL TO ME”
Gareth Edwards

thought, this is what the world can be; I can become Luke Skywalker and live in an incredible world of exciting possibilities. It really made me excited about growing up and wondering at all the things I could do. At some point, however, I started to realise that perhaps I’m not going to be able to join the Rebel Alliance and destroy the Death Star, and in fact this whole thing was some form of lie called a “film.” So the second best option was, well, maybe I become a liar too and make films instead.

I grew up and went to film school and made a lot of short films but ultimately couldn’t get a job directing anything. It seemed like such an Impossible thing to break into. But my flatmate at university happened to be studying this new thing called computer animation and it was clearly going to be the future of filmmaking. So I bought a computer and got sidetracked for 10 years learning visual effects and animation.

I then turned 30 and for my birthday went to Tunisia, where they shot the location of my favourite scenes from Star Wars: where Luke looks off towards the setting suns. To me, that’s the most important moment because it’s all about the future, about this aspiration of wanting to do something better with your life. It’s that excitement of the blank page. In the end I got a photograph of me in the same spot as Luke at sunset. It was so surreal to see this place actually existed (albeit with just one sun). That it wasn’t a far-off dream, but a real tangible place that you could stand in. I felt Inspired and determined more than ever to become a director. Of all the Star Wars movies I’ve heard about being considered for production, this one, Rogue One, felt the most personal to me. To be offered what’s essentially the prologue to A New Hope, the closest thing you can get to those first 15 minutes I watched over and over as a child, it felt like destiny in a way. It was like the inner message of Star Wars that if you believe In something enough and try not to give up, you can make anything happen.

When I was young, I always thought my hero was Luke Skywalker. But as I got older I began to realise it was actually George Lucas. The amazing thing about what he did is that he didn’t just inspire me and a generation with a brilliant film, be also gave us the tools to do something of our own. He invested in and pushed the technology for digital editing, digital cameras and computer graphics. I made my first film, Monsters, because I could afford to do it for very little money. I shot it on a pro digital camera and did all the visual effects on a home computer, technology that would have come about eventually but, if he hadn’t pushed it, might have missed me. So I’ve got two debts to George Lucas.

I just wish someone had told me when I was 5 that I was going to direct a Star Wars movie, because I would have spent the last 40 years thinking about how I’d do it. But it’s a team sport, Star Wars. It doesn’t belong to me or any other filmmaker. We are just lucky enough to borrow it for a time. Thanks to George and Lucasfilm, the world owns Star Wars now. lt belongs to everyone

l got to do a million amazing things on this film that I’ll probably spend the rest of my life processing. But in the thick of it, all you’re really trying to do is block out all the craziness and just concentrate on making the best film possible. One day, when all me dust has settled, I know I’ll look back and realise just how lucky I have been. It’s been the ultimate passion project, and I just hope you’ll enjoy watching it as much as we all loved making it.

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Rogue One : The Cast

The Mission has begun

I know it may be hard to pay attention to any other Star Wars movie when The Force Awakens is so near and getting us to almost fever pitch with excitement, but I’ve got say I absolutely love the feel of this first official photo from Star Wars Rogue One, the characters give off such a cool vibe, they look like a real ragtag group of badass rebels who will give the Empire some serious shit!

Kathleen Kennedy had this to say about the story:

“Rogue One takes place before the events of Star Wars: A New Hope and will be a departure from the saga films but have elements that are familiar to the Star Wars universe. It goes into new territory, exploring the galactic struggle from a ground-war perspective while maintaining that essential Star Wars feel that fans have come to know. Gareth is such an innovative director and I’m so excited to be working with him and the extraordinary ensemble cast he’s selected for Rogue One.”

Disney’s Statement

Lucasfilm announced today that their first film in the new standalone Anthology Star Wars stories series, Rogue One, has begun principal photography. Gareth Edwards (Godzilla, Monsters) is directing Rogue One, which tells the story of resistance fighters who have united to steal plans to the dreaded Death Star. The film is produced by Kathleen Kennedy and is slated for a December 16, 2016 release.

The Cast

The filmmakers have assembled a stellar cast, including Felicity Jones, nominated for an Academy Award for her leading role in The Theory of Everything; Diego Luna, who was featured in 2008’s Oscar-winning Milk and 2013’s Elysium; Ben Mendelsohn, recently nominated for an Emmy for his leading role in Bloodline and co-starring in the upcoming Mississippi Grind; Donnie Yen, Hong Kong action star and martial artist who starred in Ip Man and Blade II; Jiang Wen, who co-wrote, produced , directed and starred in the award-winning Let the Bullets Fly and Devils on the Doorstep; Forest Whitaker, recently featured in the critically-acclaimed Lee Daniels’ The Butler and winner of an Academy Award for his leading role in 2006’s The Last King of Scotland; Mads Mikkelsen, who starred in The Hunt and was the memorable villain from 2006’s Casino Royale; Alan Tudyk, who plays a performance-capture character in Rogue One, stars in the soon-to-be-released Con Man series and Trumbo, which releases this November; and Riz Ahmed, who was recently featured in Nightcrawler and starred in the BAFTA-winning film Four Lions.

Rogue One takes place before the events of Star Wars: A New Hope and will be a departure from the saga films but have elements that are familiar to the Star Wars universe,” says Kathleen Kennedy. “It goes into new territory, exploring the galactic struggle from a ground-war perspective while maintaining that essentialStar Wars feel that fans have come to know. Gareth is such an innovative director and I’m so excited to be working with him and the extraordinary ensemble cast he’s selected for ‘Rogue One.’”

Veteran ILM visual effects supervisor John Knoll, who shares a long history with the Star Wars movies, dating back to the mid-1990s, originated the idea for the movie. Allison Shearmur (The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, Cinderella), John Knoll, Simon Emanuel (The Dark Knight Rises, Fast & Furious 6) and Jason McGatlin (Tintin, War of the Worlds) are executive producers. Kiri Hart and John Swartz (Star Wars: The Force Awakens) are co-producers.

To create the lived-in, realistic feel of Rogue One, Edwards chose Greig Fraser (Zero Dark Thirty, Foxcatcher) to be his director of photography and Neil Corbould (Black Hawk Down, Gladiator, Saving Private Ryan) to be his special effects supervisor. Star Wars and Lucasfilm veteran Doug Chiang (Star Wars: Episodes I-II, Forrest Gump) and Neil Lamont (supervising art director for the Harry Potter series, Edge of Tomorrow) will be the production designers. Additional crew members will include stunt coordinator Rob Inch (World War Z, Marvel’s Captain America: The First Avenger), creature effects supervisor Neal Scanlan (Prometheus) and co-costume designers Dave Crossman (costume supervisor for the Harry Potter series, Saving Private Ryan) and Glyn Dillon (costume concept artist for Kingsman: The Secret Service, Jupiter Ascending).