One of the biggest questions going into Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is how will director Garreth Edwards manage to capture the tension of the rebels spies stealing the Death Star being that we know they will succeed but most likely meet their demise before it’s all over. Speaking with Entertainment Weekly, Edwards explained that rather than focusing on the film’s ending, the bigger challenge was determining just where to begin the story in a way that gets us invested in the new characters and still manages to fit into the Skywalker saga as the film will lead us up to the moments before the original classic A New Hope begins with Darth Vaders Star Destroyer, “The Devastator” chasing down Princess Leia on board the Tantive IV attempting to escape from the Empire with the newly stolen plans for the Death Star.
“The thing every [filmmaker] typically struggles with is ‘How does it end?’” says director Gareth Edwards (Godzilla). “But we knew how our film was going to end. Our problem became ‘How do we reverse engineer from that and know where to start?’ You’ve got a finite number of options and you go through them all like a puzzle to find the one that’s going to lead to the strongest result.” One of the most important pieces: Darth Vader, back to menace the deep reaches of space once again.
Edwards also spoke with USA Today about the origin of Jyn Erso (Felicity Jones), who’s father we know was taken away from her at a young age as he was the main scientist forced by the Empire to help develop the technology that powers the super weapon of the Death Star. The director explained Erso does have similarities to Luke Skywalker in that they are both initially reluctant heroes, however. The path that Erso will follow will be a very different one from the Jedi Master.
Events take place that just shatter her life and send her off to basically be raised as a soldier in the midst of a war. She ends up not the person she was supposed to be. Even though we’re not telling the story of Luke Skywalker, it was important to me that we capture the same themes and emotion, but the film doesn’t unfold how you think. It’s not the same path as Star Wars.
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story hits theaters December 16, 2016.