Before Rogue One was in theaters, Disney held a huge press junket for the film in San Francisco. Unlike Star Wars: The Force Awakens, where we interviewed the cast without seeing anything but the trailers, Disney showed us almost thirty minutes of the film at Skywalker Ranch so reporters could learn more about the story and new characters since Rogue One takes place before the events of Star Wars: A New Hope. Like I said on Twitter and during a Facebook Live chat, the footage was fantastic and left all of us wanting more.
What I loved about the footage and film is that even though Rogue One takes place before the events of Episode IV, it feels completely unique and original. It looks and feels like a war movie that happens to take place in the Star Wars universe. In the footage, we saw plenty of scenes showing how the Empire is trying to take control of the universe and the brutality that happens when you try and resist. Part of the reason it feels like a war movie is because that’s what director Gareth Edwards set out to make. As you can see him explain in this interview, he shot Rogue One like a documentary embedded in a war zone. And after seeing the footage, I can say he succeeded.
During my print interview with Ben Mendelsohn he talked about how he landed the role, if the story changed compared to what he was told going in, how they would shoot different versions of the same scene to give Gareth Edwards choices in the editing room, what it’s been like working for Steven Spielberg on Ready Player One, Joe Wright’s Darkest Hour, and a lot more.
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