Gareth Edwards Talks Darth Vader In Rogue One and Obi-Wan
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is now available on home video and director Gareth Edwards is still taking the time to talk about the very first stand-alone movie in a galaxy far, far away.
If you are a regular reader or visitor to Reggie’s Take then you know how much of a Star Wars fan I am when it comes to the movies and even the animated television shows. From the first glimpse of Rogue One to hearing that Vader and Tarkin would have small, but important roles in the movie had me curious about the first Star Wars movie to feel like a war movie.
If I were to choose my three favorite characters of all time in the Star Wars franchise they would be Darth Vader, Han Solo and the Millennium Falcon. Yes, I’m aware that the Falcon is a ship and not an actual character, but I feel that ship is as big as any character in any of the movies.
In a recent online interview director Gareth Edwards talked about many things concerning Rogue One and what all went into the movie and one part of the interview caught my attention for good reason.
The scenes that Darth Vader appears in Rogue One may add up to five minutes of screen time and it’s those five minutes that are some of my favorite parts of the movie.
Edwards was asked about Vader and the ending scene that a lot of Star Wars fan and fans in general have waited a long time to see.
EDWARDS: Yeah, and that was an enlightened idea, very late in the day, from one of the editors in the film, Jabez [Olssen], who pitched it. He said it a few times and I thought, “It’s a great idea but we’re not going to be able to do it now because we’re about 4 months at most away from release” and we were coming to the end of all the pick-up shooting that we were doing. Then he said it to Kathy [Kathleen Kennedy] and Kathy said, “I love that” and then suddenly before I knew it we were in Pinewood shooting that scene. So I’m so pleased we got to do that.
Of course Vader returning in such a bad ass way would draw a lot of guest to the set as many wanted to be there to watch that scene being filmed.
EDWARDS: Yeah. A lot of people showed up, people like Colin Trevorrow turned up obviously, I think he was nearby. Peter Jackson was very good to me after I made my first film, he was really one of the best things that happened after that movie. I was invited to New Zealand to go hang out with him on The Hobbit, and so for two weeks I got to sit next to him and watch him direct, and it was the most amazing experience you could ever have. And I felt like, “Oh God, I could never repay that favor” that there was nothing I could do that Peter Jackson would ever be interested in. Then I obviously was shooting that scene and I realized that he was in the U.K. and so I kept emailing him, and I didn’t want to give the game away, I wanted it to be a surprise, and I could never get a hold of him because he was so busy.
Then eventually I got him and I had to tell him because I didn’t want him to regret not coming, so I just sent an email saying, “Pete we’re filming Darth Vader right now. If you hurry you can see it, we’re at Pinewood” and I got an instant reply saying, “We’re in the car, we’re three minutes away.” Then we end up doing this shot –I can remember it–, he creeps over the back of the rebels in the dark and it’s the one where Vader’s lightsaber turns on. And it was all in camera ready to go, and just as we’re about to start filming, Peter Jackson walks in and he comes up and he’s like, “What are you shooting?” and it was just a beautiful moment, I couldn’t have timed it more perfect, and it was like, “Shhh, watch.” And we just go, “Action” and did that whole thing, Vader turned his lightsaber on and he started destroying everyone, all the sparks and explosions went off, and I felt like king of the world for those ten seconds.
Darth Vader wasn’t the only character from the original trilogy he was asked about. For a while now an Obi-Wan movie has been rumored to eventually be in the works and Edwards was asked his thoughts and about Ewan McGregor wanting to play the character again.
EDWARDS: I honestly don’t know what they’re planning. I have no special insight into that beyond the films that were going on when I was there. But if there was an Obi-Wan Kenobi film, I would be first in line to go see that, I would love to see that. Absolutely. Yeah, I love Ewan McGregor, I think he’s phenomenal. That’s why I would find it hard to say “no” to that question.
I saw Rogue One several times in the theater and there’s no doubt I will watch it countless times sitting in my living room. Rogue One is one best story driven Star Wars movies ever made in my opinion and should stand the test of time for generations to come.
If you would like to read the entire interview Gareth Edwards gave you can click on over to Collider.com to see what else Edwards had to say about U-Wings and Death Troopers.