Gareth Edwards is a die-hard Star Wars fan. In fact, that’s probably an understatement, as the filmmaker has roundly cited Star Wars: A New Hope as the primary reason why he entered the profession and even admitted that he used to recite the entire film, including the sound effects, during long car journeys as a child.
During a recent event at Bafta Cymru to celebrate St David’s Day, a holiday that marks the patron saint of Wales, Gareth Edwards once again discussed his love of the Star Wars franchise, which obviously reached a zenith when he was hired to oversee Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.
During production on Rogue One, there were a number of moments that must have been hard for Gareth Edwards to fathom. The peak example of this was probably when he met Carrie Fisher, the actress that iconically portrayed Princess Leia in A New Hope, The Empire Strikes Back, Return Of The Jedi, and The Force Awakens.
However, Gareth Edwards has now admitted that he never actually officially met Carrie Fisher, and instead just had a fleeting moment when he saw the actress. This involved Carrie Fisher walking past Gareth Edwards when he was at Pinewood Studios directing Rogue One. But despite not exchanging greetings with Carrie Fisher, Gareth Edwards still had an embarrassing fan-boy moment, even though she just walked past him.
“I never met her properly, I was at Pinewood – which is a nightmare for a Star Wars fan because you have to walk past all the story-boards and try to avoid spoilers – and she walked past me, I was just like ‘it’s Princess Leia!'”
It’s a little bit of a surprise that Gareth Edwards never officially came face to face with Carrie Fisher. That’s because she popped up right at the end of Rogue One, with a digital likeness of her as a 21-year-old being used to connect the blockbuster with A New Hope.
John Knoll, the visual effect supervisor and chief creative officer over at Industrial Light And Magic, insisted during an interview with ABC News after the release of Rogue One that Carrie Fisher was kept up to date throughout this entire process, though, confirming that she was ecstatic when she saw the final results.
“She was involved in the process and, you know, she saw the final result and she loved it.”
It has been quite a journey for Gareth Edwards. The English director only made his directorial debut with 2010’s Monsters, and during the event earlier this week, he recalled the world premiere of the film at the SXSW Film Festival in Austin, Texas.
In the immediate aftermath of the screening Gareth Edwards believed that it had been a failure, but, luckily for him, there was actually one person in attendance that helped to kick-start his career.
“I remember we had the world premiere in Austin at the SXSW Festival and it was in a small cinema at midnight with not that many people. There was a Q&A and people clapped and went home. It felt like a bit of an anti-climax. There was a guy who gave me his card and said could I call him the next day. He then managed to track me down somehow and it turned out he was a Hollywood agent who represented directors like Quentin Tarantino and Tim Burton and he asked if I would like to be represented by him. I was like ‘Are you sure you have the right person?’ I didn’t know much about the business side of Hollywood, but the agents are the people who get your name around town and get the films shown to the right people.”
Since then Gareth Edwards has also directed 2014’s Godzilla, as well as Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, the success of which has turned him into one of the most successful action directors working in cinema.
[Featured Image by Lucasfilm]