Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is months away, and a new trailer is coming up during the Olympics this Thursday. Director Gareth Edwards revealed at Star Wars Celebration Europe the planet Jedha. He described it as an area designated for those on “pilgrimages.” He wanted to instill the spirituality in the film influenced by the Force, according to Indie Wire.
Now in an interview with Edwards via Entertainment Weekly, he delved further into the planet and the concept of how it’s a sacred place for those who follow the force. The director explained the characters are at a point in their lives where they are starting to lose faith. This occurs at the start of the film.
“The Force is basically in Star Wars like a religion, and they’re losing their faith in the period that we start the movie.”
Edwards’ Rouge One: A Star Wars Story film needed a venue where issues of faith come into play as well as the quandary of good and evil.
“We were trying to find a physical location we could go to that would speak to the themes of losing your faith and the choice between letting the Empire win, or evil win, and good prevailing. It got embodied in this place we called Jedha.”
The Star Wars planetary location of Jedha is likened to that of our own Middle Eastern set-up which includes the familiar architecture. It’s seen as an area to “pray, reflect, or meditate.” Edwards said there are reasons this planet had become occupied by the Empire, but mum’s the word at this point.
“It’s a place where people who believe in the Force would go on a pilgrimage. It was essentially taken over by the Empire. It’s an occupied territory… for reasons we probably can’t reveal.”
Rogue One’s director did give an interesting real world tie-in regarding how the planet Jedha is important to both sides.
“There’s something very important in Jedha that serves both the Jedi and the Empire. It felt very much like something we could relate to in the real world.”
That said, could this be the legendary kyber crystals synonymous for the manufacture of lightsabers and the planet-destroying Death Star’s super laser?
Not only is a valued resource possible, but also people of interest. According to Gareth, he mentions a rendezvous with a specific individual.
It is interesting how Gareth Edwards talks about religion, Star Wars, and the Force. George Lucas, who directed the original Star Wars, talked with Bill Moyers on how “God fit in this concept of the universe.” Lucas tried to influence the younger crowd the concept of a singular God than of religion.
“I put the Force into the movies in order to try to awaken a certain kind of spirituality in young people. More a belief in God than a belief in any particular, you know, religious system.”
So now, Rogue One: A Story Wars Story has a grand focal point when it comes to faith in the force which is embodied on Jedha. All of which are the events leading up to Lucas’ original Star Wars story. This is proven among the inhabitants as some are “priests, scholars, and holy men.” Donnie Yen plays the blind monk Chirrut Imwe. His friend who lacks the faith associated with such things, Baze Malbuz, played by Jiang Wen, does support the faithful Chirrut.
The story by Entertainment Weekly continues further as it mentioned Bodhi Rook, played by Riz Ahmed, is a resident of Jedha. He does wear a patch associated with the Empire, but there’s more to that story at a later time.
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story opens in theaters come Dec. 16 and stars leading lady Felicity Jones as Jyn Erso.
[Photo by Jesse Grant/Getty Images]