After being met with hugely impressive reviews and grossing $1.005 billion at the box office, it’s quite clear that Rogue One: A Star Wars Story was a huge success. But these successes don’t mean that its director Gareth Edwards doesn’t harbor some regrets about the blockbuster and its production.
The one specific aspect of Rogue One’s production that Gareth Edwards still struggles with is the fact that he didn’t get to properly meet Carrie Fisher, whose character of Princess Leia was reprised with the help of extensive special effects in Rogue One. Especially since Gareth Edwards believes that Rogue One is essentially a love letter to Carrie Fisher and Princess Leia.
“I just feel the whole thing was, to be honest, one big love letter to Carrie.”
During his interview with The Independent, via the Daily Express, Gareth Edwards opened up about why he sees Rogue One: A Star Wars Story in such a light, as he explained that the entire film essentially builds up to the reveal of Princess Leia, which then immediately bridges Rogue One to Star Wars: A New Hope.
“What we’re doing with the entire movie is all building to that one moment [the final scene with Princess Leia] where we hand the baton to her, to go off and make that film that inspired us all as kids. So it couldn’t have ended better from that point of view.”
Thinking about the impact of Carrie Fisher on Rogue One: A Star Wars Story provoked Gareth Edwards to recall the one fleeting time that he actually met the legendary actress. However, it was so brief that Gareth Edwards didn’t actually get the chance to properly speak to Carrie Fisher, as she was too busy filming Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
“It’s just sad – I was always thinking that I would get to meet her and talk to her at some point about it, and I never really met her properly. I walked past her once on the set of Episode VII, I was meeting some of the crew, and she walked past me, and I had a little fanboy freakout.”
Gareth Edwards always assumed that he’d get the opportunity to finally sit down with Carrie Fisher once she’d finished work on both The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi, and once he’d done the same on Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. Tragically, though, Carrie Fisher died just 11 days after Rogue One was released, and now Gareth Edwards admits that he’s saddened he’ll never get to speak to her properly.
“I thought, one day, either at the premiere, or one of these conventions, I’d get a chance to talk to her. And it’s really sad that it’s not going to get to happen.”
But at least Gareth Edwards can take solace in the fact that Carrie Fisher was hugely impressed with the cameo of Princess Leia in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. Gareth Edwards explained that the addition of Princess Leia into Rogue One was so late into production that Lucasfilm president and Rogue One producer Kathleen Kennedy was the individual that showed it to Fisher, doing so on a laptop. Carrie Fisher was so taken aback and surprised by the appearance that she didn’t even realize that it was CGI, and she just assumed that it was unused footage from A New Hope’s shoot.
“When it came to our film, it went so late with that shot, trying to get it right, that Kathy took it down personally, on a laptop, and showed her. And initially Carrie apparently didn’t realise it was CGI, and wondered if it was footage which we had taken from somewhere else.”
[Featured Image by Lucasfilm]