SWCA: Conversation with Gareth Edwards Panel Liveblog

Join the director of the upcoming Star Wars stand-alone film Rogue One for a special Celebration discussion!

StarWars.com Team April 19, 201511:12 am

Welcome!

StarWars.com Team April 19, 201511:13 am

And we’re off — host Pablo Hidalgo is on stage! Unfortunately, Josh Trank is under the weather, and won’t be joining. But Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy and the Story Group’s Kiri Hart are here!

StarWars.com Team April 19, 201511:14 am

There has been a lot of speculation on the stand-alone films, Pablo points out. Now, we can clarify some things.

StarWars.com Team April 19, 201511:15 am

Kennedy says that Lucas “Was really interested in exploring all the stories that existed inside the universe.”

StarWars.com Team April 19, 201511:16 am

Hart: “We’re extremely excited about these…we’re going to be calling them Anthology films.”

StarWars.com Team April 19, 201511:17 am

“I think this as opportunity for us to tap into emergent directing talent out there and do some things that are unexpected.”

StarWars.com Team April 19, 201511:18 am

“There are very few filmmakers that we bring into the room that don’t tell us [how Star Wars influenced them].”

StarWars.com Team April 19, 201511:18 am

StarWars.com Team April 19, 201511:18 am

And now Gareth Edwards joins the panel!

StarWars.com Team April 19, 201511:19 am

He says that when the Force Awakens teaser started, he could “feel the tears…I was like, don’t cry…as soon as Han turned up, this tear just went down.”

StarWars.com Team April 19, 201511:20 am

Does Gareth have any footage to wow us…?

StarWars.com Team April 19, 201511:20 am

“It’s not like the more you scream, the more footage gets generated,” he jokes. They have not actually started filming yet — still in preproduction.

StarWars.com Team April 19, 201511:21 am

“You came here with nothing?” Pablo asks. “There might be something.” The lights go down.

StarWars.com Team April 19, 201511:23 am

Footage rolls…. A TIE fighter soars over a forest/jungle planet. An ominous space station-like image is seen in the clouds…

StarWars.com Team April 19, 201511:23 am

Huge ovation — let’s roll it one more time.

StarWars.com Team April 19, 201511:26 am

And your official description: A band of resistance fighters unite for a daring mission to steal the Death Star plans in the Star Wars Anthology film, Rogue One.

StarWars.com Team April 19, 201511:26 am

Edwards: It’s set after Episode III, before IV — and a little more towards IV.

StarWars.com Team April 19, 201511:26 am

What is the role of Jedi?

StarWars.com Team April 19, 201511:27 am

“It comes down to a group of individuals who don’t have magical powers that have to somehow bring hope to the galaxy.”

StarWars.com Team April 19, 201511:28 am

Hidalgo notes that the Anthology series lets them tell stories that may not involve Jedi.

StarWars.com Team April 19, 201511:30 am

What are they going for? Edwards: “Real…This is a real place that we’re really in…The thing that interests me about it, is Star Wars was basically very black and white. Our movie is gray.”

StarWars.com Team April 19, 201511:32 am

An image shows on screen of concept art — Rebel soldiers charging on the ground! Felicity Jones will play a Rebel soldier.

StarWars.com Team April 19, 201511:36 am

Edwards is discussing his crew — lots of notable names, including John Knoll of ILM, who came up with the story idea.

StarWars.com Team April 19, 201511:36 am

Knoll joins the panel!

StarWars.com Team April 19, 201511:39 am

“I started thinking about which story would I like to see told? I informally pitched it around…One of the people I pitched it to was Pablo, and he was pretty enthusiastic about it as well…I made an appointment with Kathy and Kiri, pitched the 20-minute version of this, and got a pretty good response.” A round of applause!

StarWars.com Team April 19, 201511:40 am

Kennedy says she was at the job for about 20 minutes when it was pitched. “There was no way I was going to say no. This was a really cool idea.”

StarWars.com Team April 19, 201511:41 am

Edwards says Knoll is “a genius.” When John was young, he and his brother wrote a piece of software — “called Photoshop.”

StarWars.com Team April 19, 201511:42 am

Edwards says he still bugs Knoll to add features.

StarWars.com Team April 19, 201511:43 am

Hart: “I love movies where people try to do something really difficult. I was just immediately excited about it.”

StarWars.com Team April 19, 201511:44 am

“I feel strongly that we should involve directors early in the process.” Many people, including Jason McGatlin, recommended Edwards. Kiri and the team watch Monsters “and were really impressed.”

StarWars.com Team April 19, 201511:46 am

She says that when they met, Gareth was humble and had lots of reverence for Star Wars. “I said I’m going to send you something.”

StarWars.com Team April 19, 201511:46 am

It was a note that Edwards was almost scared to read — a description of the movie. “I couldn’t sit in a cinema and know that someone else made this film.” He had to take it.

StarWars.com Team April 19, 201511:48 am

Edwards says it was painful to not be able to tell anyone he got the job — even at Christmas when he was getting Star Wars presents.

StarWars.com Team April 19, 201511:49 am

He FaceTimed with his mother when he was finally able to tell her — and took a photo.

StarWars.com Team April 19, 201511:51 am

How big a fan is he? For his 30th birthday, he visited the original Star Wars set in Tunisia, took blue dye so he could have blue milk in the Lars homestead. Big applause.

StarWars.com Team April 19, 201511:52 am

AND he took his own watching-the-Tatooine-suns-set photo.

StarWars.com Team April 19, 201511:53 am

For Rogue One, they’ll be shooting in the UK and around the world.

StarWars.com Team April 19, 201511:54 am

And the video will play one more time! Big applause for the panel.

StarWars.com Team April 19, 201511:56 am

And here’s a look at the concept art as seen in the panel! Thanks for following along!

StarWars.com Team April 19, 201512:05 pm

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