This week on the Star Wars show, Andi Gutierrez interviews Garreth Edwards, the director of the upcoming Star Wars spin-off Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. While discussing the toughest day on the massive set of the blockbuster, Edwards revealed the name of a new planet from which we have only seen behind the scenes glimpses of from the sizzle reel released at this past year’s celebration:
“It was on a planet called Eadu. There was a lot of rain. And there’s something psychological that you forget. I mean rain looks really good on camera but you forget how tiring it is for the crew and the actors to be drenched all day long. And we all bought these really expensive suits that kept you one hundred percent dry but as soon as there’s one little crack in it because you’ve got ten hours of rain, it just finds its way down and eventually you’re covered like you swam in a lake.”
This marks the fourth new planet in Rogue One in addition to Jedha, Scarif, and Lah’mu. The current description for Eadu on Wookiepeida currently reads:
Eadu was a storm-stricken world in the galaxy. A battle took place on Eadu during the Galactic Civil War between the Alliance to Restore the Republic and Galactic Empire.
But the planets aren’t the only new addition to the Star Wars Galaxy. Along with a slew of new ships and characters, Rogue One also introduces a much more immersive visual language into the franchise. But even though the digitally shot film puts you in the middle of the action from a handheld perspective, Edwards looked back to a set of classic anamorphic lenses to capture the story with:
“The actual lenses we had were the original lenses they shot Ben-Hur on, the original Ben-Hur, and so these like beautiful anamorphic, very like organic feel because we didn’t want it to feel digital. As a result, you get like, this beautiful depth of field where everything is out of focus but it’s a nightmare for the focus puller and so you have to try and warn him what you’re going to do. But there’s these intimate scenes going on inside the ship so you can’t talk. And they put a microphone next to my mouth and there’s duct tape somewhere so I could just whisper like ‘close’, and then like ‘far’, close’, ‘far’. But I’d have to really whisper it and I didn’t realize what I looked like but the AD just kept cracking up.”
Edwards went even further discussing the visual style of Rogue One:
In Rogue One we ended up mixing and matching styles. Sometimes you go from very grounded, like in the trenches photography of a battle to something like these epic beautiful shots and that contrast really worked well. I think to some extent if a year and a half ago we had sat there and gone ‘Okay let’s storyboard the whole movie, this is exactly what we’re going to do. Let’s go get that.’ I don’t think it would have been as good of a film as what did happen which was: this is the foundation — the plan — but whenever we get a better idea from experience we’ll change it and we’ll keep trying, keep doing stuff. And I think that’s paid off. To be able to leave your ego at the door and just let the film speak to you and tell you what it wants to be.”
Given that this a direct prequel to the original Star Wars, I was a little turned off by the fact that Rogue One was being shot digitally. Digital offers a crisper, colder picture so I was a bit worried things wouldn’t quite match up with the original Star Wars. But I feel a bit better knowing that Edwards sought out some classic lenses to capture the story on, however. I still think they should lay some 70’s film grain over Rogue to give it that classic, magical quality Star Wars has.
To check out the full interview including what easter egg’s from Edwards’ previous films made it into Rogue One click on the video below! The interview begins at the 3:41-minute mark.