During the press tour for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, Gareth Edwards visited a French talk show, where he delivered a lengthy interview about the film. The director talked extensively about the movie's production, from when he first learned about the possibility of the film through to post-production. In the in-between, when he was on set of the film, Star Wars creator George Lucas visited to see what the team was creating. With this movie being so close to Lucas's original creation, now known as Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope, the opportunity to show off for him was too good to pass up for Edwards.
"He said, 'don't screw it up,'" Edwards first joked with a smile when talking about Lucas visiting and any potential advice. "I think there are two things that are incredibly surreal that you can do in your life. Number 2 is having to show George Lucas your Star Wars movie. Like, that was really crazy. And I think number 1 is to be George Lucas and have someone show you a Star Wars movie. So I felt for him, and he was incredibly gracious."
The director revealed that George Lucas made a self-deprecating joke while on set, as well.
"He joked a lot about how we should do more in the computer, and not build so much," Edwards revealed. That's, of course, pointing at the heavy criticism Lucas received for the high level of CGI in the prequel trilogy, Episode I - III. "We didn't take his advice. We tried to shoot as much in-camera as possible."
The push for more practical effects started with Star Wars: The Force Awakens, when J.J. Abrams and company touted their use extensively throughout. It's probably fun for fans to hear about George Lucas acknowledging it, even in some small way, now that he's left the company behind.
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Rogue One: A Star Wars Story hits US theaters December 16, 2016. Directed by Gareth Edwards, it's the first of the new standalone features from Lucasfilm and Disney, which take place outside the core "Skywalker Saga" of films noted by an Episode number. Rogue Onetells the story of the small band of rebels that were tasked with stealing the plans to the first Death Star. The story spins directly off the opening crawl from the original Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope. In that crawl, it read: "Rebel spaceships, striking from a hidden base, have won their first victory against the evil Galactic Empire. During the battle, Rebel spies managed to steal secret plans to the Empire’s ultimate weapon, the DEATH STAR, an armored space station with enough power to destroy an entire planet."