When it comes to genre entertainment, fans love their Easter Eggs. Usually kept to the second or third viewing of a film, the hunt for little shoutouts and ties to other works is a fun way to keep the viewing experience fresh. Well, the first of those nods in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story were revealed by director Gareth Edwards Wednesday on the new episode of The Star Wars Show.
"There's some Easter Eggs," he said when pressed for any new tease about the anticipated film. "In Saw's [Gerrera, played by Forest Whitaker] cave, there are some cave paintings. One of them is of the creatures that were in my first film, called Monsters, and then there's a Godzilla. I didn't ask for it, I just came in one day and saw it."
The director also expressed the "real privelege" to have gotten to work at Lucasfilm headquarters during the pre and post-production process for the film, saying it's like being "on sacred ground." His experience working with the legendary John Knoll in particular made him personally excited.
"John Knoll is our visual effect supervisor on Rogue One. He was a massive hero of mine - my background was in visual effects. I sat for ten years in my bedroom, trying to make computer graphics, and I'd put on the making of Star Wars to keep me motivated. You'd hear John Knoll talking to George and things like this. Sometimes, accidentally, I'd end up in this situation where I'd hear that voice and think, 'oh there's that guy from Making of Star Wars.' Then I realize that I'm that other guy now, talking about what a ship should look like, what a shot should be."
Now that post-production has wrapped and the film is just a couple of weeks from release, Edwards has a great idea of how it all plays out, and the way the film mixes the "war movie" aesthetic with the classic look Star Wars is known for.
"In Rogue One we ended up mixing and matching styles. Sometimes you go from very grounded in the trenches photography of a battle to something like these epic, beautiful shots. That contrast worked very well," he said.
What will he think of the final cut? Well, he's a little sad that he doesn't get to just enjoy the next Star Wars movie, and said it helped him recognize why creator George Lucas went back and tweaked the Original Trilogy later in his career.
"It is the curse of filmmaking, I think. You never get to watch your film the way the audience watches it. With the Original trilogy, George went back and made the special edition. You think, 'Why? It was perfect!' But as a filmmaker he felt like 'no no no, there were these things that weren't quite right, I do them.' As a filmmaker, you always feel that way, or I do, at least, about the work I've done. You always see little things you want to tinker with."
Watch the full interview above.
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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."