Rogue One's Gareth Edwards Reveals Peter Jackson's Surprise Set Visit for Star Wars Spinoff

One of the most critically and publicly lauded Star Wars films that has been released since Disney purchased Lucasfilm has to be Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. While there are a ton of behind-the-scenes rumors that involve reshoots and quietly replacing director Gareth Edwards, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is one of the best Star Wars films in recent years. It was recently revealed that Edwards was the one who shot one of the most popular moments in the film, which shows Darth Vader viciously killing some Rebels with his laser sword, and now the director is talking about shooting that moment. While speaking with ComicBook.com's Brandon Davis during San Diego Comic-Con, Edwards revealed that he didn't know that the Darth Vader scene would be that huge due to the legendary director Peter Jackson's (The Lord of the Rings) surprise visit to the set the day they shot the iconic Star Wars moment.

"Yeah, I think the thing that everyone always brings up the most is the Darth Vader scene at the end of [Rogue] One. And I genuinely, I know it sounds silly but genuinely did not expect anyone to care about that. Like, it was something we wanted to do but didn't expect it to be a big moment and you even shot it. And I was saying this earlier on in whole is like, I was very lucky in that, Peter Jackson, when I started out, in my first film invited us to go sort of hang out on the set of The Hobbit and I got to sit and watch him work and learn loads from him. It was pretty, like, pinch yourself stuff and I was like, I can never repay him, you know, I mean, what can you possibly do? And so the whole time I was trying to think of ideas. Like, what would he care about? Nothing," Edwards told us. "Like he's got everything and then when I was making Star Wars, I was like, oh, wait a minute, like I could just invite him to come and do anything in Star Wars. But he's really busy. I couldn't get a hold of him and like, no matter how many emails I sent, I just couldn't get a reply. And then finally on the very last day, I was like about to film Darth Vader, just letting you know in case you wanted to come along and I got an email straight back going like I'll be there in 30 minutes."

Edwards continued, "I was more like when I went home that night 'I was like Peter Jackson was on set'. Do you know what I mean? Like I wasn't like 'oh I shot'… I was like, it was Peter Jackson, like Peter Jackson was there, we were filming and Peter Jackson was there. Like that, that impressed me more. And so that's probably why it didn't get on my radar."

Lucasfilm describes Rogue One: A Star Wars Story as follows, "As the famed opening crawl of Episode IV A New Hope describes, '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.' These lines from the first Star Wars adventure serve as impetus for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. A story set apart from the classic installments of the Star Wars saga, Rogue One brings a unique perspective to the galaxy far, far away. Directed by Gareth Edwards, the film tells of Rebel soldier Jyn Erso (Felicity Jones) and her band of fighters who attempt to discover a secret to the Death Star's destruction."

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story was directed by Edwards and featured a cast that's led by Jones. The film also stars Diego Luna as Cassian Andor, Alan Tudyk as K2-SO, Donnie Yen as Chirrut Îmwe, Wen Jiang as Baze Malbus, Ben Mendelsohn as Orson Krennic, Forest Whitaker as Saw Gerrera, Riz Ahmed as Bisho Rook, Jimmy Smits as Bail Organa Alistair Petrie General Draven, Genevieve O'Reilly as Mon Mothma and Mads Mikkelsen as Galen Erso.

You can buy Rogue One: A Star Wars Story on Blu Ray and DVD. It is also exclusively streaming on Disney+. Stay tuned to ComicBook.com for all future updates on the Star Wars franchise as we learn it.

What do you think about Gareth Edwards' comments on Peter Jackson's set visit? Are you excited to see The Creator? Let us know in the comments below or by hitting up our writer @NateBrail on Twitter!

Editor's note: This interview was conducted prior to the SAG actors' strike.