Five years ago, Star Wars broke the mold of its own big screen universe with the arrival of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. Not only was Rogue One the darkest film in the Star Wars franchise when it was released, but it was also the first movie to exist outside of the Skywalker Saga. With a roster of new characters and a story that fans knew ended in failure, Rogue One still found itself an audience and became a hit with both fans and critics. That wouldn't have been possible without director Gareth Edwards, who was apparently the only person Lucasfilm had in mind when the studio got serious about development.
For the fifth anniversary of Rogue One, Edwards took a look back at the making of the film while speaking to StarWars.com. He talked about first getting invited to meet with Lucasfilm while working on Godzilla for Warner Bros., and how he assumed he would be just one of many directors approached for the project.
"I was really torn," Edwards said of his first meeting. "I wrote back to Kiri [Hart] saying, 'I think this would be an amazing idea for a Star Wars film, but are you seriously going to do this? Or is it just like, spaghetti at the wall kind of stuff?' And she was like, 'No, no, no. This is what we want to do, potentially next.'"
"Then I figured, they're talking to maybe 20 filmmakers and I'm one of them, so I probably won't even make the cut," the filmmaker continued. "I went in for a few more meetings, met with Kathy [Kennedy, Lucasfilm president], and it was all going very well. And then at one point I thought, I'm just going to ask the question just for my own peace of mind. I said, 'How many other filmmakers and directors are you talking to about this?' And they were like, 'Oh, none.' I was thinking, 'Oh, God, are you crazy?' [Laughs] And then for whatever reason, I got to do it."
Lucasfilm clearly saw something they liked in Edwards, who ended up taking on the project and bringing Rogue One to life in 2016. Like his take on Godzilla, Rogue One is a tragic tale, focusing on the efforts people make when they're facing certain death, hoping they can still find a way to change the future for others.
What did you think of Rogue One? Where does it stand in your overall Star Wars rankings? Let us know in the comments!