Gareth Edwards on the importance of the planet Jedha in Rogue One
With a brand-new trailer for ROGUE ONE: A STAR WARS STORY arriving this Thursday, it won't be long before we get a gander at even more footage from the much anticipated STAR WARS spin-off, but for now, we're still not done analyzing what we've already seen from the previous trailer. One of the main planets featured in ROGUE ONE is the planet Jedha, which director Gareth Edwards describes as a holy land in the STAR WARS universe, an intergalactic Mecca or Jerusalem if you will.
Edwards spilled a few new details to Entertainment Weekly about the planet we've seen featured in the ROGUE ONE trailers, saying that they "were trying to find a physical location we could go to that would speak to the themes of losing your faith and the choice between letting the Empire win, or evil win, and good prevailing. It got embodied in this place we called Jedha.” The period in which ROGUE ONE begins has much of the galaxy losing their faith in the force, which Edwards says is basically like a religion in the STAR WARS universe, but Jedha is still a place where the faithful can make a pilgrimage, that is until it's taken over by the Empire.
It was essentially taken over by the Empire. It’s an occupied territory… for reasons we probably can’t reveal. There’s something very important in Jedha that serves both the Jedi and the Empire. It felt very much like something we could relate to in the real world. Within Jedha, even though there’s the oppressive foot of the Empire hanging over them, there’s a resistance that won’t give up and our characters have to go and meet people there to try and secure a person from this group.
That person may very well be Chirrut Imwe (Donnie Yen), a blind man who lives on Jedha and is "accompanied by his protector and guide Baze Malbuz (Jiang Wen), a non-believer in the supernatural who nonetheless has great faith in his friend." Chirrut and Baze aren't the only ones to call Jedha home, it was also the homeworld of Bodhi Rook (Riz Ahmed) before he was conscripted into Imperial service.
ROGUE ONE: A STAR WARS STORY hits theaters on December 16, 2016.
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