Rogue One Was a 'Love Letter' to Carrie Fisher, Says Gareth Edwards

Rogue One A Star Wars Story - CG Princess Leia

Even though the members of the Star Wars family and fans have had three months to process the untimely death of Carrie Fisher, there will be several reminders in the months ahead of the actress who made Princess Leia a cinematic icon to keep heartbreak at the top of their minds. Star Wars Celebration Orlando this month, for example, will include a tribute to Fisher from her co-star Mark Hamill; and of course, the biggest blow will be felt when Fisher appears in what will be her last big-screen performance with Episode VIII: The Last Jedi.

One vital member of the Star Wars family that is still feeling the hurt in a deeply personal way is Rogue One: A Star Wars Story director Gareth Edwards.

In an interview with The Telegraph of London for the pending Blu-ray release of the international blockbuster hit, Edwards says he hasn't "really sat and watched the film since the opening weekend, when Carrie was still with us." While Fisher – who died 11 days after the film's theatrical release on Dec. 27 – only appeared in digital form at the stunning conclusion of the first Star Wars anthology film, it's that moment that brings the whole movie home, Edwards tells the publication.

"I just feel the whole thing was, to be honest, one big love letter to Carrie. What we’re doing with the entire movie is all building to that one moment [of the Death Star plans being handed to Princess Leia] where we hand the baton to her, to go off and make that film that inspired us all as kids. So it couldn’t have ended better from that point of view. It’s just sad – I was always thinking that I would get to meet her and talk to her at some point about it, and I never really met her properly. I walked past her once on the set of Episode VII, I was meeting some of the crew, and she walked past me, and I had a little fanboy freakout."

Rogue One - Gareth Edwards on set

Edwards says he can at least live with the comfort of knowing Fisher was able to see the footage of Princess Leia in Rogue One, courtesy of producer Kathleen Kennedy. Speaking with Telegraph, Edwards says in reflection that the moment is bittersweet.

"When it came to our film, it went so late with that shot, trying to get it right, that Kathy took it down personally, on a laptop, and showed her. And initially Carrie apparently didn’t realize it was CGI, and wondered if it was footage which we had taken from somewhere else. Which was really reassuring for us. I thought, one day, either at the premiere, or one of these conventions, I’d get a chance to talk to her. And it’s really sad that it’s not going to get to happen."

Edwards, of course, won't be the last Star Wars filmmaker to deal with Fisher's loss. Even though Fisher completed her work on The Last Jedi before her passing, director Rian Johnson, Disney and Lucasfilm had to examine the idea of addressing General Leia's fate in the film before eventually deciding to leave the film as is.

Episode IX director Colin Trevorrow and Johnson, who is writing the script, won't have any choice but to address the question head-on of what happens with Leia next. While there is a possibility of recasting the role, Disney says it has "no plans" of recreating Fisher's likeness with CGI, a la Peter Cushing's Grand Moff Tarkin in Rogue One. Whatever the case may be, Fisher means too much to Star Wars for the filmmakers to treat the final decision with nothing but reverence for the late film icon.

Next: Rogue One Director Reveals Kyber Crystals Easter Egg

Source: The Telegraph

Key Release Dates
  • Star Wars 8/Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017) release date: Dec 15, 2017
  • Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018) release date: May 25, 2018
  • Star Wars 9 / Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (2019) release date: Dec 20, 2019
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