[SPOILERS for Rogue One ahead.]
Directors giving themselves cameos in their own movies is nothing new. Sometimes directors want you to be able to spot them easily, as was the case with Alfred Hitchcock and his many famous appearances, but sometimes directors want you to have to work a little bit to pinpoint exactly where they appear.
Everyone knew that Gareth Edwards gave himself a cameo in the blockbuster Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, because he confirmed as much, but no one knew exactly where Edwards appeared. The Internet thus took up the cause of spotting Edwards' cameo in Rogue One and as usual, the Internet came through with the desired results.
A Star Wars fan named Leonardo Valdivia went through Rogue One with a fine-toothed comb and spotted Edwards, reports Star Wars News Net. Edwards hid himself among the Rebel soldiers during Rogue One's climactic battle, but did give himself a fairly prominent job. Edwards is the soldier who disengages the Tantive IV (the iconic rebel ship from the beginning of A New Hope) allowing it, Princess Leia and the Death Star plans to get away from a rampaging Darth Vader.
As cameos go, Edwards' is perhaps not as cool as Daniel Craig's appearance as a stormtrooper in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, but it's still a solid cameo. Edwards did have the modesty to make his appearance relatively anonymous, but as the director he couldn't resist giving himself a pivotal moment not only in the movie but the entire Star Wars saga. Without Edwards' character's quick-thinking, the Tantive IV would never have (momentarily) escaped Darth Vader, the Death Star plans would never have been put inside RD-D2 and the entire Star Wars story would never have taken off. We can spot the cameo for ourselves when the movie comes out on DVD and Blu-ray in April.
Some might complain that director cameos are a tad self-indulgent, but given that Edwards is such a huge Star Wars fan that he used to watch the first ten minutes of A New Hope every day before he went to school, there's little reason for him to resist the temptation of giving himself a role in the Star Wars universe. Later on when his grandkids are sitting on his knee, he can tell them he not only directed a Star Wars movie, he's also in the same one. His cameo is certainly less controversial than a certain other cameo in Rogue One.
Edwards will apparently pop up in another Star Wars movie too, namely Star Wars: Episode VIII, but it's unknown what small role he will be taking on. Episode VIII director Rian Johnson himself has a cameo in Rogue One, playing one of the Death Star crew members responsible for firing the station's city-destroying laser weapon (of course in A New Hope that weapon would upgrade to planet-destroying). So while Edwards was saving the rebellion, Johnson was trying to destroy it.
Source: Star Wars News Net
- Star Wars: Rogue One / Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016) release date: Dec 16, 2016
- 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