WARNING: Spoilers for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story will follow, so only read forward if you’re interested in likely ruining the movie for yourself. That’s how most people view spoilers.
Rogue One will premiere a new trailer this Thursday during the Olympics, but we’re already getting a few new tidbits about the next Star Wars film to hit theaters and where it will fit into the established mythology. We’re aware the plot will revolve around the mission to steal the plans for the Death Star, but it seems that Gareth Edwards is going to use his shot at a galaxy far, far away to explore the feel of the universe during the period of the original films.
We know well how the Force runs through the main series and the Skywalker family, but its effect on the rest of the galaxy has only been explored through some comments by Han Solo in the first film. According to a recent piece in Entertainment Weekly, Edwards is ready to introduce a new planet that will serve as a spiritual beacon to those who still believe in the Force during the time of the rebellion:
“The Force is basically in Star Wars like a religion, and they’re losing their faith in the period that we start the movie,” says Gareth Edwards, director of the story that’s set just prior to the events of 1977’s original Star Wars.
“We 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,” he says. “It got embodied in this place we called Jedha.”
So with Jedha you could picture Jerusalem or Mecca, but with an occupying force that seems willing to mine it dry and ignore all of the spiritual connotations. Edwards confirms as much, but stops just before revealing WHY The Empire might want to hold the planet.
“It’s a place where people who believe in the Force would go on a pilgrimage,” Edwards says. “It was essentially taken over by the Empire. It’s an occupied territory… for reasons we probably can’t reveal.”
Seems like an interesting aspect to the whole Rogue One story, but Donnie Yen helps to shed some light on those bits that Edwards stopped short on. According to the Ip Man actor, Jedha has a connection to the elements used to create lightsabers. As Slash Film notes, this might play into some of the backstory of the Death Star itself and give the entire creation a twisty connection to the Jedi. Sorta puts the entire confrontation between Vader and Admiral Motti in the original film in a new perspective.
— ExtraTV (@extratv) July 17, 2016