A few weeks on from “Star Wars Celebration,” and filmmaker Gareth Edwards has revealed new details about the planet environment of Jedha in the upcoming Disney and Lucasfilm spin-off feature “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” which he directed.
Set just before the events of “Star Wars: A New Hope,” the film’s story follows resistance fighters who have united to steal plans to the dreaded Death Star. Edwards tells EW that the loss of belief in The Force is key to the shaping of this environment:
“The Force is basically in Star Wars like a religion, and they’re losing their faith in the period that we start the movie. 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.
It got embodied in this place we called Jedha. It’s a place where people who believe in the Force would go on a pilgrimage. 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.”
It is rumored that the planet is abundant in Kyber crystals, precious gems used to create lightsabers and to power the Death Star’s destructive beams. That’s not the only reason the resistance won’t give up on it:
“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. In a wider level, there must be loads of people who just believe in the Jedi and believe in the Force and have been affected by it. If it’s a really ancient religion, as Obi-Wan Kenobi said, it’s got to exist in thousands or millions of people in the galaxy.”
“Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” is set for release on December 16th. Speaking of “Star Wars,” Disney XD has just announced that the third season of “Star Wars Rebels” is set to premiere on September 24th.