Rogue One tells the story of resistance fighters who have united to steal plans to the dreaded Death Star. Felicity Jones leads the cast as Jyn Erso alongside Mads Mikklesen who plays her father, Galen Erso. Diego Luna stars as Captain Cassian Andor with Donnie Yen as the blind spiritual warrior Chirrut Imwe, Jiang Wen as his heavily armored best friend Baze Malbus,, Alan Tudyk as the droid K-2SO, Riz Ahmed as the Rebel pilot Bodhi Rook, plus Forest Whitaker as Saw Gerrera, a character first introduced in Star Wars: The Clone Wars, and Ben Mendelsohn as the film’s main antagonist, Director Orson Krennic.
“The Force is basically in Star Wars like a religion, and they’re losing their faith in the period that we start the movie,” said Edwards of the film which takes place just before the events of 1977’s Star Wars: A New Hope. “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.”
Star Wars the precious resource in question is heavily rumored to be Kyber crystals, the precious gems used to create lightsabers for both the Jedi and Sith in years past, which may be harnessed as en energy source for the Death Star’s destructive beams.
“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,” Edwards added. “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 16, 2016.