Gareth Edwards explains why shooting Rogue One is unlike any other Star Wars film

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Jul 18, 2016, 7:47 AM EDT

Director Gareth Edwards is already taking on a monumental task with Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, trying to recapture the vibe of the original trilogy by telling a fresh story that runs up into the waning moments before A New Hope. So, to get it right, he did something no other Star Wars film has ever tried.

While speaking at Star Wars Celebration Europe, Edwards opened up about the production process and how they tried to make the world feel more organic while they were shooting the huge, open scenes. Instead of just setting a backdrop, Edwards said they basically created the scene for real in all directions, and even dressed the crew in costume, so they could move and shoot in all directions.

Here’s an excerpt from his comments:

“We went to Jordan to film and we built this set in Pinewood that was 360 degrees so you could kind of look wherever you wanted. Normally on a set the extras are told, ‘Okay on action you walk over there and on cut you stop.’ We said, ‘Okay for the next hour you’re cooking food, or you’re doing this car thing,’ and the crew were wearing costumes so if the cameras turned around on them, they wouldn’t be in the shot.

“We tried to keep it all flowing and the actors were given the freedom to go where they wanted and do the scene in a way that felt right. So there’s a lot of freedom and it had this organic, different vibe to it than you associate sometimes with Star Wars, and so that felt really exciting. As a fan, I wanted to go to these places. It’s gotta feel right, that’s what was a massive learning experience.”

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story opens December 16.

What do you make of Edwards’ approach? Will Rogue One be a worthy addition to the canon? 

(Via Gizmodo)