With Rogue One, director Gareth Edwards created a gorgeous love letter to the world of 1970’s sci-fi itself. But, how did he pull off a few of those more interesting Star Wars-y surprises?
Spoilers ahead for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story!
Keen-eyed Star Wars fans may have been surprised to see a few familiar faces during that final X-Wing assault during the Battle of Scarif, as Garven Dreis and Jon Vander (aka the Red and Gold Leaders from A New Hope) pop up in the battle. Looking just like they did in A New Hope. So how did Edwards pull it off? He raided the archives at Skywalker ranch for unused footage from Star Wars and painstakingly incorporated it into Rogue One. Now that’s a lot of effort for approximately 6 seconds of footage most viewers probably wouldn’t notice.
Here’s an excerpt from how he explained the process to RadioTimes:
“We went to Skywalker ranch, and there’s the archives there. And as we’re walking around, and doing all the cool things and looking at the Millennium Falcon and trying on Han Solo’s jacket and things like that, in the back at the bottom was all these cans of film. And we said ‘what are they?’ and they said ‘Oh, it’s Star Wars.’
And you go… ‘Has someone gone through all this? And it’s like ‘not really, they’re not fully like digitised at all.’ We got the neg documents and found the clips from A New Hope that hadn’t been used. And there’s pilot photography and lines that were never featured in A New Hope."
Edwards went to enormous effort to recreate the look and feel of Star Wars, all the way down to the retro-future, 1970s tech, and the mustaches. Literally including long-lost footage from A New Hope is just icing on the cake.