Rogue One director Gareth Edwards offers up gratitude and points praise in the direction of George Lucas on the eve of The Creator’s release.
Gareth Edwards first film in eight years, The Creator, is releasing this week and it’s heartening to see a talented filmmaker find a way back after a difficult experience. Edwards is the credited director of 2016’s Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, but in the years since the film’s release, details have emerged to suggest that creative control may have been wrested from him.
Tony Gilroy, who came on board to oversee the film’s direction has spoken rather candidly about the significant rewriting and reshooting process that he oversaw, saying back in 2018 that Lucasfilm was in such “terrible, terrible trouble that all you could do was improve their position.”
Considering that parts of the final film are still the work of Edwards, those comments could be construed as (what our American chums might terms as) a little too ‘inside baseball’, whether they were true or not, given that they served to enhance Gilroy’s contributions at the cost of Edwards’ reputation. The subsequent success of the Rogue One spin-off series Andor (created and overseen by Gilroy) have perhaps served to add an exclamation mark to his claims, given that it’s probably the best Star Wars storytelling that we’ve seen since the 2016’s Rogue One.
For his part, Edwards has always remained quiet about the process, but his extended absence from directing points to what a bruising experience it likely was. Still, he’s back with a science fiction film of his own, and while on the press tour for The Creator he was asked about the experience of making Rogue One. Edwards’ answer was both dignified and diplomatic.
“Look, the only thing I can say is I was incredibly lucky,” he says. “I got to make a Star Wars film. I won the lottery, in that sense. The idea of someone as privileged as me in any way implying that it was anything other than the amazing experience that it was to some extent – like, I don’t have any empathy for that person, and I don’t want to be that person either.”
Edwards also told Uproxx that “I do think there’s a lot of conversation about Rogue One and me and everything. And I honestly feel when I watch Rogue One, the person who doesn’t get enough credit is … George Lucas. Everything that’s great about that movie, you can pretty much trace back to George.”
Explaining himself, the filmmaker added, “even the Darth Vader scene that lots of people talk about? I can’t take credit for it. Because it’s all George. You know what I mean? And if you see, it’s not a character from my film, it’s Star Wars. And we got to play in that sandbox for a bit and so I wouldn’t complain about any of it. I’d do it again if I had a time machine.”
Acknowledging Lucas rather than choosing to throw barbs of his own is a classy take in our book and we commend him for it. As far as Lucasfilm goes, the company would continue to chop and change creators in the years that followed, leading to Star Wars’ cinematic fortunes dwindling before ending entirely with 2019’s The Rise Of Skywalker. Four years on, we’re still waiting for a new Star Wars film to hit cinemas.
Gareth Edwards’ The Creator though? You can catch that one in cinemas this week.
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