We’ve heard a lot about how the visual style of Gareth Edwards’ Rogue One was intentionally more visceral at times, more hand-held and gritty than the classical structure of George Lucas’ original saga.
Lucasfilm encouraged Edwards to bring the semi-improvisational, as it happens type sensibility from his low-budget debut Monsters to Rogue One – an approach light years away from the locked-down approach of Star Wars. He describes his approach as “opportunistic” – he’s not a great lover of actors “hitting their marks“. Hence, when he could, he would try and create “happy accidents“. On the Jedha city set, for instance, stage crew would be dressed as extras and bit-part players would be encouraged to develop their own little background stories and interaction, whilst Edwards would roam and shoot amongst them on the elaborate 360-degree set.
“It’s trying to create conditions that lead to things you wouldn’t have thought of,” he told the Sydney Morning Herald. “You chuck all the ingredients at the camera and it’s your job to find the greatness in it. And I find that it’s scarier, but when you get it right, it feels more real and natural and authentic. When we do it like that, it’s the happy accidents we’re most proud of.”
Of course, that approach isn’t viable over an entire film, and a style that strays too far from the original saga is going to be disconcerting. “We tried our best to mix and match things – the very classical, epic, considered and controlled ’70s Spielbergian old school style,” he told Little White Lies. “And that’s one of the things I like about the film – that quick gear change keeps everything fresh.”
With that in mind, the constant need to be it’s own thing and yet slot seamlessly into Lucas’ original as an opening act, so to speak, here is a nice comparison of shots that mirror the action from George Lucas’ space saga by Zackery Ramos-Taylor, scored to Rogue One composer Michael Giacchino’s “Your Father Would Be Proud.” Judging by Lucas’ reaction to Edwards on his first viewing of Rogue One, I’d say he was indeed.