For many fans, Star Wars is a seminal film in our movie education. Heck, not even just movie education, but pop culture education as a whole. You can hardly live out your life without a Star Wars reference or seven popping up in everyday conversation. Over the past several decades, it’s permeated society in almost every facet, though as kids, we pretty much just saw it as the coolest, most fun film we’ve ever watched. Yes, it may be set in space, but it had more in common with fantasy than science fiction, and with it came a spirit of lighthearted high adventure, which is one of the reasons we clung to it.
This is an aspect of the films that was pretty much all but lost in the prequel trilogy from Star Wars creator George Lucas. Rather than keeping things character-focused, he chose to turn the attention to technology and politics — probably not the most fun or fitting direction for a lot of fans. Last year, with the release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, we saw the triumphant return of the spirit of high adventure that was sorely lacking in those prequels. While this is very much a good thing, that’s not to say every upcoming Star Wars film will retain that sensibility.
Upon announcing that more Star Wars movies would be on the way, Disney also announced what they called “anthology” films — standalone tales set in the Star Wars universe. This December’s Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is the first of these standalone movies, and from day one, it’s been sold to audiences as a grounded, gritty war flick more in the vein of Zero Dark Thirty than your average Star Wars flick.
The trailers we’ve seen support this, and in a recent interview with the Mexican edition of Vanity Fair (via Star Wars News Net’s translation — please excuse any awkward phrasing, as a result), actor Gabriel Luna, who plays Cassian Andor in the film, spoke on Rogue One’s relatability and grounded nature, starting with his approach on to his character.
“I wanted to make my character more natural and realistic. Although people expect the tone of the film to be fantasy, it actually is quite the contrary. It’s an intimate story that feels real.
“I think of all the Star Wars films released so far, Rogue One is the most real one, which is about the people. The characters are very similar to us. They are heroes with no powers. What they have is a conviction and desire to change reality.”
As with The Force Awakens before it, Rogue One’s grounded nature is also achieved through how its visual effects were achieved. Whereas Lucas’ prequel trilogy was largely achieved using green screens and CG, Rogue One took to real locations, and had plenty of real explosions on sets.
“I took a lot of injuries. My chest still hurts a lot. There are some accidents that will actually end up in the final cut of the film. In a scene where we were running against a strong wind I badly hurt my cornea while trying to remove some debris from my eye. I used a patch during the last days of filming.”
Without a doubt, these injuries and struggles will help give an extra dose of authenticity to the picture. Here’s hoping that this more gritty tone and style is in service of a genuinely good an moving story.
What do you think of Luna’s comments? Are you excited to see a darker side of Star Wars with Rogue One? Let us know your thoughts down below!
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story hits theaters on December 16, 2016.