Back in 2016, the Star Wars franchise got the disaster treatment because of the Rogue One: A Star Wars Story movie. The movie broke away from the story of the Sith and Jedi for the first time since the start of the franchise and instead told a story about a group of people with nothing to lose, facing their certain death during the whole movie. The director of the film, Gareth Edwards, delivered a similar film just before the release of Rogue One, taking over the Warner Bros’ Godzilla franchise, focusing more on the terrified and brave people instead of the kaiju himself.
For Gareth Edwards, it is easy to see how one film led to another, as he was still working on the movie Godzilla when he was first asked to meet with Lucasfilm about the movie Rogue One. During one of his interviews with StarWars.com, Edwards told the story of how he sneaked from one studio lot to another.
"I remember when I first met with [Lucasfilm's] Kiri Hart at the very beginning of it all, just snuck in for a very secretive meeting," he explained. "I think they were meeting with loads and loads of filmmakers, like it was [when] The Force Awakens was beginning. I don't think anyone had announced the title or anything. We knew there was a Star Wars film happening and probably more to come. At the time I was finishing Godzilla, and they were at Disney, and you can walk from Warner Bros. to Disney in about 10 minutes. I was nervous about telling anyone that I was going for a meeting at Lucasfilm, because if things went well I'd be doing the Godzilla sequel, and so I pretended I had to get some food or something. I just went down and met with Kiri Hart down the road."
As we know, Gareth Edwards didn’t get to direct the second Gozilla movie, but he did work on the secretive project of Star Wars that went on to become Rogue One. At first, Edwards was quite hesitant about the opportunity, because he thought he will be just one of a bunch of directors meeting with Lucasfilm. However, the studio had its eye on him.
"I was really torn," Edwards explained that first meeting. "I wrote back to Kiri [Hart] saying, 'I think this would be an amazing idea for a Star Wars film, but are you seriously going to do this? Or is it just like, spaghetti at the wall kind of stuff?' And she was like, 'No, no, no. This is what we want to do, potentially next.'"
"Then I figured, they're talking to maybe 20 filmmakers and I'm one of them, so I probably won't even make the cut," the director continued. "I went in for a few more meetings, met with Kathy [Lucasfilm president], and it was all going very well. And then at one point I thought, I'm just going to ask the question just for my own peace of mind. I said, 'How many other filmmakers and directors are you talking to about this?' And they were like, 'Oh, none.' I was thinking, 'Oh, God, are you crazy?' [Laughs] And then for whatever reason, I got to do it."
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story was released in theaters back on December 13, 2016.