08 Aug 2016 4:59 PM +00:00 UTC

Rogue One Director Discusses Jedha, the Jedi Holy Land

Rogue One: a Star Wars Story director Gareth Edwards talked about some of the new locations that will be shown in the movie, including Jedha, a holy land for Force-users, Entertainment Weekly reports. The director opened up about details of the upcoming movie during the Star Wars Celebration. He said that despite the fact is it supposed to be sacred ground the planet of Jedha has been consumed by war.

"The Force is basically in Star Wars like a religion, and they're losing their faith in the period that we start the movie," Edwards explained. He said that Jedha embodies "the themes of losing your faith and the choice between letting the Empire win, or evil win, and good prevailing."

Jedha is said to have obvious Middle Eastern influences, and is described as "narrow market alleyways, desert sands, and Ottoman-inspired architecture". There are obvious comparisons to be made to Mecca, the Muslim holy land that followers of the faith make a pilgrimage to. Similarly, people who believe in the Force go on a pilgrimage to Jedha.

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However, according to Edwards, the sacred place has now been taken over by the Empire and it is occupied territory for reasons that will be revealed. He says, "There's something very important in Jedha that serves both the Jedi and the Empire. It felt very much like something we could relate to in the real world." Despite all the trouble Jedha is in, the people there are resisting the Empire strongly. "There's a resistance that won't give up and our characters have to go and meet people there to try and secure a person from this group," Edwards says.

Important characters in the movie inhabit Jedha, including a warrior monk named Chirrut Imwe, who is played by Donnie Yen. He is described as a "lind man who is accompanied by his protector and guide Baze Malbuz (Jiang Wen), a non-believer in the supernatural who nonetheless has great faith in his friend." Another character who comes from Jedha is Bodhi Rook, played by Riz Ahmed, described as "a pilot who was formerly conscripted into Imperial service but now serves the growing movement against Emperor Palpatine's regime."

The parallels between Jedha and locations in the real world sound potentially interesting. Are you excited to see Jedha and all the characters it contains?

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