A Missing Element In Godzilla Became A Priority In Gareth Edwards' Star Wars Film

Gareth Edwards had what could easily be described as a meteoric rise through Hollywood's directing ranks. After directing his mega-low-budget acclaimed sci-fi feature debut "Monsters," he was selected to helm America's second attempt at bringing one of the most legendary monsters in the history of cinema to the screen. The result was 2014's "Godzilla," which kicked off the MonsterVerse, a franchise that is still going today. More importantly, it secured him a dream job directing "Rogue One: A Star Wars Story." It was back-to-back blockbusters in huge franchises.

Even though the two films are wildly different from one another, the experience of making "Godzilla" did inform Edwards' approach to making "Rogue One." In a Reddit AMA from 2016, the director was asked what lessons he took from his 2014 monster movie with him to a galaxy far, far away. Here's what he had to say:

"I guess there are many lessons. Visually, I wanted to have a team of concept artists working on 'Rogue One' ALL the way through the film. Typically on a big movie, the artists only work during the script-writing phase, but you end up always tweaking and improving everything, so having designers and concept artists work and redesign and keep pushing things all the way until the last month of the process was something we did on 'Rogue' that wasn't on 'Godzilla' so much."

Working with Warner Bros. and Legendary Pictures on a "Godzilla" movie is a bit different than working with Disney and Lucasfilm on a "Star Wars" movie. Lucasfilm has a dedicated team of artists that can help support a filmmaker like Edwards. Yes, Edwards had a specific crew for "Rogue One," but Lucasfilm truly is a unique beast that certainly helped him keep artists on the whole way through. Frankly, the movie might have been in big trouble without them there.

A big success, a big break

In the end, "Rogue One" was a huge success, making over $1 billion at the box office and garnering very favorable reviews. It's still widely considered to be one of the best things produced under the Disney era of "Star Wars." But the production was famously troubled, with extensive rewrites and reshoots needed late in the process. Tony Gilroy, who eventually went on to head-up the spin-off series "Andor" for Disney+, was brought in to oversee the process and is even said to have taken over some directing duties from Edwards.

Gilroy described the situation as a "mess" in 2018 adding that "they were in such a swamp ... they were in so much terrible, terrible, trouble that all you could do was improve their position." Regardless of who did what, it turned out well in the end. But after making two blockbusters in just a handful of years, Edwards took a long break from directing. He waited a full seven years before releasing "The Creator" last year. While promoting that film last year, he explained the need for the break as wanting to get off the hamster wheel, so to speak. As he said:

"I needed to get off the merry-go-round, do you know what I mean? In Hollywood, you can get stuck on the hamster wheel, or whatever analogy you want to use. I just wanted to get off and have a break to take some time thinking about the next thing."

"Rogue One: A Star Wars Story" is currently streaming on Disney+.