Director Gareth Edwards revealed some intriguing new details Lucasfilm’s Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. In particular, he talked about the planet Jedha in the story and how it is a force-sacred world. The director explained that Jedha becomes a combat zone in the story because it is a holy land that is inhabited by people who follow the force. Edwards told EW:
“The Force is basically in Star Wars like a religion, and they’re losing their faith in the period that we start the movie. We were trying to find a physical location we could go to that would speak to the themes of losing your faith and the choice between letting the Empire win, or evil win, and good prevailing. It got embodied in this place we called Jedha. It’s a place where people who believe in the Force would go on a pilgrimage. It was essentially taken over by the Empire. It’s an occupied territory… for reasons we probably can’t reveal. 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.”
When he talked about something being very important to both the Jedi and Empire on the planet, the first thing I thought of were Kyber crystals, which are used to create lightsabers. This is just speculation, but there’s a chance that Jedha could be one of the homes of this resource, and the Empire could be using it to create the energy to help power the Death Star’s weapon of destruction. Edwards went on to say:
“Within Jedha, even though there’s the oppressive foot of the Empire hanging over them, 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. In a wider level, there must be loads of people who just believe in the Jedi and believe in the Force and have been affected by it. If it’s a really ancient religion, as Obi-Wan Kenobi said, it’s got to exist in thousands or millions of people in the galaxy.”
The report also revealed that the planet’s streets are “filled with priests, scholars, and holy men and women.” One of its inhabitants is a warrior monk named Chirrut Imwe, who is played by Donnie Yen, “a blind 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.” They also say that it’s the homeworld of another character named Bodhi Rook, who is played by Riz Ahmed, “a pilot who was formerly conscripted into Imperial service but now serves the growing movement against Emperor Palpatine’s regime.”
I’m not sure how much of the film takes place on this planet, but it’s obviously is going to play a pretty important part in the story. Rogue One follows a team of resistance fighters who are brought together to embark on a mission to steal the plans for Death Star. The movie hits theaters on December 16th, 2016, and I can’t wait. A new trailer is set to be released on Thursday this week, so stay tuned!