As a kid growing up in Britain, Gareth Edwards watched 'A New Hope' every single day. That youthful obsession led him straight to the director’s chair on 'Rogue One.'
The following is an excerpt of a piece by Rogue One director Gareth Edwards in Entertainment Weekly’s collector’s edition of The Ultimate Guide to Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. To read the rest of his article, pick up the new issue, on newsstands now.
I was just 2 years old when Star Wars: A New Hope first came out in the cinema. Being so young, I don’t really remember the world before it. It was just sort of always there. My first real memory of seeing the film was on videotape, I think, just after my parents bought a Betamax player. I was about 7 years old. Knowing my neighbor had a tape of Star Wars, I immediately ran next door and I asked if I could borrow it. With the tape in hand, I returned home to play it and got as far as the scene of C-3PO walking down the corridor in the blockade runner before my mum shouted at me for dinner. I remember stopping the tape and eating as fast as I could and, at that moment, knowing what I wanted to do for the rest of my life… I was going to watch this film over and over until the day I died.
So each morning before school I would sit in my pajamas with some cereal and just hit play on that tape. I would get through about the first 15 minutes until I was forced to get ready. Then the next morning I would rewind the tape and watch the opening again and again each day, learning the first act by heart. In my youthful mind, I thought, this is what the world can be; I can become Luke Skywalker and live in an incredible world of exciting possibilities. It really made me excited about growing up and wondering at all the things I could do. At some point, however, I started to realize that perhaps I’m not going to be able to join the Rebel Alliance and destroy the Death Star, and in fact this whole thing was some form of lie called a “film.” So the second best option was, well, maybe I’ll become a liar too and make films instead.
This article originally appeared in Entertainment Weekly’s collector’s edition of The Ultimate Guide to Rogue One: A Star Wars Story on newsstands now.