Gareth Edwards: Rogue One’s Planet Jedah is the Jedi’s Mecca

Gareth Edwards spoke with a small crowd of press following the first day of Star Wars Celebration 2016, offering some more insight on his upcoming film Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, in particular its intriguing setting.

One of the key highlights of the latest sizzle reel for Rogue One was Jedah, a new planet that looks set to explore the religious themes of the sci-fi series. Edwards went into detail regarding this planet, discussing its spiritual ties with the Jedi and touching upon Rogue One’s relationship with the Force in general. 

Speaking to us on Friday evening, Edwards responded to a question from Birth.Movies.Death. regarding Jedah, saying: “It came from the fact that the era that [Rogue One] is set in, in theory doesn’t have any Jedi. So the whole idea of a Star Wars film that doesn’t talk about the Force… If you look at what George did, although he got a story about one thing, he was implying a million other things in the background and ideas that were much wider, and obviously our film is using that and telling a story within it.”

He continued: “For me A New Hope is kinda like the story of Jesus. There must be a whole religion beyond that, and so it felt like the Jedi… are the leaders of this spiritual belief system. There’s gotta be the equivalent of Mecca and Jerusalem and places like that within the Star Wars world. 

“It felt very contemporary to have a situation where the Empire were imposing themselves on what means a lot to the spiritual side of Star Wars for their own reasons, their own goals, and within that area there’s a resistance that’s building and trying to fight back, but our characters end up having to go to Jedah and they basically end up getting pulled into their story a bit.”

Edwards concluded: “The whole real backstory of it all is really more a thing for the canon and Lucasfilm, but I feel like it’s definitely…if you believe in the Jedi and you believe in the Force, it feels like Jedah is somewhere you should visit in your lifetime. It’s like a spiritual home of the Jedi.”

Jedah sounds like an incredibly interesting new venture for the Star Wars universe, and something that could actually flesh out the mystical history of the Jedi a little bit more. While we’d all still prefer the Jedi’s origins in the new canon to be kept deliberately vague, i.e. no one should ever mention the Midi-chlorians ever again, touching upon the spiritual side of the Jedi is definitely something I’m personally down with.