Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is a prequel film that takes place right before Star Wars: A New Hope. The look and style of Rogue One is directly connected to the original movie since it is set during the time of the empire. Director Garth Edwards has revealed Rogue One is more connected to the original film than you realized.
Edwards talks about how some scenes were created using discarded footage from A New Hope. He decided to use the old footage after looking at old reels of film.
“We went to Skywalker ranch, and there’s the archives there. And as we’re walking around, and doing all the cool things and looking at the Millennium Falcon and trying on Han Solo’s jacket and things like that, in the back at the bottom was all these cans of film. And we said ‘what are they?’ and they said ‘Oh, it’s Star Wars.’ And you go… ‘has someone gone through all this? And it’s like ‘not really, they’re not fully like digitized at all.’”
The footage Edwards was looking though came from the Death Star battle. He know the footage would be a good fit for his film.
“We got the neg documents and found the clips from A New Hope that hadn’t been used. And there’s pilot photography and lines that were never featured in A New Hope. Through the magic of ILM [special effect studio Industrial Light and Magic] they cut round them and manipulated them and stuck them into our cockpits.”
Even if Edwards wanted to use the footage, he still wasn’t sure if it would look right for his movie. But in the end everything turned out perfect.
“It’s the sort of thing you think, ‘how many people will notice?’ Do you know what I mean? It’s like, is this a lot of effort for very little reward? At the world premiere in LA, there was this massive cheer at a particular point in the film,” Edwards said. “It was the only time during the premiere where I actually punched the air.”