Like The Force Awakens director J.J. Abrams, Rogue One director Gareth Edwards has been a lifelong Star Wars fan. (Fun fact: He actually spent his 30th birthday in Tunisia, drinking DIY blue milk in the same location Luke Skywalker once called home on Tatooine in Episode IV.)
"If I'd known since I was four I was going to be shooting a Star Wars film, I would’ve planned it all my life," Edwards explains. "It’s like the world’s greatest toy set."
Much like Abrams, it’s clear Edwards is incorporating an array of practical effects, fully functional droids and creatures into Rogue One. But more than anything, we’re getting chills over the clear integrated nods to the 1977 original.
Notably, the featurette compares a new shot in Rogue One to the sentry on duty when the Millennium Falcon lands on Yavin 4 in Episode IV. It also includes a comparison and recreation of the infamous War Room where Princess Leia Organa nervously stands during the Battle of Yavin.
“Through their journey we see the formation of the Rebel Alliance and the stealing of the Death Star plans,” says Edwards of our new crop of characters.
Check out the featurette above for an in-depth behind-the-scenes look at Rogue One (confirming a PG-13 rating)– including unfinished shots of K-2SO, imperial walkers and X-Wing fighters in battle.
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is out Dec. 16.
If you’re wondering why Finn and Rey are absent from the latest installment of Star Wars, be sure to check out the video below to catch you up on what you need to know about Rogue One before it hits theaters.