Rogue One’s New Tropical Planet Hosts Soldiers, Not Tourists

One of the reasons Star Wars has managed to maintain a high-level of fan interest over the course of nearly four decades is the richly detailed fictional galaxy George Lucas created. With the help of his collaborators, he introduced a variety of Star Wars planets—and Rogue One is ready to introduce at least one more. According to director Gareth Edwards, Jedha is a kind of holy land that plays host to a great deal of combat in the upcoming Star Wars prequel.

“The Force is basically in Star Wars like a religion, and they’re losing their faith in the period that we start the movie,” the director told Entertainment Weekly. “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.”

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story L to R: Alan Tudyk (K-2SO), Felicity Jones (Jyn Erso), Diego Luna (Cassian Andor), Donnie Yen (Chirrut Imwe), Jiang Wen (Baze Malbus), and Director Gareth Edwards on set. Ph: Jonathan Olley ©Lucasfilm LFL 2016.

Edwards also promises that, like just about every other Star Wars movie, Rogue One will explore themes of oppression and resistance. “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,” says Edwards. “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.”

You can plan your own trip to Jedha some time around December 16—when Rogue One finally arrives in theatres. To prepare yourself for the new teaser coming later this week, watch the first teaser below.