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‘Rogue One’ Set Hosted Peter Jackson During a Memorable Scene

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Peter Jackson's visit

It’s a longstanding Hollywood tradition for directors to support each other, but there’s a unique joy in seeing them morph into film enthusiasts when given the opportunity. Such was the case when Peter Jackson stopped by the set of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. During the Directors on Directing panel at San Diego Comic-Con, moderated by Steve Weintraub, FilmSweep’s Editor-in-Chief, director Gareth Edwards shared how he had become acquainted with the renowned New Zealand director during the production of The Hobbit.

Edwards received an invitation to join Jackson halfway across the globe to watch him step back into Middle Earth for his second trilogy featuring the charming Hobbits of Hobbiton. The experience of observing a master director in action had a profound impact on Edwards, and he was humbled by his good fortune. Jackson bestowed upon him a piece of advice that would enhance his directing skills while saving both time and money in the process.

“Film making can lead to incredible experiences you wouldn’t believe,” remarked Edwards. “One was the invitation to the set of The Hobbit in New Zealand with Peter Jackson, where I learned some priceless lessons. One such lesson was about the ‘rolling take.’ Instead of saying ‘cut,’ which allows everyone to swarm in and costs you valuable time between takes, you simply let the camera roll. I’ve since adopted this method, opting to shoot continuously for around 25 minutes without ever saying ‘cut.'”

Image via Lucasfilm

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In a Galaxy Far, Far Away

Edwards deeply appreciated Jackson’s kindness and sought to return the favor later in his career. He believed his chance came when he was selected to direct Rogue One. The Star Wars spin-off seemed to be the perfect bait to coax the reclusive Jackson into the public eye. However, despite Edwards’ efforts, Jackson remained unresponsive until the very last day of shooting.

When it was time to film the now-famous scene of Darth Vader decimating the Rebels in the final moments of the movie, Edwards sent another message informing him that they were shooting with Vader. To his surprise, Jackson arrived in no time to witness the terrifying Sith Lord in action. As the crew was awestruck by the scene unfolding before them, Edwards was delighted to share this moment with his mentor.

“I felt obligated to return the favor but couldn’t think of anything that might interest him. Then I landed Star Wars. I reached out to him and said, ‘Hey Pete, I’m working on Star Wars, let me know if you’d like to visit.’ Although Jabez Olssen, my editor, also works with Peter, I couldn’t get him to respond.

But at the end of filming, just as we were about to shoot the scene with Darth Vader, I texted him, ‘Pete, we’re filming Darth Vader,’ and he texted back, ‘I’ll be there in 15 minutes.’ As we were preparing for the shot where the lights go down and the lightsaber illuminates, Peter walked in. I quickly quieted him and told him to just watch. As the lightsaber lit up, I called ‘action.’ The scene itself was monumental, but having Peter Jackson there was the real highlight for me!”

Stay connected with FilmSweep for further insights from the Directors on Directing panel featuring Edwards, Justin Simien, and Louis Leterrier.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Peter Jackson’s visit

What happened when Peter Jackson visited the set of ‘Rogue One’?

During the Directors on Directing panel at San Diego Comic-Con, director Gareth Edwards revealed that Peter Jackson visited the set of ‘Rogue One: A Star Wars Story’. Edwards had become friendly with Jackson during the making of ‘The Hobbit’, and the experience of watching Jackson work left a lasting impression on him.

What advice did Peter Jackson give to Gareth Edwards?

Peter Jackson gave Gareth Edwards a valuable piece of advice that he adopted in his directing style. Instead of saying “cut” between takes, Jackson suggested using a “rolling take” approach, where the camera continuously rolls for around 25 minutes without any interruptions. This way, the crew avoids wasting time and money between shots.

How did Peter Jackson return the favor to Gareth Edwards?

Later in Gareth Edwards’ career, he wanted to repay Peter Jackson’s kindness. When Edwards was appointed director of ‘Rogue One’, he invited Jackson to visit the set during the filming of an iconic scene featuring Darth Vader. Jackson finally responded and witnessed the scene being shot, bringing a memorable experience to both directors.

What was the significance of having Peter Jackson on the ‘Rogue One’ set?

Having Peter Jackson, a legendary director, visit the ‘Rogue One’ set was a significant moment for Gareth Edwards. It represented a mentorship bond and a cherished opportunity for Edwards to share the filmmaking experience with someone he looked up to in the industry.

More about Peter Jackson’s visit

  • Directors on Directing Panel at San Diego Comic-Con: Link
  • The Hobbit: Link
  • Rogue One: A Star Wars Story: Link
  • Peter Jackson: Link
  • Gareth Edwards: Link

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Cinephile007 July 22, 2023 - 9:41 pm

link me to dat directors panel @ Comic-Con! hobbit n star wars connectn, amazin! luv how gareth & petr support each othr, movie fam 4eva!

MovieBuff123 July 22, 2023 - 10:13 pm

wait, wut was da advice petr jackson gave? sumthin ’bout rollin takes? intrstin, save time n money! gareth’s a gud director, no doubt!

SciFiGeek22 July 23, 2023 - 11:18 am

rogue one scene wit darth vader slaughtering rebels? EPIC! petr jackson showed up, wowsers! mentors r important, awesum bond betwn directors!

StarWarsFan98 July 23, 2023 - 12:03 pm

omg dis is so cool, petr jackson visitd rogue one set? thats amazin! luv how they become friends n share directin tips! gareth’s so lucky!


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