Diego Luna on How He Watched ‘Apocalypse Now’ Every Month While Filming ‘Rogue One’

     December 13, 2016

With Rogue One set to hit theaters in a few days, Disney recently held a huge press junket for the film in San Francisco. Unlike Star Wars: The Force Awakens, where we interviewed the cast without seeing anything but the trailers, Disney showed us almost thirty minutes of the film at Skywalker Ranch so reporters could learn more about the story and new characters since Rogue One takes place before the events of Star Wars: A New Hope. Like I said on Twitter and during a Facebook Live chat (which you can watch here), the footage was fantastic and left all of us wanting more.


Image via Lucasfilm

Without going into spoiler territory, the thing that made me most excited is how, even though Rogue One takes place before the events of Episode IV, it feels completely unique and original. It looks and feels like a war movie that happens to take place in the Star Wars universe. In the footage, we saw plenty of scenes showing how the Empire is trying to take control of the universe and the brutality that happens when you try and resist. Part of the reason it feels like a war movie is because that’s what director Gareth Edwards set out to make. As you can see him explain in this interview, he shot Rogue One like a documentary embedded in a war zone. And after seeing the footage, I can say he succeeded.

During my interview with Diego Luna he talked about what makes Rogue One different from all the other Star Wars films, how much Lucasfilm and the story group told him about his characters’ backstory, how he watched Apocalypse Now every month while filming, the diversity of the cast, and more.

If you’d like to know what people thought about Rogue One after the world premiere Saturday night in Hollywood, click here. You can also click here for Matt’s review. And if you missed my interviews with Mads Mikkelsen and Ben Mendelsohn or Felicity Jones, click the links.

Diego Luna:

  • How they set out to make something different set in the Star Wars universe.
  • How much did he learn about his character’s backstory that wasn’t in the script?
  • How he watched Apocalypse Now every month while filming.
  • How it’s the most grounded Star Wars film.
  • The diversity of the film.

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