Yes, if you were breathlessly waiting for this update to finally come, I did see Rogue One at last. Do you want to read a detailed, insightful, deeply philosophical, and hilarious blog about it? Well, this is not that blog. I thought the movie was OK and I’ll just leave it at that….
BUT!!!! I did come by something very, very interesting lately on the internets, and I am inspired to share it with you here. What is it, you ask? It is a detailed transcript of the director of Rogue One, Gareth Edwards, holding preliminary discussions about the development of the movie with the executives of Twentieth Century Fox studio.
For reference purposes Gareth Edwards is abbreviated “GE,” studio executives are “SE” and numbered 1-20 because that was actually a slow day in the studio. “A” stands for assistant and they are numbered as well. So without another word I give you the actual, real life planning of Star Wars Rogue One as it happened!
GE: “Good morning gentlemen. Thank you all for coming. I’d like to say that I’m thankful you gave me the opportunity of directing the next Star Wars movie.”
SE1: “Gareth, how much experience do you have with Star Trek?”
GE:”Ummm, it’s Star Wars.”
SE2:”What’s Star Wars?”
SE3:”The movie Gareth’s making.”
SE2:”Oh, I thought it was Star Trek.”
SE4:”What number is it anyway? Like episode 12 already?”
GE:”No, it’s episode 3.5.”
SE1:”So, who is the target audience?”
GE:”I think people who haven’t seen episodes 4, 5, 6 and so won’t know how it ends.”
SE1:”Oh, that makes sense.”
SE7:”And Gareth, since there will be so many more Star Wars movies after, this one is basically just a two hour commercial for those other movies to come later.”
GE:”Oh, I see.”
SE2:”If this is a new series isn’t it part 1?”
GE:”No, part one was made in 1998.”
SE1:”But wasn’t the first one filmed in 1977?”
GE:”Yes, but that was part four.”
SE4:”So what you’re saying is part one was filmed twenty years after part four?”
SE1:”Right. That makes perfect sense.”
Ten assistants walk in carrying thirty caramel Macchiatos. Assistant 1 is new, bright eyed, and bushy tailed. His spirit hasn’t yet been crushed by the Hollywood machine and so he thinks he still has relevant insights to contribute. This would be the last time he ever thinks that again.
A1:”Gareth, don’t you think that people will get sick of so many Star Wars movies after a while?”
GE:”What do you mean?”
A1:”Well what I’m saying is that there are lots of movies planned and I just think that…
The assistant drones on and on and Gareth listens. Gareth gets increasingly nervous. His hand hovers over a control panel on the conference table and his finger falls on a big red button.
A1:”And I just think that the newly planned Boba Fett movies might be a little too…
Gareth pushes the red button, the floor opens up and the assistant falls through into a black pit. Then the floor closes back up again. The studio executives all clap and cheer “bravo” and “good form.” The remaining assistants took their submissive positions behind their perspective executive long ago.
GE:”That is a good point, though. Maybe we are over-saturating the market with Star Wars.”
SE1:”How many do we have planned on coming out?”
GE:”Fifteen in the next four years.”
SE2:”That is a lot!”
SE3:”Don’t worry about that, we have covered that contingency. We are just going to put out so many Star Wars movies that fans won’t even have time to get sick of them. They’ll be way too busy going to more Star Wars movies. By the time they’re sick of them we’ll have made them all anyway.”
SE1:”That’s just brilliant!”
All the executives clap again and begin talking about how much money they’ll all be making.
They all eat lunch.
GE:”So, what is the jist, the heart, the crux and meat of this movie going to be?”
SE1:”I’ve got this. See Gareth, it’s going to be named Star Wars, but it won’t really be Star Wars. Instead, it’ll be more like Saving Private Ryan but with a Star Wars title and Star Wars sounding names. Nobody will be able to tell the difference, though.”
GE:”Really? Are you really sure that will work?”
SE12:”See Gareth, Star Wars was basically a brilliant mistake by George Lucas. He doesn’t even know how he did it. Just remember that later he tried to make more and they turned out to be steamy turds. So if George Lucas doesn’t know how to make Star Wars, nobody does. So we’ll just make whatever we want anyway.”
SE2:”Yeah, but Gareth. There will, of course, be a small minority of people who just don’t like rehashings of other people’s tired old ideas. But we can’t help that. What we’ve learned is that people mostly like what other people like.”
GE:”Okay, but what about originality, creativity, and inspiration?”
The entire conference room of twenty studio executives bursts out in maniacal laughter for thirty minutes straight.
SE15:”Oh, Gareth, you’re hilarious.”
GE:”Thanks, I guess.”
SE8:”Gareth, where did you get the names for these characters. There’s Jyne Erso, Chirrut Imway, and Saw Guererra. These names all sound like they’re taken from a Home Depot gardening catalog written in Russian.”
GE:”Actually, that’s exactly where George Lucas gets all his character names. That’s very astute of you.”
SE3:”Good observation number 8.”
SE8:”Thank you number 3.”
SE9:”Gareth, can we wrap this up? There’s a killer Eyes Wide Shut party happening at 9 and I still have to get my costume.”
GE:”Oh, yeah, I have to get my costume too.”
SE15:”But what if we don’t make a billion dollars this time?”
SE2:”We’ll say we got hacked by the Djiboutians.”
SE15:”Oh, that’s just brilliant!!”
SE4:”Do they even have internet in Djibouti?”
Again the executives all laugh for ten minutes.
GE:”Okay, gentlemen, thanks for coming. I’m sure this movie will make millions and millions of dollars regardless of what I do. Kind of like James Bond is now.”
SE1:”Now you’re getting it Gareth. Welcome to the team of MAKING MONEY!”
END of transcript
So folks, as you can see this exciting and informative meeting is a microcosm of the groundbreaking and revolutionary work being done in this era of Hollywood. I hope you enjoyed your little snippet of how the big movers and shakers plan movies nowadays. I know I did. So until next time, stay frosty, and keep watching old movies!