The February edition of American Cinematographer magazine is crammed full of Rogue One content and is on newsstands now, with the expanded digital edition, including even more Rogue One content, available from the ASC site.
However the magazine was bursting with so much content that they have published further information from the interviews on their website. One of the exclusives is a Q & A with Doug Chiang, part one was posted earlier this month and here is a flavour of the interview to be found in part two:
What was the impetus for Jedha, the Imperial-occupied moon where Rebel extremist Saw Gerrera [Forest Whitaker] has been hiding?
Chiang: As the script was being fine-tuned, it was decided that we should come up with something a little more iconic, story-wise, for why Saw’s here. The idea came up that maybe this is the religious center of the old Jedi religion, and that Jedha could be an ancient city almost like Jerusalem. So we started thinking it should look like Jerusalem, but we would try it as a cold desert. The idea that always stuck was that Jedha would be a walled city, and there would be an ancient temple that would signify the Jedi Order.
We’re planting seeds [for stories] that will be developed further in other media, but the idea was that this planet was the last remnant of the Jedi Order, and the Empire has come there to pillage the city for its kyber crystals. My thinking for why the city was built there was that perhaps a meteorite had crashed and deposited all these kyber crystals, and then the city was built on top of that crater. Thinking globally in those terms started to inform the design of the city and the outlying mountains. Why is it elevated? Why does it have this temple beacon?
Going further, when we designed Vader’s castle on Mustafar, we wanted to tie it to the Jedha temple. Put them side by side, and they almost mirror each other. Vader’s castle is very similar in style, but it represents the dark side of the Force while the Jedha temple represents the good. It’s a subtle way to visually reinforce that idea of the light and dark sides.
Take the source link below to read the whole of the interview, and also check out the February edition of ‘Take Cover‘ where we talked with American Cinematographer’s Managing Editor, Jon Witmer, about this issue.