Rogue One: A Star Wars Story director Gareth Edwards said that he believes Star Wars movies teach kids life lessons and hopes to continue that tradition with his installment in the franchise.
During a panel for the film hosted by Twitter, Edwards said that one of the aspects about the Star Wars movies that he loved growing up as a kid was the life lessons he took away from the movies. It’s what turned Star Wars from an “empty sci-fi” film into something that has continued to touch the lives of kids for more than three decades.
“If kids are like computers and movies are the software that we feed into them, then this is what helps them learn right from wrong,” Edwards said. “Without [these lessons], it’s just explosions and space ships, and Star Wars is more than that. It's why it’s lasted more than 30 years.”
His sentiments were echoed by actor Diego Luna, who plays Captain Cassian Andor in the film. Luna said that another important theme he hopes both kids and adults take away from Rogue One, especially in today’s political climate, is that humanity’s differences shouldn’t divide people, but should bring them together.
“People who are very different from each other, that have nothing in common, if they put that to the side, they can accomplish anything,” Luna said. “It's a great message for the world that we live in now. That if we put our differences aside, it makes us richer and stronger.”
Actress Felicity Jones said another prominent theme in the movie is learning to trust one another and lean upon each other for support in times of need. In the most recent Rogue One clip that was released during the panel, her character, Jyn Erso, gets into a tense confrontation with Andor over that very theme.
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story hits theaters Dec. 16.