From EW.com – The ancient history that stands atop such places is often swept aside for invaders to claim the resources that lie beneath. In Rogue One, an entire planet becomes this kind of combat zone – Jedha, a holy land for those who follow the Force.
“The Force is basically in Star Wars like a religion, and they’re losing their faith in the period that we start the movie,” says Gareth Edwards, director of the story that’s set just prior to the events of 1977’s originalStar Wars.
“We were trying to find a physical location we could go to that would speak to the themes of losing your faith and the choice between letting the Empire win, or evil win, and good prevailing,” he says. “It got embodied in this place we called Jedha.”
With its narrow market alleyways, desert sands, and Ottoman-inspired architecture, Jedha has obvious Middle Eastern influences, but it could be any place where far-flung followers would gather to pray, reflect, or meditate – Mecca, Jerusalem, Canterbury, Bodh Gaya…
“It’s a place where people who believe in the Force would go on a pilgrimage,” Edwards says. “It was essentially taken over by the Empire. It’s an occupied territory… for reasons we probably can’t reveal.”
See the full article at ew.com