“I listed transgressive challenges for ‘Star Wars'”

Screenwriter of the first three installments of the film series Jason Bourne (2002-2007), director of Michael Clayton (2007), Tony Gilroy has been one of the mainstays of sophisticated Hollywood entertainment for the past twenty years. This New Yorker, son of a famous playwright, was also one of the most requested consultants when a studio did not know what to do with the script of a feature film.

It was in this capacity that he burst into Lucasfilm, saving in extremis the project RogueOne, very dark account of the suicide mission carried out by partisans against the Empire. The film, released in 2016, was a success, but under the mandate of Kathleen Kennedy, named by Disney at the head of Lucasfilm, the studio had not pushed the experiment started by Gilroy further, preferring to stick to the dogmas established over the three trilogies of the saga Star Wars. Until Andor, of which we will discover the first three episodes on September 21.

At 66, Tony Gilroy has been given carte blanche – and a budget of several hundred million dollars – to renew the franchise created in 1977 by George Lucas, transforming its universe into a dystopian environment, in which his hero, Cassian Andor, struggles. (Diego Luna), petty criminal turned revolutionary. From London, the creator ofAndor recounts his irruption into the heart of the Empire.

You arrived in the “Star Wars” universe by writing the screenplay for “Rogue One”, while you had worked in very different genres. How did you acclimatize?

I was first consulted as script doctor. In this position, you provide assistance in a somewhat clinical way. You sort the problems according to the chances of solving them. I had done this before on a lot of movies and again it was character and narrative issues. I used the same tools as usual. But there were rules in the universe Star Wars that I didn’t know, and I had to learn them.

For instance ?

I remember in one scene someone was cleaning a knife, and I was told “There are no knives in Star Wars”. There is no wheel either, no paper. At the time of RogueOne, Lucasfilm was a bit like the Vatican, very conservative. There is a tribunal that judges what is acceptable, like the Curia, and at its head a man named Pablo Hidalgo, whose task is very difficult because he has to remember every detail [de la franchise].

After “Rogue One”, did you plan to return to “Star Wars”?

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