Midway through the shooting of the new “Star Wars” spinoff FilmRogue One,” which follows the newly formed Rebel Alliance’s plot to steal the Death Star plans from the evil Galactic Empire (which, as we know from the classic 1977 space opera that just about everybody has seen a hundred times, is successful but then quickly undone to make way for Luke Skywalker’s trilogy-length journey to become a Jedi master), George Lucas stopped by the set to give the film’s director Gareth Edwards (who made his name with the low budget indie sci-fi “Monsters”) some handy advice for crafting an entry in the legendary franchise.

It was less advice, more warning

During an interview, while promoting “Rogue One” on a French chat show, Edwards revealed Lucas’ advice: “Don’t screw it up.” This isn’t so much a sage tip on how to successfully direct a “Star Wars” film as a threat that something bad might happen if he does “screw it up.”

According to Edwards, Lucas was “incredibly gracious” throughout the production of “Rogue One.” He was initially nervous about the Vader-like presence of Lucas on the set of the film (which does contain Vader as a character, by the way, in case you’re interested), but Lucas soon put Edwards at ease with his kind words and support.

Edwards understands what a strange undertaking it must be to have created such a momentous story as “Star Wars” that is so personal to you and then watch a “Star Wars” movie in which you had no creative input, such as "Rogue One." Edwards says that being George Lucas and having “someone show you a ‘Star Wars’ movie” is even more “surreal” than “having to show George Lucas your Star Wars movie,” so he “felt for him.”

Lucas made self-deprecating jabs at his prequels

Lucas joked to Edwards that he and the “Rogue One” team “should do more in the computer and not build so much” when he saw how much of the shoot was on location using practical effects, making reference to the fact he got controversially overzealous in his use of the groundbreaking CGI effects he pioneered for the prequel films.

However, Edwards promises, “We didn’t take his advice. We tried to shoot as much in-camera as possible.”

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” is being released in UK cinemas on 15 December and stars Felicity Jones (“The Theory of Everything”), Mads Mikkelsen (“Hannibal”), and Alan Tudyk (“Firefly”). It is already breaking box office records with pre-sale tickets.

Kathleen Kennedy, the president of Lucasfilm, has said there isn’t going to be a sequel (according to Edwards, “Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope” is essentially the sequel to “Rogue One”), however, this is the first instalment in a series of similar, peripheral character/storyline-based spinoff films being referred to as “Star Wars Anthology,” to be followed by a film about Han Solo’s early days and one about Boba Fett in the coming years.