Gareth Edwards, renowned for directing the Star Wars film “Rogue One,” embarked on a new venture with his sci-fi epic “The Creator.” This futuristic narrative centers on a conflict between humans and artificial intelligence, focusing on ex-special forces operative Joshua tasked with locating and neutralizing a civilization-threatening weapon on the AI’s side, only to discover it’s a child.
One of the pivotal elements of the story involves the USS NOMAD, a destructive space station orbiting Earth that conducts assaults on AI targets—a parallel to Star Wars’ Death Star. Perfecting the portrayal of the NOMAD was crucial to the film’s success. Edwards drew inspiration from two sources: the concept of a bird of prey and the symbolism of an all-seeing eye looking down on its subjects.
Edwards explained to Mashable, “We were trying to [emulate] a bird of prey, so that when [NOMAD] was in the sky, it looks like a bird. There’s an instinctive reaction that, I think, as mammals. Then the other [inspiration] was an eye, like an all-seeing circle looking down on you… We tried that, and we tried the bird of prey thing. And then at one point, we were like, ‘Let’s just do both!’ When we fuse them together and cut a big negative chunk out of it, it got really interesting.”
The unique concept of the NOMAD as an all-seeing “bird of prey” stems from Edwards’ own unsettling experience at Area 51, a location famously associated with UFO conspiracies and government secrets. He recounted a harrowing encounter when he and Star Wars concept artist Matt Allsopp were pursued by security personnel equipped with night vision, forcing them to flee back to Las Vegas. During their escape, a massive grid pattern was projected onto the mountains before them by a laser, intensifying the eerie atmosphere.
Edwards reflected on this event, describing it as the “freakiest experience of our lives.” The incident left them feeling apprehensive and led them to share accommodations out of concern for potential repercussions. Edwards had long held the desire to incorporate the concept of a projected grid into a film, and “The Creator” provided the perfect opportunity to bring this idea to fruition.