Originally Posted by Attila the Professor
It's a reason, but I don't know whether it might be thought primary, at least in the case of Rogue One, a product of a director who has previously shown an interest in bleak images of vast devastation.
I think if Lucas had been making the original film during an era where he had CGI in his arsenal, there is a good chance he would have given us a sequence from the point of view of the people on Alderaan as we saw in the most recent two films. I haven't seen any of Gareth Edwards other work in their entirety, but Rogue One had to focus on this even more than George Lucas or JJ Abrams did because this is the first time that the main characters were the victims, so it was more critical to the story. Edwards previous film was Gozilla, so destruction on the ground in that case is obligatory.