With the release of Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens and Rogue One: A Star Wars Story in theaters over the past two years, the Star Wars universe has returned to the big screen in a way that it's never been shown before. Talk to anyone involved in the films themselves too, and it's clear that fans aren't the only ones excited to see their favorite fictional universe being brought back to life onscreen once again, with the legacy of the previous six films seeming to inject an extra level of excitement and charisma to everyone's performances in the new Star Wars movies - whether their job brings them in front of or behind the camera.
Before The Force Awakens had even come out as well, it was clear that numerous celebrities and actors were trying to be involved in some way or another in the new films, whether they were actually working on them or not. One of the prime examples that comes to mind is Daniel Craig's brief role as a stormtrooper in The Force Awakens last year - and it looks like there were more than a few cameos filmed in for Rogue One also, that just didn't end up making the final cut of the movie.
Screenwriter Gary Whitta, who was one of the first to be involved in Rogue One back when it was originally announced (before other writers performed rewrites on the script later on), has revealed on his official Twitter account that he had indeed filmed a cameo as an X-wing fighter pilot for Rogue One. Playing a character simply named Gray Leader, Whitta joked in one of his subsequent tweets that the character "died heroically on the cutting room floor."
— Merry Whitta(@garywhitta) December 22, 2016
Now, Whitta wasn't the only one involved in Rogue One to shoot a cameo that was inevitably cut from the final version of the film. In fact, when we spoke to him about Rogue One, Alan Tudyk revealed that he filmed a small, live-action sequence in the movie where he played a pilot as well, since he goes unseen playing the motion-captured character, K-2SO. Though, unlike Whitta's rebel fighter pilot, Tudyk was going to be playing an Imperial pilot originally.
Considering how well-structured and cut together the film's battle sequences are, with some arguing that Rogue One features the best space battle out of any Star Wars film yet, it seems like these cuts were good decisions on director Gareth Edwards and co-writer/supervising director Tony Gilroy's parts, no matter how cool it would have been to see Tudyk and Whitta pop up briefly at some point in the film, especially for die hard fans.
Given how well-connected both Tudyk and Whitta are in the Disney and Lucasfilm camps now, however, this likely won't be the only Star Wars film they get a chance to cameo in. If one thing's for sure, they certainly won't be the last actors and filmmakers to try and cameo in a Star Wars film in the future by any means, either.
Source: Gary Whitta
- Star Wars: Rogue One / Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016) release date: Dec 16, 2016
- Star Wars 8/Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017) release date: Dec 15, 2017
- Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018) release date: May 25, 2018