In the months leading up to the premiere of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, the project's extensive reshoots caused many in the fandom to become concerned about the spinoff's potential quality. Now that the film is a well-received box office smash, viewers can sit back and laugh about all the worrying about nothing, but at the time, there was legitimate fear. After the movie's release, it's become apparent that these were not your standard, run-of-the-mill pickups that all studio tentpoles have, as several scenes from the trailers were either cut or heavily altered.
Actor Ben Mendelsohn, who plays cunning villain Director Orson Krennic, recently opened up about the experiences, revealing that there were as many as 30 scenes filmed that could have played out differently. While many viewers have enjoyed the final product, some are hoping that these alternate takes and versions will eventually see the light of day. The Rogue One Blu-ray should have a few deleted scenes (as The Force Awakens did), but those wishing for a longer cut of the film should squash those dreams now. No extended edition of Rogue One exists.
Rogue One editors John Gilroy and Colin Goudie sat down with Yahoo UK to discuss the development of the movie and how it all came together. One of the topics discussed was the original assembly cut, which did not include a substantial amount of content ultimately left on the cutting room floor:
“It was not much longer than the finished film. I think the first assembly was not far off actual release length. Maybe 10 minutes longer? I genuinely can’t remember because that was nearly a year ago now. There’s no mythical four hour cut, it doesn’t exist.”
Warner Bros. has gained notoriety for including extended cuts of their DC Extended Universe installments on home media releases, which some feel improve upon the original versions. However, this is not something in the cards for Disney and Lucasfilm, which is fine. Discounting the special editions of the original trilogy, the studio has never included a so-called "ultimate edition" on a DVD or Blu-ray - instead offering deleted scenes as supplemental features. From the sound of it, the theatrical cut is the definitive version of the film, which makes it all the more easier to keep track of franchise canon.
Still, whenever one watches Rogue One, it's impossible to not have the reshoot saga in the back of the mind, wondering how exactly things changed over time. Gilroy explained that the objective of many of the pickups was to flesh out the cast of characters and do a better job of setting up the main narrative:
“The story was reconceptualized to some degree, there were scenes that were added at the beginning and fleshed out. We wanted to make more of the other characters, like Cassian’s character, and Bodhi’s character. The scene with Cassian’s introduction with the spy, Bodhi traipsing through Jedha on his way to see Saw, these are things that were added. Also Jyn, how we set her up and her escape from the transporter, that was all done to set up the story better.”
Some moviegoers felt the ensemble as presented could have benefitted from more development, but these are still valuable additions that ultimately improved the movie. The scene with Cassian and the spy in particular was one of Rogue One's more intriguing moments, as it cast the Rebel Alliance in a darker light than before and established Cassian as someone willing to get his hands dirty. Showing the adult Jyn imprisoned by the Empire before her fateful meeting with Rebellion leaders (as opposed to the original plan of just jumping to her conversation with Mon Mothma) made for a stronger introduction by hinting at Jyn's checkered past and her status as a loner who doesn't trust anybody. It's now difficult to envision Rogue One without these parts, so they certainly added something to the equation.
Gilroy also revealed that the climactic third act "changed quite a bit" in regard to the characters and how they all fit into the explosive Battle of Scarif, meaning a substantial amount of revisions were made before Rogue One hit theaters. But as Riz Ahmed indicated, these were done because Lucasfilm really cares about how these films play to audiences, and they wanted to make sure they had the best possible product. If there is a lesson to be learned from all the drama caused by Rogue One's production, it's that Disney is always willing to pull out all the stops to ensure each Star Wars movie is as great as it can be, and that should be comforting for fans.
Source: Yahoo UK
- 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