Star Wars: How Rogue One's Third Act Came Together

Star Wars Rogue One Jyn TIE Fighter

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story isn't even a month past its premiere and it's already a massive global hit. Despite an only moderate foothold in China, the film has remained #1 at the domestic box office for 4 straight weekends, to become the second highest grossing film in the Star Wars franchise. Much of that is due to the film's cast and crew, who were able to provide audiences with a well-crafted standalone film, with strong connections to A New Hope and a number of references to the popular Rebels tv series. While many are disappointed that the incredible new batch of characters introduced in the film won't be returning, their trial made for one gut-wrenching finale.

Io9 was able to get an exclusive sit-down with the editor of the Rogue One, John Gilroy, who also helped assemble this year's Suicide Squad. During the discussion, he opened up about constructing the epic Star Wars film and its "very complicated third act."

“They were trying to push the envelope of what a Star Wars movie could be. And when you do that, you try to walk that line. You want to make it different but you also want to very much make it part of the whole Star Wars saga. So trying to find that balance was the biggest challenge.”

Star Wars: Rogue One AT-ACT Missile

Gilroy was actually brought in fairly late in the game, after long after the film had been shot and was well into post-production. From there, the film went into reshoots, adding a number of scenes and arcs (some of which can be glimpsed in behind-the-scenes images). Many worried that the end result would be a mess, but the team and Gilroy somehow shuffled everything fit together in a cohesive and satisfying way. Gilroy went on to detail what a tall order the project was:

“The emotional jump that you’re making was very well thought out. I was very happy with how we moved people first with the poignancy of the death, then the amazing action sequence which you aren’t expecting and then seeing Leia for a moment knowing that, like 20 minutes later, the first movie is going to start. It moves your emotion to a different direction without manipulating you, I don’t think. It really takes you to a great place.”

Finally, Gilroy touched a bit on Suicide Squad, and why the end result may have been less effective than he would've liked.

“I didn’t agree with everything we did on Suicide Squad, but I did agree with everything we did on Rogue One. These things happen. These movies are very big, there’s a lot riding on them and sometimes it makes people change course or think of a new direction for their film before release.”

Though Suicide Squad has plenty of fans, many have criticized the haphazard story shifts which left many character and story beats confusing and unsatisfying. Though Gilroy doesn't divulge too much, it seems like there may have been some unfortunate changes at the last minute. It would be easy to blame the bogeyman of Warner Brothers' studio interference, though top-level Disney involvement may have helped rather than hindered Rogue One.

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is in theaters now. We'll bring you more Star Wars news as it arrives, so stay tuned.

Source: io9

Key Release Dates
  • 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
  • Star Wars 9 / Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (2019) release date: Dec 20, 2019
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