This Star Wars: Rogue One article contains spoilers.
Almost as entertaining as the movie itself is learning about the production of Star Wars: Rogue One – a film that underwent a lot of changes after extensive reshoots last summer. Many scenes were added and cut, roles were beefed up, and the third act became something entirely different. You only have to watch the trailers that preceded the movie’s release to see how much was changed from the first round of filming.
Speaking with Yahoo UK, Rogue One editors John Gilroy and Colin Goudie talked a bit about what was tweaked in the reshoots, including meatier roles for Cassian Andor (Diego Luna) and Bodhi Rook (Riz Ahmed) and Jyn Erso’s (Felicity Jones) introduction.
“We wanted to make more of the other characters, like Cassian’s character, and Bodhi’s character,” Gilroy said of how the reshoots tweaked the earlier parts of the film. “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.”
Jyn was also given a meatier introduction. Goudie explained that the original intent was to first introduce adult Jyn in the Rebel briefing instead of having the Rebellion rescue her from the Imperial prison camp on Wobani. (There’s a notable difference between the final product and the first teaser for the film, which showed Jyn being escorted through the Yavin base in handcuffs.)
“[At the beginning] Jyn’s just a little girl, so when you see her as an adult what you saw initially was her in a meeting. That’s not a nice introduction,” Goudie said. “So having her in prison and then a prison break out, with Cassian on a mission… everybody was a bit more ballsy, or a bit more exciting, and a bit more interesting. They got there eventually in the film, but this way we came in on the ground running, which was better.”
The third act was also substantially different in earlier cuts of the film, according to the editors. Some changes are more obvious – such as Jyn facing off against the TIE fighter in the trailers but not in the film – while others remain elusive.
“The third act has a lot going on,” Gilroy said. “You have like seven different action venues, the mechanics of the act changed quite a bit in terms of the characters, and I don’t want to go into too much detail about what had been there before, but it was different. We moved some of the things that our heroes did, they were different in the original then they were as it was conceived.”
This would explain, for example, why we never got the scene with Director Krennic walking through the corpse-ridden beaches of Scarif or the scene where the heroes take off with the Death Star plans on foot. Perhaps some of these are deleted scenes that we’ll only get to see once the Blu-ray’s out?
“There’s a handful [of scenes] that if people see them they’ll be like, ‘Oh that’s interesting’,” Goudie said of the deleted scenes. “But I don’t think there’s anything whereby you’d be like, ‘Why did they cut that out?’”
So take that as you will. We may never see an earlier cut of the film, the one where Jyn was a Rebel prisoner or Saw Gerrera (Forest Whitaker) had different hair or some of the characters survived the Death Star’s final onslaught. Yet, it will be incredibly fascinating to learn more about what could have been in the coming weeks, months, years.