Rogue One caught a lot of flack leading up to its release because of the reshoots it underwent. Reshoots being a totally normal part of the filming process aside, it spoke to an interesting anxiety around whether this first movie outside of the Star Wars saga would do well or not. As we know now, the reshoots centered mostly around the film’s latter half and ending, and thanks to a chat between /Film and director Gareth Edwards, we know what exactly had to change about the film’s climactic ending.
I think the main thing that changed at the end … what used to happen, and you can get a sense of this in the early trailers, the transmission tower for the plans was separate from the main base on Scarif. To transmit the plans, they had to escape and run along the beach and go up the tower. In cutting the film, it just felt too long. We had to find ways to compress the third act, which was quite long as it was. And one real, fast, brutal solution was to put the tower in the base, so they don’t have to run across the beach and do all of that stuff to get there. That became a decision that eliminated the shots you see in the trailer of the back of Cassian and Jyn and the AT-ATs. That was some of the reinvention that happened. It was all to do with compression.
He went on to say that compressing the movie was a tough decision, but a necessary one, because he didn’t want to “outstay [our] welcome.” That seems totally fair, and given that people are more or less still really happy with the ending, it was the right call.
Don’t expect to see the deleted scenes in any extended cut, either. According to Edwards himself, it’s not going to be seen anywhere, and that makes a lot of sense, as the context around the scenes has changed completely. It’s not like you can just plug ’em back in and go for it.
What do you think? Would you rather have seen Jyn and Cassian dramatically running across the beach to complete their mission?
(via Blastr, image via Lucasfilm/Disney)
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