‘Rogue One’ is a runaway smash and in just three weeks became the second-highest grossing movie of 2016! Fans love it, but even so, many are wondering why so much of the footage in the trailer isn’t in the actual movie itself. In particular, there is a real “Wow” moment when a Tie Fighter appears in front of Jyn (Felicity Jones) on top of the platform at the climax of the film.
Turns out, that scene was never in the film, but the marketing department wanted it in the trailer anyway.
Director Gareth Edwards discussed this saying:
“There was a bit of a process to refining the third act in terms of the specific shots and moments, and so certain things just fell away. But then what happens is marketing love those shots, and go, “oh, we’ve got to use that.” And you say, “well, it’s not in the movie”. And they say, “it’s okay, it’s what marketing does, we just use the best of whatever you’ve done”. And so there’s lots of little things, but towards the end you go, “I know that’s not in the film, but the spirit of it’s in the film”.”
Also not a part of the film, but noticeably absent was the famous ‘Star Wars’ opening crawl. Because this is an anthology film not connected to the main Saga, the decision was made to not include this device, although it wasn’t Edwards’ idea.
“The first screenplay that Gary Whitta wrote had a crawl in it – and you learn doing that that ‘a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away’ has four dots in it, not three. You get extra marks for that. And then at some point, probably like six months before we were filming, we were in a meeting, and they talked about not having an opening crawl, because these are standalone films, not part of the sagas. And if I’m honest, there was an initial kind of like, “whaaaa? I want the crawl!” The opening sequence is kind of the crawl of our movie. It’s like the setup. And our film is also born out of a crawl – the reason we exist is because of a previous crawl, so it feels like this infinite loop that will never end. It’s a small thing to give up to get to do Star Wars.
So that’s what was NOT in the movie. But what about what WAS in it? Edwards got an unbelievable opportunity to include archival footage that was deleted from the original movie, ‘A New Hope’:
“Very early on we talked about, “well, in theory the X-Wing pilots should be here.” On our tour around the archives at Skywalker Ranch, at the very bottom of the basement there’s all these cans of film, and they said, “oh, they’re the negatives from Star Wars”. And you’re like, “what? They exist? Have you gone through them all?” And they’re like, “not really, we haven’t yet”. And you’re like, “oh my God, someone should sit and just digitise all of this stuff, and I’d pay for it, I’ll sit and watch it, can I do that?” And so we pulled out of the archives all the X-Wing pilot footage and some other bits and bobs and got them re-scanned. And they weren’t perfect, obviously you can imagine they aged quite a bit, and they need a lot of clean up from Industrial Light & Magic. But I really wanted to have Gold Leader and people like that in there – just as a nod. And it was funny, because you do it for yourself as a fan, and you think, “I wonder how many people will notice?” But at the premiere, it got one of the biggest cheers when he showed up. I actually air-punched.”
At any rate, fans are loving the finished product as ‘Rogue One’ continues to dominate at the box office. And it wouldn’t be unusual for any deleted footage to be released on Blu-Ray, possibly even mixed back into the movie in a “Director’s Cut.”
Would you like to see the unused footage restored? Or do you think the movie works fine as is?