Several months ago we learned that ‘Rogue One’, the latest entry in Disney and Lucasfilm’s ongoing box office revival of the ‘Star Wars’ franchise, had undergone a number of reshoots after the end of principal photography. While this wasn’t bad news in and of itself, it nonetheless generated a degree of concern ahead of the film’s release, with the news coming as it did in the wake of the divisive release of ‘Suicide Squad’, which itself was reported to have undergone extensive reshoots (widely attributed to the studio meddling with the film).
With a little over two weeks having passed since the release of ‘Rogue One’, we’re starting to get a sense of what those reshoots entailed. The latest insight into the nature of the reshoots has come courtesy of an extensive interview that Yahoo! UK conducted with ‘Rogue One’ editors Colin Goudie and John Gilroy. Among the information the two shared was the fact that the reshoots were intended, among other things, to flesh out the cast:
“The story was reconceptualised 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.”
Goudie elaborated on this, clarifying the way we originally met Jyn and contrasting that with what we ultimately saw in theaters:
“The point with the opening scenes that John was just describing was that the introductions in the opening scene, in the prologue, was always the same. 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.
So having her in prison and then a break out, with Cassian on a mission… everybody was a bit more ballsy, or a bit more exciting, and a bit more interesting.”
We have previously reported on some of the changes that were made to the film, particularly with regard to its ending, and now thanks to Gilroy, we can expand on that somewhat:
“It changed quite a bit. The third act has a lot going on. 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.”
As tantalizing as this all might sound, though, the editors made it clear that there is no extended cut of ‘Rogue One’. Of the differences between the final version of ‘Rogue One’ and the final cut, they had this to say:
“It was not much longer than the finished film. I think the first assembly was not far off actual release length. Maybe ten 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.”
This should hardly come as a surprise. After all, with the somewhat unusual exception of the Special Edition re-releases of the original trilogy (and to a significantly lesser extent, the prequels), the ‘Star Wars’ films have never really had history of offering extended cuts. And even the changes present in the various rereleases of the earlier films were less about presenting an alternate version of the film than about satisfying George Lucas’s continuing desire to tinker with his films.
‘Rogue One: A Star Wars Story’ is now playing in theaters. The film stars Felicity Jones, Diego Luna, Ben Mendelsohn, Donnie Yen, Riz Ahmed, Mads Mikkelsen, Jiang Wen, Alan Tudyk, and Forest Whitaker.