As many of you recall, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story went through a series of reshoots last summer. During the course of that time, many were concerned about the timing of these reshoots and script rewrites. Naturally, big budget blockbusters like Rogue One will go through reshoots just to work out any issues the film may have. In the long run, these reshoots helped the film, as it quickly became the third highest grossing film of 2016 in just a matter of a few short weeks.
Now the subject of these reshoots has popped up again, as many are wondering what scenes were reshot and what scenes were rewritten. Of course, now is the perfect time to ask about it considering that the film is practically behind us. Find out more about what Rogue One editors John Gilroy and Colin Goudie had to say about those scenes in the full story below.
In an interview with Yahoo! UK, Gilroy starts out by addressing a few key issues the film had to fix by the time of its release:
“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 Cassianâ€™s character [Cassian Andor, the Rebel spy played by Diego Luna], and Bodhiâ€™s character [Bodhi Rook, the defected Imperial pilot played by Riz Ahmed].
The scene with Cassianâ€™s introduction with the spy, Bodhi traipsing through Jedha on his way to see Saw, these are things that were added. Also, Jyn [Jyn Erso, the reluctant leader of the film, played by Felicity Jones], how we set her up and her escape from the transporter, that was all done to set up the story better.”
It seems that the fleshed out portions of the three aforementioned characters were added in as opposed to being reshot. But it doesn’t come off as a huge surprise since director Gareth Edwards spoke about how these reshoots had to do more with â€œclarity and character developmentâ€ and â€œall take place [as inserts] within scenes weâ€™ve already shot.â€ Honestly, I didn’t have any problems with the first act (read my review here), as it does a great job helping the audience acquainted with the squad. But it is how we first meet Jyn that is truly interesting. Goudie on her introduction:
â€œThe 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. Jynâ€™s just a little girl, so when you see her as an adult what you saw initially was her in a meeting. Thatâ€™s not a nice introduction.
So having her in prison and then a prison breakout, with Cassian on a missionâ€¦ everybody was a bit more ballsy, or a bit more exciting, and a bit more interesting.”
I suppose there is some truth to that. Seeing an adult Jyn in a meeting doesn’t really establish her as the badass we know she would become. To be quite honest, adding some action into the mix, really sets her tone.
But as for those reshoots, Gilroy says there was a lot going on in the third that needed to be worked out, especially for the heroes:
“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 donâ€™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 than they were as it was conceived.”
As you may recall, there were five weeks of reshoots. But the biggest problem was getting everybody together for those group shots. During the climatic third act, much of the squad was separated from each other. Of course, we all know what happened to them in the end. But one has to wonder, what was moved. How much does the third act pre-reshoot differ from those post-reshoot.
While there always is a chance a different cut exists, Goudie assures us that there will be no extended cut and that the first one isn’t much different from the theatrical:
“It was not much longer than the finished film. I think the first assembly was not far off actual release length. Maybe 10 minutes longer? I genuinely canâ€™t remember because that was nearly a year ago now. Thereâ€™s no mythical four-hour cut, it doesnâ€™t exist.”
I can’t imagine adding more footage would help the film. Not that it needs more, I think the cut is fine. But like I said, I wonder how much different the third act was before the reshoots took place.