If you were paying close attention to the trailers for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, you noticed that quite a few scenes and shots in promos didn’t make the final cut. Judging from the film’s glowing reception and $400 million-plus (and counting) domestic box office, the changes worked in Rogue One‘s favor. Even so, fans have been speculating nonstop on what was cut and what was added after those much-publicized summer reshoots. Now, a new interview with Rogue One’s editors on Yahoo U.K. is shedding some light on what was changed. [Warning: minor spoilers.]
According to John Gilroy and Colin Goudie (who worked on the film with a third editor, Jabez Olssen), the reshoots allowed for better introductions to some of Rogue One’s key characters, including heroine Jyn Erso (played by Felicity Jones).
“The scene with Cassian [Diego Luna]’s introduction with the spy, Bodhi [Riz Ahmed] traipsing through Jedha on his way to see Saw, these are things that were added,” said Gilroy. “Also Jyn, how we set her up and her escape from the transporter, that was all done to set up the story better.”
Goudie explained that the prologue, which introduces Jyn as a young girl, did not change. However, her first scene as an adult initially took place “in a meeting,” which was changed to the more dynamic prison break.
“To 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 [after reshoots],” said Goudie. “They got there eventually in the film, but this way we came in on the ground running, which was better.”
Here, a few other takeaways from the Rogue One editors’ interview:
WarGames and Aliens were part of the editors’ research.
In order to break down the story of the movie, Goudie found similar scenes from other films and figured out how much screen time they took up — including Ripley’s interrogation scene from Aliens and a large door closing in Wargames.
The third act “changed quite a bit.”
Without going into specifics, Gilroy said that the final battle of the film went through major changes. “We moved some of the things that our heroes did, they were different in the original then they were as it was conceived… It was really like a very tight puzzle and we had to keep honing that and honing that, and I’m very proud of what we did there,” he said.
The “Gold Leader” scene was taken from unused original Star Wars footage.
“They had these dailies [from A New Hope], and they thought it would be a really great idea if we could work it in. So we’re going through the dailies from 40 years ago, picking up pieces that were not used in the original, and then working them into scenarios in the air battle,” said Gilroy. “Gold Leader, that actor [Angus MacInnes] is still alive, so we looped him [re-recorded new dialogue to dub over footage] and I think it was a really heady experience for him to be looping himself 40 years later, but that was a lot of fun.”
Star Wars: A New Hope-style transition wipes were almost used in Rogue One.
“It was discussed very early on,” said Goudie, who was “initially sad to see the transitions go” but ultimately felt it was the right choice.
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