'Rogue One' Editors Reveal How The Reshoots Changed Everything

Tuesday, 03 January 2017 - 3:07PM
Star Wars
Star Wars: Rogue One
Tuesday, 03 January 2017 - 3:07PM
'Rogue One' Editors Reveal How The Reshoots Changed Everything
Every fan hears stories about the original, insane script for Star Wars: A New Hope, which was originally titled "The Adventures of Luke Starkiller, as taken from the 'Journal of the Whills'": Chewbacca was a giant grey bushbaby, the Emperor was called Cos Dashit, and Luke (called Annikin) punches a fourteen-year-old Princess Leia out cold. A lot of movies are changed on the fly, even during filming, but in an interview with Yahoo, Rogue One editors John Gilroy and Colin Goudie explained how the reshoots and revisions changed everything.

First off, the opening was changed, since originally the film was going to go straight from Jyn as a little girl on Ahch-To to her meeting with Mon Mothma and the Rebellion in their control room. Bodhi and Cassian also had scenes added:

Opening quote
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. Of course, things like that have a ripple effect all through the movie so there was a lot of work to do...
Closing quote


The climactic battle over Scarif later in the movie also pushed them to their limits:

Opening quote
The third act has a lot going on. You have like seven different action venues...We moved some of the things that our heroes did...Because you needed to figure that out, and everything else changes. Everything was connected to everything so doing something to one venue would change all the other venues, so really we had to… we were working on that until the last minute...
Closing quote


Even without reshoots, the editors themselves admit that the narrative gymnastics the movie pulled off to connect the ending of Rogue One to A New Hope ended up being especially difficult to pull off, since the movie transitions rapidly from [spoiler] the death of the main characters [spoiler] on Scarif to Vader trashing the Tantive IV to Leia, ending on a hopeful note. In fact, Colin compared the ending to a kind of puzzle:

Opening quote
That last piece was a real jigsaw. Because those scenes, up until that moment, most scenes followed on logically...The last hour of that movie, certainly once the Rebel fleet arrives, the intercuts go from the vault to the fleet above to the Rebels on the beach, there is almost an infinite number of ways you can actually choose which scene to go to next.

It's kind of like a Rubik's Cube...You get closer and closer and closer, then suddenly on that penultimate move you mix the entire Rubik's Cube up and then you slot it all back in and then that's it. And I think that was how I felt that last hour went.
Closing quote

Hmm...where have we heard someone compare a Star Wars movie's convoluted logic to a bunch of jigsaw puzzles? Oh right, it was Harry Plinkett describing the plot of Attack of the Clones. Not a good sign. Compounding this problem of revising an entire film, doing reshoots, and resolving all the little ripples was the fact that no previews of the movie were shown, meaning that not even the editors saw the final product. All of this came together to create a rush to meet the deadline for the film, with John Gilroy describing the experience as "running at the movie very hard right up to the very end."

Rogue One certainly hasn't suffered from a lack of critical or financial success, which is encouraging for the next Star Wars anthology films, but these revelations show how difficult, rushed, and potentially disastrous things were behind the scenes.

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is in theaters now.

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Star Wars: Rogue One