We know that “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” underwent significant changes in reshoots, but the closest we’ve seen to the cuts have been the early trailers for the film which boast a bunch of footage of scenes that were either changed or completely excised from the final movie.
Today, the film’s editors John Gilroy and Colin Goudie have discussed with Yahoo UK some of the major changes that took place due to the reshoots. First up, Gilroy says a bunch of changes took place in the first act:
“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 (Diego Luna), and Bodhi’s character (Riz Ahmed). 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 (Felicity Jones), how we set her up and her escape from the transporter, that was all done to set up the story better.”
Goudie spoke more about the changes to the opening:
“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 prison break out, with Cassian on a mission… everybody was a bit more ballsy, or a bit more exciting, and a bit more interesting.”
What about that third act though, the best received of the film and one that underwent major reworking. Gilroy says:
“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 than they were as it was conceived.
Goudie dismisses reports of a major extended cut sitting out there, with director Gareth Edwards’ original pre-reshoot rough cut not much longer than 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 can’t remember because that was nearly a year ago now. There’s no mythical four hour cut, it doesn’t exist.”
In a separate interview with Empire, Edwards himself confirmed the first screenplay for ‘Rogue One’ actually had an opening crawl:
“The first screenplay that Gary Whitta wrote had a crawl in it…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.”
How many of the film’s deleted scenes will ever see the light of day isn’t clear at present, though it sounds unlikely many will make it to the disc and VOD release which is believed to be taking place sometime in April.