Unsurprisingly, it’s the very first trailer for “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” that boasts the most footage that didn’t end up in the final film, including its memorable ending shot of Jyn Erso walking down a hallway and turning around as the lights go on around her.
It is generally thought that all the scenes in the trailers that didn’t make it into the final film were scenes from the excised original cut that director Gareth Edwards did. However, speaking at a Director’s Guild screening of the film and picked up by The Director’s Cut podcast (via The Playlist), Edwards explains that the shot was one that was filmed at random – something they did every day:
“It was just a way for the crew of understanding, for now, we’re just going to do loads of random s–t. Don’t try to ask, we can’t explain. It would just be things I thought were a beautiful moment or ‘This is a great idea’ and a lot of the stuff in the trailer ended up through that process.
We finished a shot and [Felicity Jones] was just walking to the next shot, which was at the end of the tunnel. And as she walked, someone switched the lights on and the way they turned on they went *click click click* like this. Someone called her, and she just turned around a little bit and I was like, ‘Oh my god that looked great.’ And I was like ‘Stop stop stop!’ and everyone stopped. ‘This will take ten seconds, just roll camera’… Then obviously ten seconds turned into a half hour, and we probably did seventeen takes. So that ended and there’s that feeling of, ‘Well what was that for?’ And I was like, ‘I don’t know, that just felt good.'”
Edwards says he then forgot about the shot until marketing was looking at dailies for shots for the trailer and picked that one. Same goes for the shot of Ben Mendelsohn standing in front of a planet graphic in the teaser – that came from a scene they did use and Edwards simply didn’t call cut – he just kept filming him.
The full half-hour discussion is with the upcoming “Han Solo” ‘A Star Wars Story’ film co-director Chris Miller and can be listened to at the link.