In mid-2016, half a year before “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” was set to premiere, Lucasfilm made the then unprecedented move of bringing in Oscar-nominated writer Tony Gilroy to re-work that first “Star Wars” spin-off.
At the time it was indicated the studio was unsatisfied with the state of the job that director Gareth Edwards had done and so brought in Gilroy to not only re-write but oversee reshoots and post-production on the film along with fixing several issues including the ending.
Gilroy was paid millions for his work, with estimates being that good 40% of the film is ultimately his. Now Gilroy is finally getting candid about his work on the film in a new episode of The Moment With Brian Koppelman podcast. He says:
“I came in after the director’s cut. I have a screenplay credit in the arbitration that was easily won. I’ve never been interested in Star Wars, ever. So I had no reverence for it whatsoever. I was unafraid about that, and they were in such a swamp … they were in so much terrible, terrible trouble that all you could do was improve their position.
If you look at Rogue, all the difficulty with Rogue, all the confusion of it … and all the mess, and in the end when you get in there, it’s actually very, very simple to solve. Because you sort of go, ‘This is a movie where, folks, just look. Everyone is going to die.’ So it’s a movie about sacrifice.
So, it’s all a question about why are these [characters], why are all these people going to sacrifice themselves? And you need to motivate them with a purity throughout the [story] and every scene has to be about the movie. And so, is that a theme, that everyone’s going to die, sacrifice? In that sense, in that film, yeah, I thought about it.
I don’t think Rogue really is a Star Wars movie in many ways. To me, it’s a Battle of Britain movie.”
Star Ben Mendelsohn has previously indicated “an enormously different” version of the film exists which would’ve been Edwards’ early version. “Rogue One” scored solid reviews and earned more than $1 billion at the global box office. Gilroy adds he has no plans to return to the franchise.