While Rogue One did extremely well in theaters, one topic of conversation that has come up in lieu of reshoots and many scenes from the trailers not being in the film, was “what happened to all of those scenes?” Rogue One was one of my favorite movies of the year (top 10) and though I enjoyed it, I was a tad disappointed that I didn’t get to see Jyn face down a tie-fighter, among other things I was looking forward to. We have reports of many of the scenes seen in the finished product being reshoots to drastically change the ending, as well as scenes to flesh out some characters, but until this interview with Rogue One editors John Gilroy and Colin Goudie, we didn’t know exactly which ones.
Goudie edited the film first, along with Jabez Olssen. Gilroy wasn’t around until the summer of 2016, but he was the one who received full editor credit, suggesting that he probably did an extensive amount of work to the movie. As mentioned earlier, some reshoots were used to flesh out characters.
“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.”
So the scenes after Jyn’s childhood introduction, when she was in prison, was originally not in the film. It was supposed to go from Jyn’s childhood scene straight to the meeting with rebel leaders.
“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.”
The third act of the film was also reshot heavily due to story changes, and Gilroy didn’t go into much detail over it.
“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 then they were as it was conceived.”
For those hoping for a DCEU-esque Ultimate Cut of Rogue One, Gilroy suggests that we’re probably not going to get that. Due to the fact that, based on the interview, he said that the scenes that were cut or tweaked didn’t add much to the run-time of the finished product.
“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.”
Both Goudie and Gilroy say that there are no major deleted scenes on the floor, which sounds a little implausible due to all the scenes that were in the trailers and not in the final cut, but it regards to scenes that make sense with the overall flow to the final film we saw in theaters, there aren’t much parts that were cut out that we missed out on. This sadly sounds like we might not be getting a lot of extra content on the Blu-Ray.
Along with those cuts, we also found out that the wipes that are traditionally used in Star Wars films and the opening crawl were both initially added to the movie, but eventually cut out.
“I think we used all those original wipes and we temped [a temporary soundtrack] with John Williams as well, and it would feel right. Like when we did the original story reels, I was using footage from other movies, so having those wipes and having the John Williams score helped with making the hodge podge of shots I’d put together feel like what we were aiming for. Once we actually got in everything we’d shot, we no longer needed those things and I was initially sad to see the transitions go, but then when I watch the final film, I don’t miss them, because it feels like a different beast.”
In regards to the opening crawl, Director Gareth Edawrds had this to say:
“The first screenplay that Gary Whitta wrote had a crawl in it – and you learn doing that that ‘a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away’ has four dots in it, not three. You get extra marks for that. 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. It’s a small thing to give up to get to do Star Wars.”
He mentioned the wipe transitions as well, saying that they were something that was debated in early post-production.
“We did have versions of the film [with] wipes, and then it just felt like we were doing it because we could. The wipes are the cheesiest thing in the world. The only time you can ever do it and not be cheesy’s in Star Wars. There’s part of me that wanted the wipes and things like that, but the film is supposed to be different. We were given a license by the studio to be unique from the others, and we just took that license and ran with it as an excuse to try and be a bit more out there.”
It makes sense that they cut out those parts of the movie, to me at least. This was an anthology film rather than a Star Wars movie, and they worked to make it different from the other episodes, and I think they acheived that. We want to turn the question to you though. Did you like the fact that they cut those things out or not? Are you sad that it seems like me might not be getting a lot of those deleted scenes we’ve been wanting to see? Let us know in the comments below, or on Twitter or Instagram!