The first standalone film in the sci-fi franchise underwent significant rewrites, with its editors revealing how the plot changed
Despite being one of the biggest box office hits of 2016, now that the dust has settled on Rogue One: A Star Wars Story the film’s less than stellar critical and fan reception has left many wondering about the film that might have been. Certainly, what it is abundantly clear from rewatching the trailers is that the final product – with its much-reported reshoots – was dramatically different from what Disney originally signed off on. And now details of those differences have emerged.
In an interview with Yahoo UK, the film’s editors (John Gilroy and Colin Goudie) have opened up about the structural difference made to Rogue One, with a massive spoiler warning for anyone yet to see the film...
Firstly, Gilroy explained that some of the specific changes include how several of the characters were introduced to the film, before the rag-tag group of rebels comes together to complete their mission to steal the plans to the Death Star.
“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 [the rebel spy played by Diego Luna) and Bodhi’s character [the defecting pilot played by Riz Ahmed],” Gilroy said.
“The scene with Cassian’s introduction with the spy, Bohdi traipsing through Jedha on his way to see Saw, these are things that were added. Also Jyn [the film’s lead, played by Felicity Jones], how we set her from the transporter, that was all done to set up the story better.”
Goudie opened up about the changes made in the film’s flashback opening scene, which were supposed to add my dramatic dynamism to the characters.
“The point with the opening scenes that John was just describing was 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 sat initially was her in a meeting. That’s not a nice introduction,” he said.
“So having her in prison and then a prison breakout, with Cassian on a mission... everybody was a bit more ballsy, or a bit more exciting, and a bit more interesting.”
These changes pale in comparison with the significant rewrites made to the film’s finale, about which the editors confirmed the much-rumoured reworking of the script.
“It changed quite a bit,” Gilroy admitted. “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 there were as it was conceived.”