In his new interview with Empire, Gareth Edwards revealed new details about the movie. We already new that in marketing for the trailers, they used footage that wasn’t in the movie but Edwards already explained that the marketing used all the footage available even stuff that wasn’t in the movie, here in he talks about Jyn facing the Tie Fighter from the trailers:
There was a bit of a process to refining the third act in terms of the specific shots and moments, and so certain things just fell away. But then what happens is marketing love those shots, and go, “oh, we’ve got to use that.” And you say, “well, it’s not in the movie”. And they say, “it’s okay, it’s what marketing does, we just use the best of whatever you’ve done”. And so there’s lots of little things, but towards the end you go, “I know that’s not in the film, but the spirit of it’s in the film”.
Something we didn’t know is Peter Jackson (director of The Lord of The Rings, The Hobbit and The Lovely Bones) was there when the final Darth Vader scene was shot!
We were at Pinewood, and Peter Jackson was in town. And we were like, “oh we should get Peter along, we should try and get him to come.” I was there, about to shoot that scene, and I thought, “ahh, you know what, screw it”, and I just wrote an email saying, ‘Peter, about to film Darth Vader if you want to come, it’s happening now’, and he’s like, ‘I’ll be there in half an hour!’ And then he perfectly timed it, he walked in literally for that shot where it goes from darkness to the lightsaber turning on. Whatever I do in my career, whatever happens next, it’s gonna be hard to top the honour of getting to direct that scene.
Originally, Rogue One had an opening crawl in the first Gary Whitta’s script:
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.
The last line said by Leia was directly taken from A New Hope:
The dialogue is taken, yes, but not the image. It’s a 3D [composite].
Edwards talks a bit more about Guy Henry who played Tarkin in Rogue One:
[Casting director Jina Jay] sent me this clip one day, I remember I was with one of the producers. It was Guy Henry, and his whole way about him was like Peter Cushing. Guy Henry started his TV career in the UK playing young Sherlock Holmes. And to get into the role he’d watch all the old Peter Cushing Sherlock Holmes films. Because he tried to absorb that in his character and then became famous for that, he sort of kept Peter Cushing in him throughout the years. As soon as that clip ended, we just looked at each other and went, “we found him.” And then I had to go and convince him in a restaurant to do this. You’re basically going up to an actor and saying, “now, you’re going to be in a film. It’s a big film. It’s called Star Wars. But we’re not going to see your face. You’re actually going to look totally like someone else. And you’re not allowed to tell anyone”.
Then, Yahoo interviewed the Editors of the movie and without surprise, they too confirmed once again, these reshoots were scheduled as pretty much in every movies.
Yahoo Movies: Was it clear from those first assemblies what parts required reshoots?
Colin Goudie: I think everyone knew, from the offset, everything was always scheduled from day one for there to be pickups like on every film. We did exactly the same thing on ‘Monsters’, we always knew we were going to go back and do pickups, and it was the same thing with ‘Rogue One’, it was just something that was on the schedule. We were always going to be there and it was a case of working out, as the story went on, which pieces need a bit more clarification, which places needed a bit more character.
The most interesting part of the interview is what the reshoots added to the film:
Yahoo Movies: How did the reshoots change the film?
John Gilroy: They gave you the film that you see today. I think they were incredibly helpful. 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 [Cassian Andor, the Rebel spy played by Diego Luna], and Bodhi’s character [Bodhi Rook, the defected Imperial pilot played by 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 [Jyn Erso, the reluctant leader of the film, played by Felicity Jones], how we set her up and her escape from the transporter, that was all done to set up the story better.Of course, things like that have a ripple effect all through the movie so there was a lot of work to do, and as Colin said, there were three of us, we rolled up our sleeves and we got to work and made the movie you see.
Colin Goudie: It was like life imitating art. Let’s get a band of people and put them together on this secret mission and that’s what’s happening in the film but that’s also what was happening editorially.We were all jumping in and taking part in the mission and pulling that master switch. It was a bit like that really.
John Gilroy: I don’t know who’s Jyn or who’s Cassian, but it’s a good analogy, I like that analogy.
Colin Goudie: All we need is the blind monk and I think we’re good to go. A blind editor doesn’t sound so good though. 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.They got there eventually in the film, but this way we came in on the ground running, which was better.
John Gilroy: It became very important to plant the seeds the right way, you’ve got to set up the movie the right way, and then things pay off in the second and third acts.
Yahoo Movies: How much of the film’s final third changed?
John Gilroy: 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. Because you needed to figure that out, and everything else changes. Everything was connected to everything so doing something to one venue would change all the other venues, so really we had to… we were working on that until the last minute, because we working closely with ILM, they were giving us temporary shots and we’d put them in, we’d work them, we’d reconceive again. It was really like a very tight puzzle and we had to keep honing that and honing that, and I’m very proud of what we did there.
They also talk about deleted scenes and it seems like we’ve seen everything that was important in the movie and that scenes that were cut weren’t that important.
Yahoo Movies: Are there any deleted scenes or cut scenes that you’re really proud of that you’d like to see the light of day eventually?
Colin Goudie: Hmm.
John Gilroy: I don’t know. For me, no. I can’t think of anything.
Colin Goudie: There’s a handful that if people see them they’ll be like ‘oh that’s interesting’, but I don’t think there’s anything whereby you’d be like ‘why did they cut that out?’
John Gilroy: We were in a different position. It wasn’t like ‘the movie’s great, but we have to lose 10 minutes’ or whatever. It was a different situation.
And finally, we have a video of the Model Supervisor talking rebuilding classic ships and vehicles: