By almost every metric, Star Wars: Rogue One has been a tremendous success for Disney and Lucasfilm. The risk that was associated with doing a Star Wars movie outside of the main Skywalker saga paid off in a big way, but it certainly didn't hurt that the movie featured famed Sith Lord Darth Vader. While the scenes that made it into the movie featuring Darth Vader were some of the best things in Rogue One, there were some shots from the trailers that didn't make it into the movie and director Gareth Edwards has opened up about it, as well as all the stuff missing from the third act of the movie.
The director recently spoke with Empire for an upcoming episode of the Empire Podcast and the publication has released a preview of the show. During the chat, Gareth Edwards talked about why some of the Darth Vader scenes were featured in the trailers for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story but not in the movie, as well as other key shots that never made it into the final cut, like Jyn's face off with the TIE Fighter, and Krennic's wade through the waves during the final battle. Here is what he had to say.
"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'."
There is no doubt that featuring Darth Vader the way that Disney and Lucasfilm did in the marketing campaign for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story was an effective way to get butts in seats, so it is hard to argue against it. As for the stuff that did make it into the movie featuring the Sith Lord, Gareth Edwards also talked about that a bit as well and specifically, the first sequence that featured Darth Vader healing in a Bacta Tank at his castle on Mustafar. Here is what he had to say about his decision to include that scene in Rogue One.
"I'm jealous of moments like in Empire Strikes Back where you see the back of [Vader's] head and you just go, 'oh my God, that is so cool,' and wanted to try and find something like that in our film...He's really a burn victim, and it's not going to be fun for him when he's not in the suit - he's going to be uncomfortable. I love the idea of showing that he's vulnerable as well. Vader's very, very bad, and so you try and just glimpse something of him that gives him some humanity, or it makes you empathise with him. Just seeing those scars and realising that he's, you know, an amputee, and just reminding you of that before he does all his stuff, it makes you torn, I think."
Outside of what happened with Darth Vader in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, if there was one thing that was talked about the most in the movie, it was the lack of an opening text crawl. Prior to this installment of the Star Wars franchise, it was a staple of those movies but in order to try and make the movie stand on its own, the decision was made not to include an opening crawl in Rogue One. However, Gareth Edwards also revealed that in the original draft of the screenplay, there actually was an opening crawl. Here is what he had to say about it.
"The first screenplay that Gary Whitta wrote had a crawl in it...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."
As Gareth Edwards states, Star Wars: Rogue One tells the story of how the Rebels got their hands on the plans for the Death Star, something that was teased in the opening crawl of Star Wars: A New Hope back in 1977. In the end, crawl or no crawl, the first ever live-action, theatrically released Star Wars movie to take place outside of the main saga is a big success, to the tune of nearly $800 million so far. So, despite a lot of reshoots and changes throughout the process, things ultimately worked out very well.