There has been a lot made about the missing scenes in Rogue One. And the Disney team is really pushing home the fact that most of these deleted moments weren't all that important, with the editors confirming that no-such extended cut exists. Now Gareth Edwards has further explained some of those missing moments in the trailer. And with one particular scene, he claims it wasn't ever intended to be in the movie in the first place.
This is interesting, because it has been widely reported that Tony Gilroy was brought in for extensive rewrites and reshoots that resulted in an entire third act change. There are reportedly a number of different cuts of the film. Though none of them are the mythical four-hour cut some have reported on, these two hour alternate versions are said to drastically take the story in different directions. And we know that the original ending had Jyn, Cassian and K-2SO escaping the Imperial base on Scarif with the plans intact to run across the beach in battle. Those scenes made it into some of the marketing material. But we all know the true fate of this trio rests on that infamous tower scene in the third act.
On the Director's Cut podcast, Edwards further downplayed the reshoots, pointing to one scene in particular. It's one scene that became an important part of the Rogue One marketing material early on. It was featured in the first trailers, photos of the moment were sent to press, and it has been used in some of the merchandise. It features Jyn Erso in her Imperial disguise, in a dark tunnel. This moment was a throw-away shot that the director says he grabbed at the last minute. Mostly because it looked cool. Edwards explains.
"We finished a shot and [Felicity Jones] was just walking to the next shot, which was at the end of the tunnel. And as she walked, someone switched the lights on and the way they turned on they went *clickclickclick* like this. Someone called her, and she just turned around a little bit and I was like, 'Oh my god that looked great.' And I was like 'Stop stop stop!' and everyone stopped. 'This will take 10 seconds, just roll camera'. Then obviously 10 seconds turned into a half hour, and we probably did 17 takes. So that ended and there's that feeling of, 'Well what was that for?' And I was like, 'I don't know, that just felt good.'"
Apparently, there was nowhere for this moment to go in the movie. But marketing felt it looked really cool. So they took it and ran with it, though everyone involved knew it was never going to be used, in the early cuts nor in the later reshot version. The scene was matched with the dialogue, 'What will you become?' Hinting that Jyn could be lured to the dark side. As it is now, that notion never even seeps into the material. Sure, she considers abandoning the Rebellion early on, but there is never a moment where Jyn doesn't completely hate the Empire and everything they stand for. Odder still is that this tunnel is actually seen in the finished movie and used during the third act. But never for a shot like this.
Earlier in the week, we got to hear Gareth Edwards talk about another key missing scene. Though he explains it away, he doesn't ever really explain what is supposed to happen in the moment where Jyn comes face to face with a TIE Fighter on the tower. Instead, he says this about the deleted scenes and others like it in the third act.
"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'."
All in all, it sounds like no one is really explaining what came out and what went into the movie during the later stages of post-production. And it's something fans might never find out until much later down the road. Right now Lucasfilm is enjoying the success of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story at both the box office and how it has resonated with fans. Though there is a slow tide of people who are starting to whisper that the movie might not be as good as they initially thought as they continue to pour over it in the wake of its release. Will we ever know for sure what those early cuts looked like and where all the Deleted Scenes were supposed to play out? This being Disney, don't count on it.