rogue one reshoots

A few weeks ago, news that Rogue One: A Star Wars Story was set to undergo five weeks of reshoots this summer arrived online and the internet reacted as it often does: with mass panic. This surely meant that the movie was in trouble! This surely meant that the movie was doomed! Cats and dogs living together! Mass hysteria!

Of course, the most extreme rumors (40% of the film was set to be reshot!) were debunked and it quickly become clear that this entire situation wasn’t out of the ordinary. Most major films undergo reshoots because they have the time and money to do so. However, most major movies don’t have Star and Wars in the title, so they’re allowed to get away with this stuff under the radar without anyone noticing. Every filmmaker wishes that they had the time and money for reshoots – they’re a useful luxury. And now, director Gareth Edwards and Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy have officially gone on the record about these reshoots and what they mean for Rogue One.

Speaking with Entertainment Weekly, Edwards explained that reshoots were always part of the plan and were tentatively scheduled from the very beginning:

I mean it was always part of the plan to do reshoots. We always knew we were coming back somewhere to do stuff. We just didn’t know what it would be until we started sculpting the film in the edit.

It seems the key figures at Lucasfilm (contrary to early rumors, the film has not and will not test screen with audiences) watched an early cut of the film and offered a list of adjustments, including some new emotional and action beats. The EW article compares this process to the Pixar braintrust, the group of creatives who help guide each project at the studio toward its best possible self. The article also notes that this process also led to a few weeks of widely unreported reshoots for Star Wars: The Force Awakens last year.

Edwards adds that no major scenes will be completely reshot and that the bulk of the reshoots will involve adding new moments within scenes, punching things up and helping certain sequences play better. This whole kerfuffle taught him a very important lesson:

It’s funny, making a film stops you believing anything you’ve ever read on the Internet.

Speaking as someone who writes on the internet for living…that’s probably a pretty, pretty pretty good way of approaching this kind of stuff.

Meanwhile, Kennedy shot down the rumors that the reshoots would modify the tone of the film, emphasizing that Rogue One, and the various other spin-offs, will not be beholden to the tone of the main saga:

One of the things we’re doing with these Star Wars stories is embracing the uniqueness of the different genres, and we’re very deliberately leaning into the various styles of directors that we’re approaching so that each of these movies will very intentionally have a very different tone and style from the saga films. Gareth has shown a stylistic preference that’s much more handheld, visceral, inside-the-action kind of feel.

This difference in tone also extends to certain iconic elements of the core series. Kennedy noted that they’re not sure if Rogue One will even feature an expositional opening crawl, which has been a staple of this series since 1977:

We talk about that all the time. It’s something that we’re right in the midst of discussing even now, so I don’t want to say definitively what we’re doing. The crawl and some of those elements live so specifically within the ‘saga’ films that we are having a lot of discussion about what will define the [stand-alone] Star Wars Stories separate and apart from the saga films. So we’re right in the middle of talking about that.

For more quotes and information, hit the link above. Rogue One is set for a December 16, 2016 release.

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