Rogue One Trailer Shot - Jyn Erso Tunnel

We’ve covered quite extensively the many changes that were made to Rogue One: A Star Wars Story after reshoots took place last summer. We’ve chronicled the many shots that were featured in marketing that didn’t end up in the movie, and we’ve even heard from the editors about which sequences in the final cut came about as a result of reshoots. Now we have word straight from director Gareth Edwards as to why one of the more prominent shots from the first Rogue One trailer (Jyn Erso in an Imperial tunnel, seen above) didn’t make it into the movie at all. And you might be surprised to learn as to why it even existed to begin with.

Find out why the Rogue One trailer shot above didn’t make it into the movie.

Gareth Edwards recently took part in a discussion following a Director’s Guild screening of Rogue One where Chris Miller (one-half of the duo directing the upcoming Han Solo spin-off) talked to the filmmaker about some of the work behind the scenes, and thankfully the podcast Director’s Cut (via io9) captured the entire discussion.

While discussing the shooting process, Edwards revealed that they did something rather unique on set. For about an hour at the end of a shooting day, Edwards and his crew would do something called “Indie Hour,” where they would shoot footage that captured cool moments they had thought of or stumbled upon, just because they had all the resources at their disposal. Edwards explains:

“It was just a way for the crew of understanding, for now, we’re just going to do loads of random shit. Don’t try to ask, we can’t explain. It would just be things I thought were a beautiful moment or ‘This is a great idea’ and a lot of the stuff in the trailer ended up through that process.”

When it comes to that specific shot above, Edwards went into more depth as to how that came to be:

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.”

If this way of shooting sounds haphazard, Edwards is very much aware of that, saying:

“It’s like running around the supermarket. You’re just grabbing everything. People say ‘What are you going to cook?’ and you go, ‘I don’t know. The shop closes in 10 minutes and we’re not coming back in, grab everything.’”

Part of me finds this process of shooting fascinating while another part of me doesn’t like how misleading it can be for fans who see some of these beautiful shots, expect them to be in the movie, then walk away disappointed. We all know that there are plenty of alternate takes and deleted scenes that sometimes get featured in marketing and don’t make it to the final cut. In cases like this though, when there are shots that have no place in the movie from the beginning, it seems disingenuous to include them in the trailer so prominently.

Rogue One - Jyn Erso - TIE Fighter

Another shot that fans were disappointed didn’t make the final cut was Jyn Erso facing a TIE Fighter as she walked down the catwalk of the Imperial satellite tower from the film’s climax. That’s a shot with finished visual effects, so that clearly didn’t come from the “Indie Hour” playtime on set, so why did that end up being so prominent in the trailers? Edwards explained that to Empire that it was mostly due to the reshoots:

“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 were plenty of fans who were bummed to see that shot didn’t make it into the film, but Disney kept using the shot before and well into the film’s release. That also seems somewhat intentionally misleading, but if fans walk away pleased with the movie, I suppose it doesn’t matter much in the end.

If you want to listen to the entire discussion between Gareth Edwards and Chris Miller referenced above, here you go:

How do you feel about this method of shooting and the use of these shots in the marketing?

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