With Rogue One: A Star Wars Story still dominating the box office into the new year, passing the $800 million mark worldwide, we’re still in the mood to talk about it. And fortunately there’s more to talk about, thanks to some revelatory new interviews with director Gareth Edwards (from Empire) and editors John Gilroy and Colin Goudie (from Yahoo).
Here are the most interesting things we learned:
Why wasn’t there an opening crawl or transition wipes like the other Star Wars movies have?
Edwards says the original script by Gary Whitta did have a crawl. The decision not to have it came six months before shooting began because it’s not part of the Saga. “If I’m honest, there was an initial kind of like, ‘Whaaaa? I want the crawl!'” There were also transition wipes in other cuts of the movie, but they were also excised because this is a different kind of Star Wars. So Edwards also had to let that go. “The wipes are the cheesiest thing in the world. The only time you can ever do it and not be cheesy is in Star Wars.”
Why did so many deleted and alternate scenes appear in the trailers?
You may assume that there are so many shots in the trailers that aren’t in the movie becuase the trailers were made before the reshoots were completed. Not so, according to Edwards, who shared specifically how the unused bit with Jyn Erso and a Tie Fighter confusingly wound up in the ads: “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 know the third act changed a lot, but what scenes were added to the beginning of the movie?
Many character introductions were added to get things moving quicker, including Jyn’s prison and breakout scenes, the part with Cassian and the spy he kills and Bodhi’s scenes on his way to meet Saw Gerrera. “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.” Goudie explains.
What other movies did the editors watch for help with Rogue One?
Not only does Goudie admit to looking at specific scenes in WarGames and Aliens while editing two moments in Rogue One, but he used them as temp sequences for help with his cutting of the movie. For the former, it was the part where the giant door to the Cheyenne Mountain Complex is closing, used for when they break into the vault. For the latter, Jyn’s interrogation was matched to Ripley’s interrogation at the start of Aliens.
Why did Edwards need to show us Darth Vader in his bacta tank?
Rogue One is the movie where Darth Vader gets to be really bad again, following his sappy origins in the Star Wars prequels. But Edwards couldn’t just show the villain in the suit Force-choking and lightsaber-slashing. He also wanted us to remember to a degree that there is a wounded Anakin Skywalker in that costume. He explains:
He’s really a burns 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.
For more on Vader’s scenes plus how Edwards got to feature 1977 footage in the movie and the reason Guy Henry was perfect to do Tarkin’s performance capture, read the rest of the Empire interview. And for more on the big changes, the deleted scenes, the original transition wipes, the temp tracks and scenes and why we won’t see an extended cut, read the Yahoo interview (or at least the summary from The Playlist).
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