The Original Ending For ROGUE ONE Did Not Work According To Its Director
The biggest and most interesting news seems to be coming out the South by Southwest Film Festival in Austin, Texas recently. In town to deliver a keynote speech, director Gareth Edwards was also there to answer questions regarding the upcoming home video release of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.
SlashFilm had the chance to speak with Edwards as they ventured into spoiler territory and talked about why the original ending of the movie didn’t work, hence the reshoots that occurred last year.
I think the main thing that changed at the end…what used to happen, and you can get a sense of this in the early trailers, the transmission tower for the plans was separate from the main base on Scarif. To transmit the plans, they had to escape and run along the beach and go up the tower. In cutting the film, it just felt too long. We had to find ways to compress the third act, which was quite long as it was. And one real, fast, brutal solution was to put the tower in the base, so they don’t have to run across the beach and do all of that stuff to get there. That became a decision that eliminated the shots you see in the trailer of the back of Cassian and Jyn and the AT-ATs. That was some of the reinvention that happened. It was all to do with compression.
As cool as many things are, and they really are, you can’t outstay your welcome. We’ve all done it. We’ve all sat in a movie and even if you love a film, there’s that moment where you want to look at your watch, or you feel like “Okay, I hope it ends soon.” You don’t want the audience thinking that. You don’t want them to lag. If you feel that when you watch something back, you need to find a way to tighten it somewhere. That was a big win for a compression.
Those would explain why some of the shots from the original trailer of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story were not featured in the final version of the film. Either way, Edwards did his best to deliver a film that was unlike other movies in the Star Wars franchise that revisited the past while creating something interesting.
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story hits Blu-ray and DVD on April 4, 2017.