Star Wars writer reveals what was changed during the Rogue One reshoots
The spin-off was reportedly radically retooled in reshoots.
Spoilers for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story ahead.
Iffy CGI recreation of Grand Moff Trakin aside, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story was a pretty damn enjoyable film. Being the first in the proposed series of Star Wars spin-offs (Ewoks don’t count), it had a lot riding on its shoulders. But it clearly showed that there was definite scope for Star Wars stories set apart from the main narrative.
Behind the scenes, it was far from plain sailing though. Tony Gilory – best known for writing the Bourne movies – was brought on to do reshoots after Disney were reportedly unhappy with what director Gareth Edwards had put together. There are multiple shots in the early trailers that don’t appear in the final film, and ever since its release fans have speculating about what was changed.
Now Tony Gillory has spoken about Rogue One for the first time. Speaking on the Brian Koppleman Podcast, he said it wasn’t in a good shape when he came on-board. “It was just a mess.”
However, he problems with the film were relatively easy to fix. The movie ends with all the main characters sacrificing themselves to get the Death Star plans into the hands of the rebels – and Gilroy knew that sacrifice had to be earned.
“If you look at Rogue, all the difficulty with Rogue, all the confusion of it… and all the mess, and in the end when you get in there, it’s actually very, very simple to solve. Because you sort of go, ‘Oh this is a movie where, folks, just look—everyone is going to die.’ So it’s a movie about sacrifice... It’s all a question about why are all these people going to sacrifice [themselves] and you need to motivate them with a purity throughout the way.”
He also said not being a massive Star Wars fan helped him do what was right for the film, and not worry about pleasing fanboys. “That was my super power. I’ve never been interested in Star Wars, ever. So I had no reverence for it whatsoever. I was unafraid about that. And they were in such a swamp… they were in so much terrible, terrible, trouble that all you could do was improve their position.”
He also confirmed that he only joined the film after Gareth Edwards had completed his version, and got a screenwriting credit for his work. “I came in after the director’s cut. I have a screenplay credit, in the arbitration, that was easily won.”
This summer’s Han Solo movie has had lots of backstage drama as well – so the fact that Rogue One still turned out pretty good after all that gives us hope that it might not be the train wreck some fans are fearing.