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Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is perhaps the most maddening of Disney’s Star Wars films.
There’s so much potential that made it onto the screen, and also so much that stumbles along the way. The film is gorgeously shot by Dune cinematographer Greig Fraser. The ending is emotional and shocking. Cassian Andor (Diego Luna) and his robot sidekick K-2SO (Alan Tudyk) remain enduring. Yet the film is burdened by a soggy midsection and a listless lead character in Jyn Erso (Felicity Jones), among other issues (or perhaps not — debating what, exactly, is right and wrong with Rogue One is part of its ongoing fandom legacy).
Star Wars fans have long wondered if perhaps a better edit might someday be released given how much footage was shot for the film that did not make it into the final cut. The production famously was directed by Gareth Edwards, then underwent five weeks of reshoots with Tony Gilroy taking over to punch up Gary Whitta’s script and oversee the additional filming. Rogue One’s initial trailer and TV spots (footage below) contained many tantalizing shots that hinted at scenes that didn’t make the final cut
So was the version released in theaters by Disney the best possible edit? Could there be an ever bigger and better version of Rogue One someday down the road?
Gilroy, coming off the massive critical acclaim of the first season of his Disney+ Rogue One prequel series Andor, gave us a definitive answer: “Uh, no. That was the absolute best possible version you could ever have. Oh my God. No. No.”
More detail, please?
“I’m not going to go into any more detail,” Gilroy tells The Hollywood Reporter (in an interview before the May 2 writers strike). “But the more authority that you hear people talk about online about what happened on that movie, the less they know. That’s all that needs to be said. Maybe someday … but no. That’s the absolute best version of that movie that you could possibly imagine in the time that was given.”
Actor Ben Mendelsohn, who played the villainous Orson Krennic in the film, said in 2016 that the production’s unused footage could have been told a vastly different story. “There were enormous differences within, I would’ve said, 20 or 30 of the scenes,” he said. “There would be enormously different renderings.”
Gilroy is currently at work filming the second and final season of Andor in the U.K. The new episodes are expected in 2024.
Meanwhile, Edwards’ upcoming Disney sci-fi movie The Creator (originally titled True Love) is generating very positive buzz after its trailer was recently revealed at CinemaCon. The film examines the emotions humanity must endure in the face of a robotic threat. One writer from THR in the room compared it to, well, to Rogue One (in a good way).
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