(SPOILERS FOR ROGUE ONE AHEAD)
Since the spring of last year, reports of extensive reshoots for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story loomed heavily over the production after Disney Executives were seemingly unsatisfied with the initial cut of the film delivered by Gareth Edwards. As a fan, I didn’t care exactly what was going to be reshot as long as you couldn’t tell and even though the reworking of the third act became apparent upon viewing the film as much of the action from the trailer was unfolding differently, I think we can all agree Lucasfilm made the right decisions to give us what I think is a borderline masterpiece as far as the third act goes.
But it wasn’t just the third act that was reworked. Leading up to the film’s release it was revealed that the character of Bodhi played by Riz Ahmed was a big part of the reshoots as Lucasfilm wanted to offer a bit more screentime to flesh out the Imperial defector. While speaking with Yahoo! UK, editors John Gilroy and Colin Goudie were asked about the reshoots and Gilroy revealed just exactly which scenes were added into the mix to flesh out not just Bodhi, by Cassian Andor played by Diego Luna as well:
“The story was reconceptualised to some degree, there were scenes that were added at the beginning and fleshed out. We wanted to make more of the other characters, like Cassian’s character and Bodhi’s character.
The scene with Cassian’s introduction with the spy, Bodhi traipsing through Jedha on his way to see Saw, these are things that were added. Also Jyn [Jyn Erso, the reluctant leader of the film, played by Felicity Jones], how we set her up and her escape from the transporter, that was all done to set up the story better.”
Funny enough, the beginning is where I think the film had its biggest flaws. While Cassian’s introduction was fantastic and worked perfectly — totally hooking me into his character — Bodhi’s introduction, on the other hand, was rushed and squeezed in between Cassian and adult Jyn’s introductions. We go from the trading outpost with Cassian to Jedha with Bodhi for a scene that clocks in at about one minute before jumping to Jyn’s rescue from the Imperial labor camp on Wobani. It’s just too much too fast. That and the biggest problem I think Rogue One has, which is most apparent with Bodhi, is that there far too much telling and not enough showing. We are told that Bodhi defected and that it was Galen who compelled him to do so. We are told about Jyn’s criminal past in her briefing from Mon Mothma after seeing her escape from imprisonment rather than showing what lead her to being in that cell in the first place. The adding of Jyn’s escape was extremely necessary, though. Had they jumped from young Jyn to her briefing at the Rebel base on Yavin 4 would have been even more jarring than the lack of the crawl.
My dreams that we would get to see some of that added exposition were dashed when Goudie was asked by Yahoo about the initial cut and how the length of that cut changed compared to the theatrical release:
“It was not much longer than the finished film. I think the first assembly was not far off actual release length. Maybe 10 minutes longer? I genuinely can’t remember because that was nearly a year ago now. There’s no mythical four hour cut, it doesn’t exist.”
While I’m not a fan of Warner Bros. releasing extended cuts of the DCEU films on blu-ray, I would eat up all the Star Wars I could get. I think Rogue One would actually benefit greatly from an extended cut. The film didn’t have much time to spend with the characters who I now love and it would be great to get to spend just a little more time with each and every one of them. Especially Cassian, that dude is rad.
SOURCE: YAHOO! UK