Those ‘Rogue One’ Reshoots Changed a Lot More Than the Original Ending
If you go back and watch the trailers and TV spots for Rogue One after you see the movie, a couple of things are glaringly obvious: First, you’ll notice a ton of scenes that don’t appear in the theatrical version, and second, it’s easy to sort of piece together the film’s original ending (recently confirmed by director Gareth Edwards) — all of which suggests that the reshoots were a bit more extensive than Lucasfilm wanted us to believe. According to the film’s editors, that’s certainly the case, and those reshoots changed a whole lot more than just the ending.
In a fascinating interview with Yahoo UK, Rogue One editors John Gilroy and Colin Goudie revealed a few specific moments that were added to the film during those highly-publicized reshoots, including new character introductions. Goudie says the original version went from the prologue (which remained the same) right into a scene in which Jyn Erso (Felicity Jones) is in a meeting, but the reshoots gave her a more interesting intro:
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, how we set her up and her escape from the transporter, that was all done to set up the story better.
Gilroy (brother of filmmaker Tony Gilroy, who was brought in to assist with the reshoots) goes on to say that the story was “re-conceptualized to some degree” because those early changes had a “ripple effect all through the movie.”
Both editors avoided revealing anything too specific regarding the third act, though Gilroy said “it changed quite a bit” from the original version:
The third act has a lot going on. You have like seven different action venues, the mechanics of the act changed quite a bit in terms of the characters, and I don’t want to go into too much detail about what had been there before, but it was different.
In the weeks following Rogue One’s release, we’ve heard numerous things about the original ending, what the reshoots ultimately changed, and, according to Ben Mendelsohn, that there may be “multiple” alternate cuts of the film that we’ll never see.
Ultimately, the version of Rogue One that’s still playing in theaters is the only real version of the film, and it’s futile to judge Edwards’ movie based on what isn’t there. (That doesn’t mean that details, like those above from Gilroy and Goudie, aren’t really interesting to read about.)