ROGUE ONE Director Explains Why the Original Ending Didn't Work and Why We Won't See the Deleted Scenes
With the Blu-ray of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story upon us, fans have been wondering if we would see any of the deleted scenes from the film included in the special features. As you all know, the film went through some extensive reshoots and a lot of the scenes we saw in the trailers for the film ended up on the cutting room floor.
During a couple of recent interviews, director Gareth Edwards was asked about the scenes that were cut. Most of them were involved with the way the ending of the film played out. While talking to /Film, the director explained why the original ending didn't work and why all of those scenes had to be cut and reshot. He says:
"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."
It makes sense to me that the ending had to be changed and I have no issues with the changes because I absolutely loved how the film ended. In case you're wondering if we will ever see these scenes on the special features of the Blu-ray, the director explained in a separate interview with Fandango:
“There’s not an individual scene that you can drag and drop and put on a Blu-ray. There are little things that would come and go during the process of post-production, but they’re not scenes. They’re more moments within the scenes or a single shot. So it’s impossible to be able to do that, and that’s why the decision was made.
"The stuff people talk about, like what they saw in the trailer, they’re not scenes you can just put on a DVD. They’re moments within scenes and threads, and you pull a thread and it all changes. It was changing the whole time. It’s not like there was one version and then there was this other version — it was like this thing that incrementally evolved constantly through all of post-production and didn’t stop until there was a gun at our heads and we were forced to release the movie."
That's an interesting excuse because we know that there are other full-on dramatic scenes that were cut. Not just little moments. For example, we know that K-2SO and Cassian Andor end up dying in a different place in the original ending. Then there's the infamous scene in the trailers involving Jyn Erso encountering a TIE Fighter. According to Edwards that will remain a mystery. He says:
[The TIE Fighter shot] is going to have to remain a myth because it’s sort of the thing where you’re trying ideas out to find the right version of the movie, and at the same time marketing is getting excited about certain shots and moments. Eventually you’ll see something presented to you and you’ll be like, wait a minute, this shot is no longer in the film.
It's kind weird that he won't really explain these shots, but I guess that means it's not really that important. Why he doesn't apparently understand is that is is kind of important to the fans, because I wanna know! I wish we could just see how the full original ending was supposed to play out, even if it leads to me saying... "Yeah, the ending they ended up using was better."
Rogue One hits Blu-ray on April 4.