‘Rogue One’ Director Gareth Edwards on Reshoots, Easter Eggs, and the “Lost” Opening Crawl

     March 13, 2017

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Rogue One: A Star Wars Story may not have been the Skywalker Saga installment you were looking for, but director Gareth Edwards pleased moviegoing crowds (and Disney shareholders) with the franchise’s first anthology film. But some behind-the-scenes rumblings of reshoots, deleted scenes, and rewrites left many fans wondering just which version of Rogue One ended up on the big screen, and if any of those scenes–or a new cut entirely–would make its way onto the Blu-ray release. While the home video release is just a few weeks away (April 4th), Edwards is answering some of your burning questions right now.

Thanks to reddit’s AMA setup, Edwards was able to directly answer Rogue One fans’ questions. On the docket were the film’s reshoots, Easter eggs, cameos, the opening crawl (or lack thereof) and much more. For instance, would Edwards rather face a Godzilla-sized Darth Vader or a Darth Vader-sized Godzilla? These are things the people want to know, and Edwards obliged.

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Image via Lucasfilm

Head on over to the reddit AMA for more. We’ve provided a select few choice quotes below:

What lessons did you learn from doing Godzilla that translated over to when you did Rogue One?

Thank you. I guess there are many lessons. Visually, I wanted to have a team of concept artists working on Rogue One ALL the way through the film. Typically on a big movie, the artists only work during the script writing phase, but you end up always tweaking and improving everything, so having designers and concpet artists work and redesign and keep pushing things all the way until the last month of the process was something we did on Rogue that wasn’t on Godzilla so much.

Did you feel like you were under a lot of pressure with this story considering how different it was to all the rest of the saga?

The biggest thing was trying to figure out what the film would be. The initial idea was it’s like a heist movie. But I feel that Star Wars is not just one genre, it’s a whole load of different genre’s mixed together, like fairytale, war, western, samurai, biblical epic etc… Even though our story was not going to involve the Skywalker story, it was important to me that it had all the emotional and mythical ingredients of the sagas… god, that was a long answer.

Did you ever hear the Tragedy of Darth Plagueis the Wise?

No, sorry, I hope he gets well soon.

Hi Gareth, If you had to add an opening crawl to Rogue One, what woulld you have it say?

Gary Whitta actualy wrote one in the first draft. You’ll have to pester him for it 😉 …I do believe that those opening crawl words are actually floating out there in space somewhere. We just have to fund NASA well enough so their deep-space telescopes can find them, lets crowd fund it and make it happen … The opening crawl decision was made before we started filming.

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Image via Lucasfilm

Will we ever find out what the changes and reshoots were behind the scenes of Rogue One? From the first promotional material to the final cut of the film, it’s pretty clear a lot changed during production.

Lots of great shots were grabbed during filming, some of them were specifically designed for a sequence, others were just opportunistic. Marketing end up falling in love with things that might fall away during the post production of a film, and also might help strengthen others. I’m just glad they found a way to get into the world.

What was your favourite easter egg that made it into Rogue One, and did you have any input on the inclusion of them?

I’m very bias… But my cameo would be my favorite… I don’t want to give it away, but let’s just say he was probably the savior of the entire rebellion 😉

What inspired you to become a director?

I saw Star Wars, found out it was a lie called filmmaking… figured the second best option in life would to become a liar, and make films… Then you learn about the job called directing, mainly from Steven Spielberg’s success, so all those late 70’s early 80’s films are to blame for me getting into this crazy industry.

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Image via Lucasfilm

How did you feel the first day you were directing Darth Vader on set?

You kind of get nervous. Even though you know it’s an actor inside, once that helmet goes in, it’s DARTH! and as strange as it seems, it’s really hard to tell him what to do, no-one tells DARTH what to do. So you find you have to talk with the actor and figure it all out before the helmet goes on, as once he’s in character, Darth is in charge, and if you screw up the shot, he is not that forgiving.

Would you rather fight a Godzilla sized Darth Vader, or a Darth Vader sized Godzilla?

It’s got to be a Godzilla sized Darth Vader… in fact, that visual is probably the coolest thing anyone could ever put in a movie… Will keep my fingers crossed for this after the Han Solo spin-off!

Look for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story on Blu-ray April 4th.

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