And the hits just keep on coming. Not all that long after studios downplayed writer-director-producer Tony Gilroy‘s involvement in the reshoots for Gareth Edwards‘ Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, sources speaking to THR confirmed that Gilroy is “supervising” the final cut of Rogue One with Edwards’ “input.” Though the same insider sources have said that it’s still Edwards’ movie and that the editors, Gilroy, and Edwards are all working in one editing bay, there’s still an increasing feeling that we’re only seeing the tip of the iceberg with all of this production drama.
For me, there is a simple solution to the rumors and general appearance of craven studio interference: Disney should commit to releasing the original Edwards cut on home video now. Just think about all the insane grief that George Lucas has endured because he refuses to release the original cuts of the original trilogy without all the added graphics and other tinkerings, and realize that he is inexcusably in the wrong for doing that. Sure, there’s a difference between wanting to rewatch a movie you’ve already seen and wanting to see the original cut of a movie you haven’t seen yet, but in both cases, there’s a sense of inherent distrust in a unique artist’s original vision that sits wrong with me. And I get that, for reasons that seem intensely dubious to me, studios think that test audiences are a good way to foresee what an audience wants from a movie, but showing that you have little faith in Edwards’ original vision makes you, by extension, look desperate for widespread acceptance, which they already have.
Everyone will see the movie opening weekend, and subsequent weekends as well, because it’s freaking Star Wars. Heck, despite all of this unneeded drama, I’m still excited to see Rogue One when it comes out on December 16th, if only because I know that Gilroy worked with Edwards on the final cut of his superb Godzilla reboot as well. None of this suggests that Rogue One will be a bad movie in any way, but the secrecy over the extent of Gilroy’s involvement is insipid and increasingly aggravating. And not to be too much of a smart-ass here, but how does one take a criticism that a movie called Star Wars feels too much like a war movie seriously? It’s got the word “war” in the freaking title, for christ’s sake!