Just about a month ago, it was reported that Rogue One: A Star Wars Story would be going in for at least four weeks of reshoots. To recap, the rumors ranged from the at least half the film was being reshot, to additional emotional scenes being added, to the entire tone of the film being changed from the original “war film” to a lighter (more Marvel-like) adventure. Simply put, fans were worried. This isn’t just another blockbuster based on a franchise we all like, this is Star Wars. Not only is this another Star Wars film, the future of all Star Wars Spin-Offs could be dependant on the success of Rogue One.
Luckily for us, Anthony Breznican, one of the most respected entertainment journalists working today (especially when it comes to nerd properties), is here to set the record straight and calm some fears. In an extensive write-up posted at Entertainment Weekly, Breznican covers a lot of ground, everything from the false rumors to some great discussion with the filmmakers involved. I want to draw our attention to two points.
The Nature of Reshoots
This can’t be stressed enough, but reshoots are normal in filmmaking, ESPECIALLY when it comes to blockbusters. In the craziness of fans freaking out over the (allegedly negative) direction Rogue One was taking, Slashfilm gave us a great little history lesson on how reshoots work. Whether it be Rocky, Back to the Future, E.T., or , yes, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, most of our favorite films underwent big reshoots and we are better off for it.
Rogue One is no different. The filmmakers involved are going to say whatever they need to say to calm down worrying reports, but all of the conversations in EW’s post are very reassuring. Both Gareth Edwards and Kathleen Kennedy were very candid with Breznican, they understand that people are worried, the understand the magnitude of a new Star Wars film being released. Bottom line is that these reshoots of the standard variety, with the hopes that a final edit can be set in place by September (by comparison, The Force Awakens wasn’t completely edited until the October before its December release date).
Rogue One is a War Film
The major aspect I took away from Breznican’s write-up were all the quotes from filmmakers assuring fans of the tone of the film. One of the rumors was that Rogue One was too dark, and that Disney wanted to lighten the tone. That rumor can officially be killed. Not only can film with this many special effects not afford to go under that extensive of reshoots, but Rogue One is NOT going through massive tonal shifts, it is staying the same:
“He does a lot of handheld, intimate, close-up work. That’s not something you’ve necessarily seen in a Star Wars movie before,” Kennedy says. “And we brought in [cinematographer] Greig Fraser, to shoot it, who had done Zero Dark Thirty. So a combination of Greig and Gareth has been, I think, fantastic, and it just gives it a really unique style.”
This just might be my favorite part of the piece. Whether it be Edwards debut film Monsters or his take on Godzilla in the 2014 reboot, one thing can be say, Edwards brings a visceral quality to his films and you experience the grit of the situation. Even what we have seen in the trailers confirms this. The film looks to have a more visceral feel, and the addition of Zero Dark Thirty’s cinematographer only boasts of the film’s quality.
Perhaps we can put our worries of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story to rest. Is the film going to be good? Will it live up to the hype? That can’t be answered until the film is released on December 16, but at this point we ought not think about the film in a negative light. This isn’t Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles or Independence Day, this is Star Wars, both Disney and Lucasfilm know what is at stake here, and they want to make the film the best it can be.