Yesterday it was reported that Disney executives were unhappy with a test screening of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story and had ordered expensive reshoots. No first cut is perfect, and even then sometimes reshoots are necessary. In fact, they happen often in the industry.
But now we are getting a better picture of why Disney ordered reshoots. But their reasoning may surprise you. According to a new report, the studio doesn’t see this as a disaster. But will use the reshoots as an opportunity to fix the tone. More on the story below.
The Hollywood Reporter confirmed that Rogue One was tonally off with what a “classic” Star Wars movie should feel like. According to one source, the film felt more like a war movie than a Star Wars one.
Rogue One focuses on the fabled mission the Rebel Alliance carries out to steal the plans of the first Death Star. Felicity Jones will play Jyn Erso, a rebellious, strong, and courageous young girl who leads a squad on this suicidal mission.
It’s actually quite interesting to hear that one of the concerns was that it felt like a war movie considering that was the idea that was pitched to us when the film was officially announced at Star Wars Celebration in Anaheim last year. The fact that director Gareth Edwards brought in Greig Fraser (Zero Dark Thirty) to be the cinematographer should have been an indication that the film was going to be slightly different in tone. Heck, you can even see some of those gritty ground-war influences in the teaser trailer – which a lot of people responded well too.
Not only that, but Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy even told D23 Expo attendees that the film will focus on the more on war between the Rebel Alliance and the Galactic Empire:
“It goes into new territory, exploring the galactic struggle from a ground-war perspective while maintaining that essential Star Wars feel that fans have come to know.”
Having that idea pitched to us over the last year only to have it be seemingly undone is a bit disappointing. Rogue One would have been what the Star Wars franchise needed to expand the universe by steering fans and audiences’ attention away from the Jedi and Sith and focus more on the grittiness of the soldiers, from both factions, who do not possess the ability to wield the Force.
But the test screening is also offering us what to expect from the film. A source offers us this reassuring note that “This is the closest thing to a prequel ever.” And the reshoots may be more of a transitional thing, the same source says “This takes place just before A New Hope and leads up to the 10 minutes before that classic film begins. You have to match the tone!” Guess that makes sense, if one were to watch Rogue One right before A New Hope, I can see how that change in tone might be a little off-putting.
One thing that doesn’t really add up is that these reshoots could pave the way for the appearance of Han Solo as played by Alden Ehrenreich. The actor recently nabbed the role, but that was well after Rogue One had completed principal photography back in February. Honestly, that would feel like Disney was trying to shoehorn in a character for the sole purpose of introducing him to the franchise. And we all saw how much of a disaster that was in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, so let’s hope that this rumor is very untrue.
But maybe these reactions are grossly over-exaggerated. According to the report, “Edwards’ first cut was a solid showing,” it just didn’t reach the set bar in terms of four-quadrant appeal.
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story opens in theaters on December 16, 2016.