Rogue One: A Star Wars Story may be behind us now, but its post-production stories will live on. Months before its release, the first Star Wars spinoff went through numerous reshoots and rewrites, many of which led to speculation that the film had major issues. While it did go on to be a box office hit for a non-Skywalker saga film, many of the creative forces behind it have spoken out about screenwriters like Tony Gilroy helping to save it and which scenes had to be re-shot.
Now original screenwriter Chris Weitz is talking about what changed and what was kept a mystery. Check out what he had to say below, but fair warning to anyone who has not yet seen Rogue One, there will be some spoilers ahead.
In an interview with the Cult Popture podcast (via IndieWire), Weitz talked about some of the script’s changes that Gilroy implemented. When compared, the two had some major differences including the Darth Vader moment towards the end of the film and the deaths of certain principal characters. Here’s what he had to say:
“If you can imagine the beginning of the second act and the end of the second act swapping places, that would not be an inaccurate way to portray how it structurally was changed. The Darth Vader kicking ass I cannot take credit for. That was a later invention. That was different…A lot of the deaths were put in different locations when they were shot. I’m not sure why K-2 died in a different place, for instance.”
But one of the biggest changes came in the form of the group’s objective and the Death Star’s appearance. According to Weitz, the group did not initially know that they were going to steal the plans to the Death Star. In his script, the Death Star was kept a mystery to be revealed toward the end of the film:
“It wasn’t clear at the beginning of the film that the Death Star was going to be the Death Star. It was just the sense in the rebellion that something bad was going down and we need to find out about it. There was this developing sense of dread throughout the [original script].”
Weitz wanted to keep the Death Star a mystery to create a sense of “dramatic irony.” However, Lucasfilm felt as though fans would already figure out that the group would be stealing the plans to the Death Star early on, so they turned to Gilroy to make some of those changes. And Weitz doesn’t seem to have a problem with that. In fact, he liked the film.
[Source: Cult Popture via Indiewire]