'Rogue One' Director Addresses Darth Vader, Reshoots, Opening Crawls and More

'Rogue One' Director Addresses Darth Vader, Reshoots, Opening Crawls and More

By Robert Dougherty Jan 03, 2017 01:46 PM
Photo Credit: LucasFilm

Since Rogue One came out, some of the biggest talking points have included Darth Vader, the various trailer shots that weren't in the final cut, and the lack of an opening crawl. Director Gareth Edwards lended his own first hand perspective and explanations for those issues and more in new excerpts from Empire Magazine's upcoming spoiler podcast, now that enough time has gone by to go over those spoilers.

Nonetheless, a spoiler warning is still necessary for those who haven't seen Rogue One in the last three weeks.

WARNING: MAJOR SPOILERS FOLLOW

While Vader's last scene in Rogue One has garnered the most buzz, Edwards was just as excited about the very first shot of Vader, where he is seen in a tank at Mustafar. Edwards likened it to The Empire Strikes Back's first shot of Vader's deformed head, as he wanted a shot like that to show "that he’s vulnerable as well" and to "try and just glimpse something of him that gives him some humanity."

Three whole Star Wars prequels tried to do that with very limited success, so Rogue One's mere shots of a masked and unmasked Vader may be the most effective with him in 33 years. He even makes a pun while choking Ben Mendelsohn's Director Krennic after emerging from his tank, so that might also make him more man than machine in a different way.

Vader causes much more damage in his last scene, which piles onto a third act that already has a very high body count. Of course, comparing the trailers to the actual Battle of Scarif revealed that a lot didn't make the final cut, particularly a shot of Felicity Jones' Jyn charging towards a TIE Fighter.

Edwards admitted "certain things just fell away" during the infamous reshoots and in "refining the third act." Yet when Disney used some of the cut shots in marketing anyway, Edwards was told "it's okay, it's what marketing does, we just use the best of whatever you've done." He did come away admitting "I know that's not in the film, but the spirit of it's in the film."

The spirit of a Star Wars film usually starts with an opening crawl, but Rogue One defied that tradition. Edwards did admit that a crawl was in the opening draft, but that "they" started talking about taking the crawl out six months before filming "because these are standalone films, not part of the sagas."

Despite the initial surprise, Edwards conceded that the prologue with a young Jyn, her parents and Krennic "is kind of the crawl of our movie." In addition, since Rogue One is technically born out of the opening crawl of A New Hope, "it feels like this infinite loop that will never end."

Star Wars as a whole will certainly never end, thanks to the new central trilogy and now the anthology films. Yet Rogue One was the only kind of Star Wars film Edwards wanted to do because of its connections to A New Hope, which was "the film that started me off wanting to do filmmaking, wanting to do everything."

It is unlikely that Edwards will do anything as big as Rogue One, regardless of where fans stand on all of its controversial and Star Wars rule breaking elements. There is certainly nothing as big as Rogue One in theaters now, as it just completed its third straight weekend on top of the box office, and will be on its way to becoming the No. 1 film of all 2016 soon.

While Rogue One continues to rule in theaters, the rest of Edwards' podcast with Empire will go online later this week.

Tags: Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016), Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977), Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back (1980), Gareth Edwards, Felicity Jones, Ben Mendelsohn
About the Author
Robert Dougherty is a longtime online freelance writer, who wrote reviews, articles & editorials on movies/TV for several years on the now defunct Yahoo Voices.
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