Rouge One: Re-shoots

How the movie went rouge. Why re-shoots isn’t necessarily better.

Spoilers ahead.

There are a lot of articles coming out now about the changes made in Rouge One with the re shoots that was led by Tony Gilroy and his brother John Gilroy. While most the industry say that re-shoots are a common practice, changing extensive sequences during re-shoots only further the problems in the editing process. There are re-shoots in films that have had a positive impact on the story but there are just so many horror stories of films cramming in scenes shot in re-shoots to try and improve it. I’m not bashing Rogue One for its re-shoots, just the reason for re-shooting the film. It’s understandable to make changes to the film in the edit and maybe re-shoot some things in order to improve the story. As the editor for Rogue One said in an interview.

“I would say a lot of the movie changed. That’s the simplest way to put it. I’ve said we definitely changed things at the beginning, added scenes developing those characters, and that has a ripple effect through the whole movie” — John Gilroy

Taken from comingsoon.net

Ultimately, Rouge One sacrificed many key action sequences for an expanded backstory of the main character. This allowed the relationship between Jyn and her father to breathe but it also shifted the emotional weight of the movie to the death of her father while leaving much to be desired for her timely death at the end of the movie. As much as the death of her father is a spark for her drive later on in the movie, it felt that Jyn’s death specifically feels hollow. I’m also not blaming the re-shoots on that, since where they added, they cut elsewhere. Which means that the decision makers at Lucasfilm felt that adding more backstory while cutting action scenes made for a better movie.

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story — Celebration Reel

I would disagree, as the journey felt short. We amassed to such a grand battle to end the battle on an unsatisfying death of the two main characters. There is a scene shown in the Disney Celebration Reel of Rouge One that would have improved the emotions of the death of the lead characters. Jyn and Cassian are running across the beach with the hard drive with storm-troopers and ATATs chasing after them. This to me is a crucial scene that ties their relationship together. From two strangers not trusting each other to running alongside each other on the battlefield with the fate lying in the balance. It’s a shot that ties the whole movie together. That’s some strong imagery that was left right out of the final cut. “A race to the finish” was a theme in the movie and the sequence to emphasize that was left out. What we were left with was a lousy surprise from Cassian shooting Krennic and an awkward tumble to the edge of the water as they embraced each other before their deaths. There was nothing that prompted me to believe that they had such a relationship where they would embrace each other. Cassian was the same man that were Jyn was angry at for indirectly killing her father. And they hug it out as BFFs at the end. really? However, if that sequence of them running was in the movie, that relationship would have been more believable and the way they acted on the beach would have been more satisfying.

At the end of the day, Rogue One was not a perfect film and that is far from the idea that the re-shoots was the reason why. It was where they investing screen time to character development, and the re-shoots did nothing to fix its flaws, only make them appear minuscule. That is only the outcome the studio can hope for. There are certainly movies that had re-shoots that turned out terribly and Rogue One was not one of them. I’m certainly not bashing re-shoots, rather the goal of it all.


Cowin PoonTORONTO 2017

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