We’ve said it time and again on this site that Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is a big deal. Not only is this a Star Wars film, but it’s the movie that’s set to usher countless potential anthology films, which will make up at least half of the upcoming films for the foreseeable future. In many ways, it’s a test: can mainstream audiences connect with a film that’s not one hundred percent in line with the standard saga films? That remains to be seen.
At the same time, one can’t exactly expect Rogue One to do the same box office numbers as last year's Star Wars: The Force Awakens. The Force Awakens was a movie that was hotly-anticipated. Given that the last feature film we had from the series was Revenge of the Sith, a middling entry in the franchise, at best, fans had a lot of expectations that The Force Awakens would rectify any issues by franchise creator George Lucas. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, on the other hand, is coming relatively soon after the audience’s hunger has been sated. Sure, it’ll likely do killer business at the box office, but can there’s no way it’d be able to outperform — or even match — The Force Awakens in terms of sales.
This is a fact that’s not lost on Disney. In a recent Goldman Sachs investors conference on Wednesday, Disney Chief Bob Iger acknowledged as such.
“We never felt it would do the level that Force Awakens did,” Iger said. But he didn’t stop there. He actually went on to state that despite their lowered expectations, based on the the response to the trailers and posters, “The level of interest [in Rogue One] is as high as it was for Force Awakens.”
I’d probably have to disagree on that one. While expectations are undeniably high, I think it’s a stretch to say that they’re as high as last year’s. But it’s an investor’s meeting, so they have to report good news, don't they? The takeaway here is that Disney went in to this film understanding that the movie would likely not match The Force Awakens, and this is a comforting thought, as it’ll help the studio from losing perspective coming out of its opening weekend.
This wasn’t all Iger had to say, however. Iger also stated that he recently saw a cut of Rogue One and said:
“It’s really interesting in terms of Star Wars storytelling. Star Wars has only been told as a saga, and this is a moment in time … we love what we’ve seen.”
This is coming on the heels of negative press about the movie. One of our sources some months ago confirmed that they went back to reshoot more than half the movie, and the film was so off schedule due to reshoots, that their original composer, Alexandre Desplat, had to jump off the project due to scheduling conflicts.
Does this mean the movie is doomed to fail? Obviously not. For all we know, Disney is in the process of turning this into a masterpiece. But it certainly seems to be an uphill battle.
What do you think of Iger’s comments? Does it seem like he has faith in Rogue One? Let us know in the comments down below!