By all accounts, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story ended up a much better movie than it needed to be. This was a movie that was one big experiment from Disney — one that spent the latter part of last year getting dragged through the mud. With all the rumors surrounding the reshoots — which reportedly resulted in reshooting nearly half the film — it seemed like this one could be destined for the dumps.
Luckily for us, the movie itself turned out to be quite the pleasure to watch. Between the solid character development, uniquely dark tone, and heavy helpings of Star Wars fan service, it was a movie that could be proudly placed alongside some of the series’ best endeavors. So what was it like cutting the film together? After all, as a different type of film from your general entry in the saga.
“This movie was supposed to be different than other Star Wars movies,” John Gilroy, one of the credited editors of the film told io9. “They were trying to push the envelope of what a Star Wars movie could be. And when you do that, you try to walk that line. You want to make it different but you also want to very much make it part of the whole Star Wars saga. So trying to find that balance was the biggest challenge.”
Gilroy then got into editing the “very complicated third act.”
“There’s a lot of things happening at the same time. Our characters are at different places in the movie and we’re cutting from one to the other to the other. And you had to keep things clear, but you had to keep things moving.”
“For all the bells and whistles in the third act, the important thing is what’s happening with the main characters. These are the things you follow first and you work out from there. So as wonderful and complicated as the star battle was, that had to fit into what was going on on the ground.”
“The emotional jump that you’re making was very well thought out. I was very happy with how we moved people first with the poignancy of the death, then the amazing action sequence which you aren’t expecting and then seeing Leia for a moment knowing that, like 20 minutes later, the first movie is going to start. It moves your emotion to a different direction without manipulating you, I don’t think. It really takes you to a great place.”
He’s not lying there. That last act of the movie was one of the biggest surprises in the entire saga. While there were moments we were expecting, the overall quality of it was beyond amazing.
Interestingly enough, if you look at Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, you can’t help but look at another film that had a troubled post-production process. That’s right. I’m talking about Suicide Squad. While the actual production of Suicide Squad seemed to have gone smoothly enough, there were a whole lot of rumors surrounding its reshoots — which were also rumored to be quite extensive. Additionally, on the heels of the lackluster response for Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, the studio WB reportedly horned their way into the editing room of Suicide Squad, making changes they felt would address fan concerns mentioned in Batman v Superman reviews.
Rogue One is a film that could have very much turned out like Suicide Squad: a muddled mess. Whenever a studio horns their way in, there’s a danger of this happening. Gilroy, who worked on both Suicide Squad and Rogue One compared some of the decisions made between these two films.
“I didn’t agree with everything we did on Suicide Squad. But I did agree with everything we did on Rogue One. These things happen. These movies are very big, there’s a lot riding on them and sometimes it makes people change course or think of a new direction for their film before release.”
What do you think of Gilroy’s response? Let us know your thoughts down below!
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is in theaters now!
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