There have been two lingering talking points regarding Rogue One: A Star Wars Story since the film came out three weeks ago:
- The fact that the film didn’t include the time-honored Star Wars tradition of an Opening Crawl
- That a lot of footage we saw in early trailers didn’t make it into the final cut of the film and, when coupled with the news of the film’s extensive reshoots, people are wondering if we’ll ever get to see some sort of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story- Extended Cut
Today, we can address both of those topics thanks to recent remarks from director Gareth Edwards and editor Colin Goudie.
Let’s start with the opening crawl, or the lack thereof, which fired up the fan base. Many fans feel like it isn’t a Star Wars movie without an opening crawl, and even all kinds of people have chimed in with opinions on the matter. Turns out that Edwards agrees with those fans, to a degree, but says its omission was a compromise he had to make. He even confirmed that in the original script, there was going to be one!
On the Empire podcast, Edwards revealed exactly what happened with Rogue One’s opening crawl:
“The first screenplay that Gary Whitta wrote had a crawl in it â€“ and you learn doing that that â€˜a long time ago in a galaxy far, far awayâ€™ has four dots in it, not three. You get extra marks for that. And then at some point, probably like six months before we were filming, we were in a meeting, and they talked about not having an opening crawl, because these are standalone films, not part of the sagas. And if Iâ€™m honest, there was an initial kind of like, ‘Whaaaa? I want the crawl!’ The opening sequence is kind of the crawl of our movie. Itâ€™s like the setup. And our film is also born out of a crawl â€“ the reason we exist is because of a previous crawl, so it feels like this infinite loop that will never end. Itâ€™s a small thing to give up to get to do Star Wars.”
As for the idea of an “Extended Cut,” since there’s clearly a lot of footage that didn’t make it into the theatrical cut of Rogue One, here’s what Goudie told Yahoo! Movies:
“[The assembly] was not much longer than the finished film. I think the first assembly was not far off actual release length. Maybe 10 minutes longer? I genuinely can’t remember because that was nearly a year ago now. There’s no mythical four hour cut, it doesn’t exist.”
There’s more to it, of course, since we know that the larger issue isn’t that the footage wasn’t used but rather that the film itself was massively changed earlier this year via extensive reshoots. This wasn’t a case of them simply having “too much footage,” it was a matter of Lucasfilm opting to reshape the film itself. So what you end up with isn’t really “additional scenes,” but rather “alternate scenes” that would actually change the whole movie.
It’d be the difference between Superman II and Superman II: The Richard Donner Cut. In certain ways, they’re actually different movies, with different directors telling the story in different ways. You couldn’t really just mash both versions together and call it an Extended Cut because the differences between the two are too jarring.