Not since Greedo vs. Han Solo have Star Wars fans been so obsessed over what was shot first.
Reports of additional filming this summer on Rogue One: A Star Wars Story have understandably alarmed the faithful, many of whom have interpreted that as a sign of trouble for the first stand-alone movie from Lucasfilm.
Others have found reassurance in the fact that reshoots are not only commonplace on large-scale films like this, they’re the norm for projects with deep pockets and the ability to regroup cast and crew for a few weeks of alteration late in the editing process.
Still, hand-wringing persists, partly because a Star Wars film is never just another movie. It’s one of the most powerful pop culture touchstones that exists, and now the pace of releasing films from this universe has increased to one a year, putting extra pressure on the studio and filmmakers to not mess up.
When Entertainment Weekly spoke with the makers of Rogue One for our new cover story, we asked them point-blank to discuss the reshoot situation and explain why it was necessary to change course.
But first, the background:
What is true and false?
Rumors about the reshoots are so varied, it’s hard to know what to believe. Some reports say nearly half the movie is being redone and that the tone is being shifted from heavy war film to a lighthearted caper.
EW’s sources have insisted that’s impossible — that an effects-heavy film like this couldn’t reshoot that much of its story in the summer and still be finished in time for the Dec. 16 debut. In our own deep-dive into the rumors, we found that about five weeks of reshoots were set, wrapping up just before Star Wars Celebration in mid-July.
Our confidential sources also revealed that Bourne screenwriter and Michael Clayton filmmaker Tony Gilroy was being brought in to write additional dialogue and direct some secondary units on the movie — alongside director Gareth Edwards, who collaborated with Gilroy in a similar capacity on 2014’s Godzilla.
But what fans want to know is: Why? What do they need that they didn’t capture the first time?
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