A few weeks ago, word got out that Rogue One: A Star Wars Story would be undergoing reshoots this summer. This by itself worried many fans since reshoots have developed a bad reputation among blockbusters, but it only got worse from there, as more rumors pointed towards major overhauls, like 40-50 percent of the movie being reshot and the tone being dramatically altered. Since then, Lucasfilm has publicly explained that the reshoots are meant to enhance character development, but director Gareth Edwards has gone a step further to set the record straight about what they entail.
Speaking with EW, Edwards made it clear that the Rogue One reshoots were planted from the beginning, and the new material is meant to enhance what was filmed during principal photography, though he did admit that getting all the actors back together was difficult to pull ff. He explained:
I mean it was always part of the plan to do reshoots. We always knew we were coming back somewhere to do stuff. We just didn't know what it would be until we started sculpting the film in the edit. There's lots of little things that we have to get, but it's all little things within the preexisting footage. Obviously, you've got to work around everyone's schedule, and everyone's on different films all over the world, and so it's a bit of a logistical nightmare. That's why I think it's been blown out of proportion a little bit.
The Rogue One reshoots reports started to trickle in right as May ended, and from there, things escalated to the point where it looked like the entire movie was in trouble. While there are instances where it's okay to be skeptical about how a movie is turning out, the fact of the matter is that many blockbusters now account for reshoots when planning the entire production process. As noted in the EW report, even Star Wars: The Force Awakens reshot material during summer 2015. Plus, keep in mind that if nearly half of Rogue One needed to be reshot, there was no way that the movie could have kept its December release date.
It sounds like Gareth Edwards and the rest of the crew dealt with issues scheduling the actors again, but now that they've been dealt with, they know which mine aspects will need to be adjusted. One of the other rumored problems was that Rogue One was switching from a dark and gritty tone to something lighter and more akin to the main Star Wars movies. However, going off of the teaser trailer and other comments from production employees, the first Star Wars spinoff movie will still be the promised war epic that feels more hardened and intimate.
As previously reported, the Rogue One: A Star Wars Story reshoots will last between four to five weeks, and the final edit will be completed by mid-August. From there, all that's left is to score the movie and include additional sound effects, and by December 16, it will be screened to the masses.