Millions of Star Wars fans cried out in terror when they learned that Rogue One: A Star Wars Story was going back for reshoots earlier this year. Everybody claimed it was no big deal, but now it sounds like maybe it was. A new report says that the reshoots were fairly significant and were done to deal with "several issues" including making changes to the ending.
In a new story about how writer Tony Gilroy was brought in to make rewrites to the script for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story The Hollywood Reporter says that the changes that Gilroy has made have extended past when the actual reshoots were done and became part of post production. According to THR's sources, which are unnamed, the rewrites covered a variety of perceived problems with the film, but the most concerning of those is that the ending was apparently changed.
To be clear, since sources here are unnamed we can't be entirely sure they're accurate, and even if they are, the details are vague enough that they could mean anything. While "issues" is the word that you use when you want to avoid using the word "problems" it's not even specifically stated here that these were large issues. Perhaps the issues were simply that certain lines of dialogue didn't have quite the punch that was needed and so they were changed, without really changing anything about how the scene worked. Just because they reshot all or some of the ending, doesn't actually mean they changed it. Again, it could just be that it just wasn't quite as big as they wanted it to be, and so they had to add something to make it special.
Of course, it's also possible that the reshoots really were substantial. Changing the ending is the sort of thing that sends chills through the bodies of fans. While significant reshoots of endings have occasionally led to improvements, just as often, if not more so, an ending is changed only for viewers to later discover on DVD that the originally planned ending was actually the better one.
Previously, it has been said that the reshoots were done to make the tone of Rogue One better match that of the original Star Wars since the two films take place very close together in time. This certainly could explain why the ending could need to be tweaked.
At this point, we really have no idea what to expect from Rogue One: A Star Wars Story and it will likely be some time before we have any idea whether these reshoots were a good or bad idea. First, we have to see what we get in the final cut of Rogue One, then we have to know which parts of it were changed. It's clear that Lucasfilm has a lot riding on Rogue One and so it's not surprising that they would go to whatever lengths possible to make it a solid film. The only question is if their idea of the right changes to make will match with everybody who sees the movie.