Movie production is a funny thing. You want your film to be highly anticipated, but that also comes with added pressure of pleasing moviegoers who have spent the last few months devouring trailers and stills. What's interesting is the apparent disconnect between blockbuster's trailers and the footage which actually makes it into the final product. So often trailers will completely give away the majority of a film's plot, making it almost unnecessary to bother seeing the full movie. And then there are trailers for major franchises like Star Wars, which will often contain frames and scenes which are nowhere to be found during the movie's runtime.
There's apparently a reason for all of this, though, according to Rogue One: A Star Wars Story editor John Gilroy. He recently spoke to the good folks at The Independent about his editing process, and why so many Rogue One trailer moments didn't make it into the final film. When asked how trailers affect his work as an editor Gilroy said,
I ignore it. A trailer or a comic-con piece is a totally different thing to what we're really doing. But, it's really nice to clock. What the early trailers on Suicide Squad did was show Warner Bros. people are very interested in the movie and the series. I'd say those short form things are an art in and of themselves. That's a whole other thing. I don't normally think about it too much and there's not a lot of interface between the two disciplines.
Well that makes sense. The reason movies like Star Wars films leave out certain trailer footage from the film is because they're totally disconnected. The editors have a job to do, and they're not going to be influenced by the trailer's depiction of the movie. The movie itself is the focus.
Realizing that the people behind trailers and actual movie editors are two separate entities will surely help curb some disappointment for future Star Wars films. The franchise very deliberately uses trailers and footage, keeping the greater plot of its films a mystery. But because so few trailers are released, fans of the franchise have been known to watch them over and over again, dissecting every frame for clues about the film's contents. So when an awesome shot doesn't make the cut, there is a fair amount of confusion and disappointment.
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is a prime example of this. While The Force Awakens also had trailer moments which weren't in the film, Rogue One's first trailer ended in a gorgeous and chilling shot of Jyn Erso in disguise. It was the last moment we witnessed, so fans spent the film's runtime waiting for it to show up on the silver screen. Alas, the shot was only used for publicity purposes, and therefore didn't make it into Rogue One.
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is still in theaters now.