There were many memorable moments in the trailers for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, but easily one of the most exciting was the sight of Felicity Jones' Jyn Erso going head-to-head with a TIE Fighter while standing on an antenna. Like many other cool bits from the marketing, it didn't find its way into the theatrical cut of the film, so fans were left wondering exactly what happened to it. To hear Rogue One screenwriter Gary Whitta explain it, he never wrote such a scene, and the fact that the moment isn't in the finished movie is just a normal Hollywood thing that gets highlighted because it happened in a Star Wars franchise:
For every 'thing' that winds up in a film, there are ten other things that at some point had to be discarded because they didn't fit the greater good. That happens with every single film. The only difference is that with Star Wars, people care more about what's left on the floor than what's in the film... I think it was just an example of many things in the script and pre-vis, and visual effects. It was an idea for a shot that for whatever reason they decided not to include it in the final film.
I spoke with Gary Whitta on the phone this week about his work on Rogue One, and after discussing the existence/non-existence of an opening crawl for the film, I asked him about the famed Jyn Erso vs. the TIE fighter shot. He said that he didn't remember that particular showdown being in any of the drafts he wrote (Chris Weitz and Tony Gilroy also received writing credits on the movie), but realistically it's just one of thousands of ideas that just weren't ultimately considered good enough to include in the finished cut.
In the finished cut of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, Jyn Erso does indeed go to the top of an antenna in order to try and send the Death Stars plans out to the Rebel ships, but at no point does she find herself walking towards a TIE Fighter (just a really pissed off Orson Krennic). The sequence in the movie is still extremely cool, but we still would love to see this scenario fully play out. Maybe the future helmer of another Star Wars Story can find a way to include it in their own film and actually have it play out as a nod/Easter Egg. Revisit Rogue One via this full trailer:
How do you ultimately come down on the lack of Jyn Erso vs. TIE Fighter in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story? Hit the comments section below with your thoughts, and look for the sci-fi blockbuster on DigitalHD next Friday, March 24th, and on Blu-ray/DVD on April 4th.