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Once Disney got the rights to the Star Wars franchise, the House of Mouse started releasing new and exciting projects in quick succession. In addition to the main franchise, Star Wars recently introduced standalone movies, starting with Gareth Edwards' Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. Rogue One made a ton of money when it hit theaters in 2016, although fans were nervous when reports of extensive reshoots began circulating.
Those reshoots were done largely by Tony Gilroy, who also co-wrote Rogue One. When speaking at a college event, Gilroy recently clarified what he focused on when helming the standalone film's reshoots, saying:
When things pass through many hands and there's a great deal of confusion ... and there's all kinds of accessories and jewelries and bootstraps and zippers, and all the rest of the stuff. The purity for the characters, if it's not there to begin with, it just deteriorates and just turns into an absolute mush.
While Tony Gilroy hasn't spoken a ton about the process of shooting Rogue One's reshoots, this latest quote certainly clears things up. It seems that the motley crew of new characters weren't clearly defined, so new footage was needed to ensure that the audience cares for Jyn Erso's group of rebels. And considering how the movie ended, crafting the characters was very important.
Tony Gilroy's comments come from his recent appearance at Montclair State University (via NorthJersey.com), and help illuminate the mysterious reshoots that plagued Rogue One: A Star Wars Story before its highly anticipated release. While the Star Wars franchise is known for its iconography and cultural impact, the movies should still be about the characters-- preferably ones that are fully formed and fleshed out.
Rogue One was set in the time between the prequel trilogy and A New Hope, ultimately ending just moments before George Lucas' iconic first film began. Fans of the franchise could see the writing on the wall, and know that the group was essentially on a suicide squad to get the plans for the original Death Star. That's exactly how it goes down, with audiences left to watch in horror as each of the scrappy rebels fell.
Ultimately, Tony Gilroy's Rogue One reshoots did just that, because the blockbuster took time to highlight each member of the ill-fated crew. While Felicity Jones' Jyn Erso and Diego Luna's Cassian Andor are the clear leads, the rest of the crew get their moments to show both heart and humor. Because of this personal connection the new Star Wars characters, watching them die one by one is an emotional experience.
It's currently unclear if/when Star Wars will continue its standalone films, given the box office failure of Solo: A Star Wars Story. The next installment in the galaxy far, far away is J.J. Abrams' untitled Episode IX, which will arrive on December 20, 2019. In the meantime, check out our 2019 release list to plan your trips to the movies in the New Year.