Something isn’t quite right with the latest Star Wars movie…
All of the space/flight battles; Vader actually being scary; K-2SO is the best droid the universe has produced; the tie ins were nicely handled; and it operates as the perfect introductory paragraph to Episode IV. CG Peter Cushing and Carrie Fisher was kinda odd and teetering toward the uncanny valley. The elements pulled from the animated series – the Ghost from Rebels and Saw Gerrera from Clone Wars – made sense. It was a good watch, and I want to see it again before it leaves theaters to pick up on little details.
Before we move on I want you all to re-watch these two trailers for the film. While you are watching this, make a note of each scene if you remember it from the theatre:
While the movie was enjoyable, screenwriter Tony Gilroy’s 11th hour reshoots (which wrapped up in November) were glaringly obvious if you’ve paid any attention to the marketing. It’s making a bunch of us wonder what story Gareth Edward’s original cut told. Rumors running around when the reshoots started was that Gilroy was brought in to change the tone of the movie; the initial cut was described as a war movie that had grit. We didn’t get that… what we got was a Star Wars movie, it just wasn’t the franchise bending Star Wars movie some of us expected.
Basically, the entire first trailer didn’t make it into the final cut. It’s just awkward. A few of the missing key scenes…
The shot is reminiscent of Luke’s path to fight Vader in Empire, tying the look of this movie to Episode IV. It was the kicker for the first teaser, and is nowhere to be seen.
Most of the dialog on the rebel base scenes in the trailers was absent. “This is a rebellion, isn’t it? I rebel.” or “Our Rebellion is all that remains to push back the Empire.” – nope, not there. A lot of Jyn’s screw you type of attitude was removed from this scene, as well.
We also miss out on dialog between Jyn and Cassian in the cockpit of a ship; and this great line from K-2SO to Jyn before setting out on the streets of Jeddah: “The captain says you are a friend. I will not kill you.”
While the Vader scenes were amazing – and really made him terrifying – we didn’t get this control room scene that gave the impression that he was present for the first test of the Death Star. Ben Mendelsohn’s epic hissy fit, while holding a rather large gun, in front of Vader is also missing.
As is his walk through water and dead stormtroopers towards a ship on fire, and a battle with a powerful and/or very determined foe. The scene of Jyn (harddrive attached) and Cassian running across a beach in front of a group of AT-ATs is also gone.
The big one, though – no Jyn vs TIE fighter. The official Star Wars website featured the TIE scene multiple times in articles – including this back in August and this editorial last week. This was the largest disappointment for me. The powerful scene is part of a movie we were sold, but didn’t get. I want to know what the movie I was sold is about.
What we got is a good Star Wars movie – one of the best. But I can’t shake this feeling that it’s the twin of the one I was sold – and I want to know if that version was better or worse.