Geekery: Rogue One – The Good and the Missing

rogue one logo

Something isn’t quite right with the latest Star Wars movie…

Spoilers Ahead!

spoilers

The Good:

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:

The Missing:

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…

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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.

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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.”

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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.

orson_krennic rogue one

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.

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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.

Your thoughts?

  • I’ll be reading the Rogue One novelization this week, and chances are most of the cut scenes will be in the book, as it has “new” and expanded scenes all around. Thing is, the movie’s pretty long already. Trimming had to happen, inevitably. We can still hope for them to be on the BD release.

    • I should do that, as well.

      I’m hoping for at least a collection of cut scenes on the BD release. It was reported that Edwards delivered a complete movie in June.

      • If you haven’t already, make sure to read Catalyst before you do. It was pretty good, if slow and with little action. It builds up the Ersos and Krennic nicely and even features good ol’ Tarkin.

  • ZeeLobby

    I liked it though. The characters were actual characters with development. The plot was there, and wasn’t explained every 5 mins (though there was some hand-holding). And the ending wasn’t a traditional Disney ending, so that’s good.

    All in all, it had a lot more going for it than Episode 7.

    It also felt good having real bad guys back, and not an emo teen.

    • OldHat

      RIGHT!? That ending… my god!

      • vlad78

        But the OST was awful. The worst of all star wars movies . I’d really like to see the original version.

        • ZeeLobby

          Yeah, my wife was definitely like, where was the Star Wars music. LoL.

      • ZeeLobby

        It was definitely great. Actually went home and watched Episode 4 right afterwards, haha.

    • Don’t get me wrong – I liked it a lot. I just really want to see some of the scenes that were cut.

      • ZeeLobby

        Oh no doubt. I’m sure there’s some cool stuff there. I’m much less excited to see cut scenes when I think the scenes left did a solid job. Now episode 7, wouldn’t mind seeing what hit the floor there, cause what they left was just dismal, haha.

        • There were rumors that the entire back half of Episode VII was rewritten during production.

          • ZeeLobby

            It really wouldn’t shock me. It definitely felt very disjointed and weak. Even the battle scenes of rogue one were just much better. Wasn’t just one ace pilot wrecking face in his x-wing while everyone else meandered around. I like how they brought back the call-signs and squadrons, and everything else. It felt good. Felt like a real starwars.

    • zeno666

      Yepp I like it a lot better than Episode 7.
      Some CGI made me cringe several times. But still, could have been ewoks 😉

      • Agent OfBolas

        Well, I feel totally oppsite – epizode 7 clubbs to death Rogue one… in every single detail.

        • zeno666

          Good for you I guess 🙂

          I think they reused episode 4 a bit too much.

          • Agent OfBolas

            yes, but just imagine those are SWs for new generation. My daughter loved the story and she wants now learn a bit more of this universe.

            #proudfather

            😉

  • Keith Wilson

    many bothans died ……

    • ZeeLobby

      LoL. “Rogue Two – The Furries”

      • Seb

        “..- The Fury of the Furries”

        • ZeeLobby

          Much better!

    • zeno666

      Wrong deathstar 😉

    • Talos2

      That’s return of the Jedi, wrong death star

    • ThorOdinson

      That was for the plans for the second Death Star in Return of the Jedi, not the first. This is before A New Hope, and nowhere are Bothans mentioned.

  • Seb

    It could have been as simple as they stole from the archive at one side of the islands, then had to traverse the entire archipelago to use the transmitter to upload when the alarm went off. Thus facing troops AT-AT etc and Tie Fighter stand off as the Imperials know exactly where they are going.

    This explains, the sprint, the go-go-go firefights, and eventual last stand at the freight express door. To stop any further pursuit of Jyn and companions as they escalate to the tower. Which besides TieFighter, seems original as Jyn is hobbling about without explanation initially.

    The reshoot could have been about less run and gun, and more intimate moments of tension, allowing each character their moment “..in the end” and clear contributions during diversion/uplink.

    • The thought is that it was more space battle and less gun and run – rumor has it that a large chunk of the last space battle was done in re-shoots. The number of CG shots went from around 600 to 1700 after the re-shoots.

      • Seb

        Thats.. significant. haha.

  • dinodoc

    The solution to the shield gate problem would have made the Orks proud.

    • ZeeLobby

      Definitely not something I expected, lol. I remember being like “Oh S***” in the theater.

    • Seb

      That was probably the most tactical use of a last resort technique I’ve seen in a while 😀

      • Moose

        That hammerhead Gambit though.

        It was glorious.

        • Ryan Adams

          when i saw that, all i could think of was an ork Brute Ram ship

  • Sonic tooth

    im not massively into star wars but i really enjoyed it. alot more then the force awakens. rogue one definitly is my favorite of all of the post 80s films in the franchise…having not read much about it prior to seeing it (or even seeing the trailer), i wasnt aware of all these changes. its a shame…

    • ZeeLobby

      Eh, whose to say it wouldn’t be worse though. Sometimes cuts are made for more than just shortening a film. I’d have to see them before I made a judgement, but for example, her one on one-ing a tie fighter seems silly.

      • Sonic tooth

        was there a bit during the ground battle where a stormtrooper flew past on a speeder bike (like in ROTJ)? i dont remember it but my friend said there was?!?

        • Seb

          A hovering wave runner? Where’s the joy in not being able to spray everyone as you pass? 😉

  • Tzompantli

    My sense from reading analysis/speculation on the trailers is that the added scenes involved:

    (1) The space battle.
    (2) Change in delivery of the plans.

    Trailers show Jyn running on the beach with the plans. Not sure if that meant moving from the data storage place to the transmission center or entirely different method of getting the data offworld. I actually quite liked how the movie wrapped up in its current iteration and so I take it that the re-done scenes were for the best.

    Also some of her more petulant lines were cut from the movie relative to the trailers. Frankly, Anakin in the prequels provided more that enough petulance for the entire franchise so I was fine with her characterization in the final print.

    • Seb

      There is however the oddity of how the duo retired to the beach in the end scene, via a comms tower at the centre of an Imperial Base…

      It would seem they were already ground level in a previous version, post “victory” when they sat down to accept their fate.

      Completely agree on petulance removal editing 😀

  • Moose

    its not rare that first trailer footage doesnt make it into the final…

    • mike

      True, but this is quite a lot.

    • Typically kickers make it in, though – they’re selling points. It’s odd that those didn’t make it to final cut.

  • Liam Wolf

    I’ve got to disagree that we ”didn’t get” a gritty war movie. That’s absolutely what it was! Right down to the shades of grey actions and motives of characters, and that ending…. the only thing separating it from other war movies I’m thinking of would be less realistic gore, but it is still a Star Wars film, so fair enough. It certainly wasn’t the wide eyed fantasy romp in space that we’re used too…

  • Red_Five_Standing_By

    I thought it was a fun movie. I enjoyed it more than 7 but the film still had problems.

    – The first act was pretty slow. A lot of it was necessary to set up the characters but it was long and over stayed its welcome.
    – Jyn and Cassian were uninteresting characters with a lack of real development. Jyn especially. I feel like scenes were cut out to help her character grow more fully.
    – There was zero chemistry between Felicity Jones and Diego Luna
    – The ending battle was awesome but everything up by the big satellite dish felt… Off kilter. Probably due to the re-shoots and editing.
    – Leia being at the battle makes no sense. How can she even claim she is on a diplomatic mission from Alderaan if she was seen fleeing the battlefield?
    – The Choke on your ambition” line was both hilarious and awfully out of character.

    Having said that, it was still a great film. Probably my 3rd favorite (5, 4, Rogue, 7, 6, 1, (Clone Wars), 3, (Ewok Movies), 2).

    What I really liked about it was that it felt like Star Wars but not at the same time. They balanced the feel between a gritty war movie and the feel, tone and look that Star Wars is known for.

    • **Spoilers**

      The whole bit at the end makes the scene in IV where Vader sounds angry after Liea says she is on a diplomatic mission have a different look and feel.

      I mean she has the brass balls to lie to Vaders face, and Vader is… umm no, I was literally metres from boarding this ship an hour ago…

      Loved it!

    • Jooster

      Vader’s pun really threw me off, if I could unhear that I’d do it in a heartbeat.

      Besides that though, I enjoyed it. It was slow to get going, but once it did it felt pretty good to be watching it.

  • Badgerboy1977

    Didn’t watch the trailers, rather not spoil things for myself. Just watched the film though at an IMAX and absolutely loved it, everything a Star Wars movie should be as far as I’m concerned. I really liked force awakens as well but this was even better. Good job all round I say 🙂

  • Talos2

    That’s why you should never watch trailers for movies you want to see. Watch them for one song you wouldn’t have watched otherwise, but when you know you’re going to just wait and enjoy the movie.

  • Talos2

    I was in two minds as to what I thought of it first time so I’m delighted I watched it again. I found I was sat in judgement a bit too much on first view and really enjoyed just watching the movie on the second viewing. It was a really great addition to Star Wars. I can’t see the reasoning behind not having the proper opening music etc, but that’s a small gripe. The imperfections of the cgi of tarkin was shown up by a frankly too good imax screen, but watching it on a normal cinema screen it looked perfect. There’s a few movie critics out there that need to find a new career it seems as they’ve been about as reliable as government polls this year.

  • dinodoc

    So what ships and personnel do we imagine coming out of Rogue One for use in Armada?

    • The rebel flag ship and the hammerhead… perhaps.

      • dinodoc

        Was the flagship a new ship class?

        • As far as I’m aware, yes.

        • Andrew

          It was pretty big compared to the other Rebel ships wasn’t it?

  • Xodis

    Its a movie worthy of the classic trilogy. I like them all (even the prequels) but this movie was top notched. Completely disagree about it not being a “war movie” though. Sure it didn’t actually turn into one until the end, but thats when we see what its really like for the Rebellion and Empire and not some Cult Wizards locked up in a secret room, or a group of highly specialized SF units. It was grittier than I expected from the mouse, but obviously not as gritty as a war movie without a PG-13 rating.

  • Shawn

    This type of thing happens all the time. The use bits of film from the shoot that never make it to the film. I’ve noticed this for the last several years.

  • Paul Sinanan

    Things that were missing:

    Hayden Christensen in the Bacta Tank would have been great
    all sign of Bothans (just replace the Calamari, so easy)

    Giacchino, though skilled at making moving personal music, is not worthy of scoring Star Wars. Why would you even bother making up a new form of Imperial March? Why? Why not give it to Kiner, a man who has been working superbly with the Star Wars Score for almost 10 years now.

    Second of the new generation of movies… why are the antagonists so blatantly pathetic? Both Kylo Ren and Krennic were sniveling whiners… I hope this trend stops here!

    revisionist Star Wars: well hell, if they are going to bring people back to life, rejuvenate them to 20 years old, and re-insert ancient actor parts into new movies, CAN WE PLEASE GET A REDO OF THE VADER V. OBI WAN FIGHT IN ANH!!!?!?!?!?!!?!? Just put Alec’s head on a new body… and replace the Prowse Vader with someone new and athletic!

    • dinodoc

      Bothans died for the plans to the 2nd Death Star, not the 1st

  • Seb

    Small saviour – the staff did have a solid metal end for the xbow blaster muzzle housing. It was featured prominantly when his friend returned it to him in the prison, if but for a second. That and when he armed the staff to blaster config.

    • Nwttp

      That would make a difference i guess…. if they weren’t wearing armor. Unless storm troopers gear is made of styrofoam, the best a staff with a bit of metal on it would do is disorient a dude for a few seconds, and since there were a bunch of troopers, one could have easily got up and blasted ip man.

      • Seb

        Mmm but like yourself I was irked by the apparent ease he laid out stormtroopers. The weighted ends is the only saviour in my mind to somewhat alleviate the “reality” of it.

    • Nwttp

      Wait. Reread your post. You’re saying there’s some kind of blaster thing ama Bob on the end of it? How could you tell? It surely didn’t look like it was anything special. Maybe if they had some sort of effect when he hit people, it would have made sense. But in my opinion that was the dumbest part of the movie.

      • Jooster

        Two things: The blaster at the end was in-shot fairly regularly. You’re right in that it wasn’t explicitly explained as a blaster, but if you’re reasonably familiar enough with Star Wars designs it wasn’t too difficult to spot.

        The second is more about how much damage it could do even if it was just a stick. You may have taken a whack by a baseball bat, but I doubt it was intentional. A staff with a weighted end can do some very real damage to a person if it’s wielded with intent to harm.

        • Nwttp

          Oh no, it was for intentional for sure. Hard enough to split my head open and need staples. Strong enough to disorient momentarily, but not fall down and pass out, not even enough to stop me from trying to defend myself. Not sure where I read this, but if you are knocked unconscious for more than like 30 seconds, brain damage has most likely occurred. Animals are strong, we don’t pass out from a couple whacks to the head.

  • Hazamelistan

    As far as I remember at least the K-2SO scene was in the film. I’m not sure if it was exactly this one but he tells Jyn that he’ll not kill her and after a break because cassian told him not to do.

  • NNextremNN

    Who is missing?: Kyle Katarn!

  • Andrew

    Never watched the trailers more than a halfway glance, so when I saw the movie I quite liked it. I also liked Episode VII. Overall the direction they’ve taken with these has been excellent.

  • Chris Hateley

    The TIE/Jyn face off was the only scene I noticed missing from the film since, as you say; it’s very iconic, but then after a single viewing of the first trailer I deliberately avoided all other trailers as I wanted to go into this completely free of any expectations.

    About half hour in I was beginning to feel it was like The Force Awakens all over again (I hated TFA, it was worse than Phantom IMO), but then once things got moving I was pleasantly surprised. Vader was awesome, the space battle was the best of any of the films (you’d think they’d use the Hammerhead more often!), and unlike the last effort, the whole thing actually FELT like a Star Wars movie. Most impressive.

    Was it just me though, or did they rip off the big tentacled mind probe beasty from an episode of American Dad? http://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/9240ec7cc978f295f9696c5079fa62e3bcc673c782e3528049a4dc183f12c477.jpg