Rogue One was a rare example of a film going through a considerable restructuring and still managing to be a good final product. As we all know by now, the movie went through several revisions and extensive reshoots.
Perhaps the scene that underwent the most restructuring was the final scuffle in Scarif. In the trailer, there was a heart-pounding shot of Jyn Erso running alongside her crew, dodging fire from the Empire. It looked like every fan's dream sequence had come to life. Unfortunately, it was nowhere to be seen during the film.
Turns out that was because originally, the transmission tower where the rebels had to get to in order to transmit the Death Star plans was separate from the main base in Scarif. Director #GarethEdwards has finally revealed why it was cut out. Speaking with Slash Film, the director revealed what the original ending was:
"I think the main thing that changed at the end… what used to happen - and you can get a sense of this in the early trailers - the transmission tower for the plans was separate from the main base on Scarif. To transmit the plans, they had to escape and run along the beach and go up the tower."
So, why did such an ambitious scene get left out? Because of pacing:
"In cutting the film, it just felt too long. We had to find ways to compress the third act, which was quite long as it was. And one real, fast, brutal solution was to put the tower in the base, so they don’t have to run across the beach and do all of that stuff to get there [...] We’ve all sat in a movie and even if you love a film, there’s that moment where [...] you feel like 'Okay, I hope it ends soon.' You don’t want the audience thinking that. You don’t want them to lag. If you feel that when you watch something back, you need to find a way to tighten it somewhere. That was a big win for a compression."
Will we be able to see the sequence in a deleted scene once the Blu-ray comes out? According to Edwards:
"That’s a decision way above me! I don’t think there’s any plans to do it."
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Would It Have Made The Film Better?
Short answer: Not necessarily. You see, just like Edwards said, even a great film can be bogged down by unnecessary sequences. A good example is Logan. It was an incredible ride, in fact, one of the best in the X-Men universe, but there are a few shots the movie could have done without. And from Edwards' description, the original version of the battle of Scarif could have felt like a disposable sequence.
With that said, we've never seen the cut sequence. Have you ever ventured into the deleted scenes of any given film and wonder "Why the hell did they cut that?" That's exactly what could happen with the scene in question. It could have made the movie fall under "unnecessarily long" territory, but it could have also made it an even more incredible film. Who knows? Maybe more character development for our group of rebels was included in that scene.
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For now, it looks like we won't get to answer whether the scene would have improved on the narrative of the film. Fortunately, #RogueOne was an incredible film that doesn't have us asking for details to it an enjoyable experience. And you can rewatch it once it comes out on Digital HD on March 24 and on Blu-ray on April 4, 2017.
Would you have liked that scene to be part of Rogue One? Do you think we'll ever get to see it? Let me know in the comments!
[Source: Slash Film]