As Rogue One explodes into theaters as the first of the so-called Star Wars anthology films, fans have every reason to rejoice. In short, the movie makes a worthy addition to the Star Wars canon, providing the same kind of fun and thrills that makes the series so wonderful, while still telling an original story of its own. Viewers can also breathe a sigh of relief over the fact that the much-discussed reshoots have not hurt the film. Indeed, it remains a spectacular piece of entertainment.
So just what exactly did Disney add in reshoots, not to mention the extensive extra editing by Tony Gilroy? At this point, viewers can only guess, though the many trailers and TV spots for Rogue One can offer a few clues. A number of prominent scenes and lines of dialogue do not appear in the final cut in the movie. We here at Screen Rant have already begun our dissection and speculation of the trailers, and identified a number of key differences. Have a look, and draw some conclusions of your own from 14 Moments From The Rogue One Trailers That Aren’t In The Movie!
15. “IMMEASURABLE POWER”
Director Krennic makes for a different kind of Star Wars villain than has yet graced the screen. In fact, in the grand scheme, he has more in common with the Rebels than with his fellow Imperials—a fact actor Ben Mendelsohn uses to his advantage. Despite all his dastardly scheming, Krennic comes off less like a malevolent Darth Vader or cruel Grand Moff Tarkin than a man hired to do a job. Power and greed don’t motivate him. Buying groceries does!
Krennic has some great scenes in the film, and a particularly good one in the trailer that didn’t make it to the final cut. In this deleted scene, Krennic confronts Vader, talking about the immeasurable power handed to the Empire by the Death Star. How the rest of the scene played, or why it ended up excised is anyone’s guess. The scene could have run too long, or Gilroy’s tinkering might have tightened the scene to make Vader come off more intimidating. For a character like Krennic to speak in such a way to Darth Vader…no wonder he ended up getting Force choked! Krennic’s insubordinate attitude, though, only adds to the character’s pathos and intrigue.
14. DIRECTOR KRENNIC ON THE BEACH
One of the most iconic moments of the trailer (if, indeed a trailer can have iconic moments), found the villainous Director Krennic striding through the shallow beach waters of Scarif, his cape billowing in the breeze. Another shot, which looked like part of the same sequence, had Krennic firing his sidearm at Rebel troops. This shot would also appear to coincide with ancillary tie-ins like action figures which note Krennic as a great shot.
Given that, in the final film, Krennic never even makes it to the beaches, staying instead inside the Imperial communications tower to try and thwart Jyn and Cassian, this likely came from an earlier plot sequence that had most of the characters running about on the sand. This probably came from the earlier rough cut of the film which led to a different ending, and to the demise of several main characters. Tony Gilroy’s editing work, along with the extensive reshoots, probably reworked the end to maintain the general plot, but add a note of hope and satisfaction. We’ll dive further into that original ending in a bit.
13. JYN FACES DOWN A TIE FIGHTER
Much as Krennic never made it to the beach, Jyn’s struggle to transmit the plans via the Imperial dish tower featured a particularly breathtaking shot in the trailer. In it, Jyn hobbles out to adjust the dish at the control station, only to see a TIE fighter rise up to her level. The shot ends there, so there’s no telling if the spacecraft fired on Jyn. Either way, the TIE never made it into the final cut of the movie, though our heroine’s determined stumble managed to (thankfully).
If we had to guess, this shot also probably appeared in the original ending, which supposedly had a bleaker tone. Our theory posits that the TIE fighter fired on Jyn, wounding her. She probably survived (that would be a brutal way to kill off your main character) long enough to crawl to the main controls and transmit the plans. She also would have died there, alone. In terms of plotting, that doesn’t change much in the broad strokes. It would have created a more depressing end, though, as opposed to the final version that has Jyn confront Krennic, and run off with Cassian.
12. SAW’S SPEECH ABOUT WAR
Fans squealed with giddiness when Lucasfilm announced that Oscar-winner Forest Whitaker would step into the role of Saw Gerrera, a minor character from the Clone Wars television series. The casting marked the first time that a character that originated in animation would appear in a live-action Star Wars production.
Whitaker gives one of the best performances in the film, making the aging Saw into a half-mad, ruthless fanatic in his quest to take down the Empire. The trailers had Saw delivering a delicious speech: “What will you do when they catch you? What will you do if they break you? If you continue to fight, what will you become?” Unfortunately, said speech appears nowhere in the final film. Given the choppiness in some of the first act, and given Saw’s abbreviated role, we tend to think that the character had greater prominence in earlier edits of the film. His scenes might have ended up cut for pacing issues, or most likely, cut due to their dark and mature themes.
11. “I WILL NOT KILL YOU”
The wonderfully snarky droid K-2SO became one of the most memorable characters to emerge out of Rogue One, something of an achievement given the dearth of character moments in the film. As a security/enforcer droid, diehard fans will no doubt note that K2 would have spent his career prior to his Rebel days killing Imperial prisoners. A line in the trailer hints at his former duties, when he tells Jyn Erso, “I will not kill you.”
Again, given all the hullaballoo about reshoots and last minute editing, persistent chatter in Hollywood holds that the initial cut of the movie played a bit darker than Disney wanted. For one thing, having a confessed killer — even a droid one — on the Rogue team might have painted them a bit too dark. For another, given the amount of levity K2 adds to the proceedings (he provides the vast majority of the laughs in this film), he will likely emerge as a favorite character of younger viewers. Knowing him as a killer could have hampered merchandise sales!
10. 96% CHANCE OF FAILURE
Much like his “I will not kill you” line, K2 also has a line in trailers about having a 96% chance of failure on the Rogue team’s final mission. He has similar lines throughout the finished movie, though his specific line about failure appears to have ended up on the cutting room floor, or, at the very least, it was redubbed.
We have to guess that the “failure” line ended up cut for most of the same reasons his line about killing did. Rogue One doesn’t waste time on cute ball droids, fuzzy Ewoks, or adorable aliens. In other words, the film aims for a more mature, focused tone. Changing some of K2’s lines, or at least dropping some of his darker dialogue, helps from letting the film get too dark for a general audience used to the fun adventures of Star Wars. It also, as previously mentioned, let’s K2 become the closest thing to a cute character—one that younger kids can latch onto as a favorite. With Christmas just weeks away, there’s little doubt that fans young and old will want to take home K2 action figures. The ever profit-conscious Disney wouldn’t want to spoil Christmas toy sales, now would it?
9. ONE OF CASSIAN’S SPEECHES ABOUT RECRUITING
Like Saw Gerrera’s speech, Cassian Andor has an intriguing voice-over in one of the trailers. In it, he discusses his work as an assassin for the Rebellion, and how he’s acted as a recruiter “for a long time.” The quote indicates that Cassian might have had a scene where he discusses more of his backstory, and just who he’s killed in the name of galactic freedom.
The line could have ended up deleted either because it delved a bit too deep into the darker elements in Cassian’s past, or because it slowed down the pace of the film. At well over two hours, Rogue One has a substantial runtime, even if it manages to maintain a breakneck pace through most of the movie. Talker scenes might have disrupted that. Again though, introducing an assassin as a vital character in the Rebellion is pretty dark stuff, far darker than any way the films have ever portrayed the Rebels before. Disney might have ordered the line deleted so as not to confuse the good guys from the bad.
8. YOUNG SAW IN HIS HIDEOUT
Along with Saw Gerrera’s speech, the trailers have several shots of young Saw (still played by Whitaker, though in different make-up) pacing through some hideout, and another of him sitting in a chair aboard what appears to be a ship. Neither appear in the finished film, raising questions as to what those sequences held.
Rogue One goes a long way toward establishing Saw as a fanatical character—he may have noble goals, but he’s basically a terrorist. As Mon Mothma makes clear, even if the Rebellion has the same endgame as Gerrera, the Alliance finds his tactics too brutal and dangerous. These deleted scenes might have further elaborated on his character, and on his history. Given that the film still shows Gerrera torturing Bodhi with some kind of land-octopus creature, lord only knows what he might have done in scenes that Disney considered too brutal to show the public. Perhaps a forthcoming Blu-Ray release will uncover some of the deleted character bits.
7. “I REBEL”
Jyn Erso delivers one of her most character defining lines in the trailer, telling Mon Mothma, “I rebel.” For whatever reason, the line, which looks to take place during Jyn’s first meeting with the Rebel leaders, does not appear in the final cut of the film. It’s a bit strange that something so defining and prominent would not make it into the final cut.
Jyn’s declaration might have slowed down the scene, or appeared as part of a larger dialogue that also foiled the momentum of the movie’s pace. We also can speculate that perhaps Jyn came off a bit too unlikable or morally gray in an earlier version of the film. Star Wars has always had clear-cut heroes and villains, and while adding ambiguous characters to the mix improves the richness of the story, it makes the film a harder sell to a wide audience. Even without the scene — or many of the others listed here — Rogue One also transcends the label of disposable popcorn flick, instead becoming a thoughtful and provocative sci-fi piece.
6. THE REBELS DON’T HAVE A HOLOGRAM OF THE DEATH STAR
Later trailers show the Rebel leadership, along with Jyn and Cassian, meeting around a large holographic table, with a flickering hologram of the Death Star rotating before their eyes. While the scene itself appears in the film, the hologram of the Death Star has mysteriously vanished from the final cut.
Since the scene still pops up in the film, an educated guess might posit that the scene ran much longer in early edits, and that the portion with the holographic Death Star ended up cut. On the other hand, given some of the other obvious deletions from the film’s climax, perhaps Jyn & co. had to accomplish some other task on Scarif in a longer or darker version of the film. With the last act restructured, the scene with the holographic Death Star might have needed excision. In any case, this is a minor trailer tidbit that likely had little bearing on the film as a whole.
5. JYN AND CASSIAN RUNNING AT THE AT-ACTS ON THE BEACH
Trailer footage shows Jyn & Cassian running around the beaches of Scarif quite a bit, including one notable shot where the two run towards the advancing AT-ACTs. Just what would the two have tried to accomplish in said sequence?
Several deleted scenes that appear in trailers hint that perhaps Jyn, Cassian, and K2 might have entered the Imperial tower another way, later during the battle. In the movie, they don Imperial uniforms to sneak in. That could also have happened in an earlier cut, though not before the team had to rush into the heat of battle to get to the tower. It’s also possible that the group returned to the beach before trying to get up to the satellite dish. In any case, either sequence would have prolonged the last act of the film, and could have hurt the pacing. The final act of Rogue One features one of the most intense, taut, battle sequences ever to feature in Star Wars. Maybe cutting this bit was for the best!
4. JYN/CASSIAN/K2 IN CANARY WHARF STATION
Earlier trailers showed Jyn, Cassian and K2 running through an Imperial facility, where they were surrounded by stormtroopers. The final film reveals this location as Canary Warf station. How curious then, that this shot appears nowhere in the final movie!
Viewers of the trailers should note that Cassian and Jyn both wear their Rebel costumes, not the Imperial garb they steal at the beginning of the film’s final act from an unsuspecting inspection crew. This would seem to indicate that the two either escaped the tower at one point, tried to escape, or found another way to enter the building in earlier edits of the film. Like the scenes on the beach, editor Gilroy could have deleted this shot for pacing reasons, or as a larger reworking of the film’s last act. What the three might have tried to accomplish in this scene remains an open question, at least until an early shooting script or deleted scenes show up on the internet.
3. JYN WITH THE DATA TAPE ON THE BEACH
One brief shot in a later trailer shows Jyn and Cassian running across the beaches of Scarif during the attack. The scene didn’t end up in the final cut, but it stands out for another reason: Jyn has the Death Star memory tape in her hand.
Viewers of the final cut will obviously note that Jyn & Cassian don’t make it back to the beach until after the fighting has stopped, and that Jyn only takes the data tape from the security vault to the transmission tower. We speculate that perhaps the pair had tried to return to their shuttle in an earlier version of the film, only to see it destroyed. The two would have then realized that they had no means of escape, and returned to the tower to transmit the plans and face their doom. If that were the case, the movie would have a much bleaker tone which could have distracted from the main action. Subconsciously knowing that Jyn will probably die in the final battle is one thing, but being assured she will die (???) would cast an elegiac and depressing tone over the rest of the proceedings.
2. CHIRRUT AND BAZE RUNNING FROM AT-ACTS
One of the more arresting shots in the trailers shows Chirrut and Baze running from AT-ACTs in the tropics of Scarif. The two appear to dodge the footsteps of one mechanical beast, as they try to escape into the foliage. A portion of this shot does appear in the final cut of the movie, though at a seemingly shorter length than the trailer version.
Like a number of other shots discussed here, this scene of Chirrut & Baze could have disappeared because of pacing reasons, or because it was part of a much larger sequence that ended up being taken out. It’s even possible that one or both of the men could have died there, crushed beneath the AT-ACT foot. That wouldn’t have provided the characters with the most heroic of deaths, so the reshoot period might have entailed reworking their role in the battle, and to give them more fitting send-offs. The friendship between the two characters gifts the film with one of its most interesting relationships, and regardless of how they would have died in an earlier version, the final film gives the two the moving finale they deserved.
1. VADER ON THE DEATH STAR
Darth Vader’s appearance in Rogue One proved, unsurprisingly, to be one of the film’s most memorable highlights. No doubt it also made Star Wars die-hard fans swoon to hear the magnificent rumble of James Earl Jones’ voice coming from the polished darkness of Vader’s suit. Early trailers teased Vader’s role by showing his reflection in the polished floor of some space station, while others showed him against a red computer display that looked like that of the Death Star. That shot does not appear in the film!
Several reviews of the film have speculated that the Darth Vader epilogue to the movie, in which he mowes down a squad of Rebel soldiers in an attempt to recover the Death Star plans, might have been added late in shooting, or during reshoots, to give the movie a heart-pounding afterthought. That could also explain some of the questions that having the Tantive IV — along with Princess Leia — at the battle of Scarif raises. Either way, the final code provides the film with one of its best moments, and having Vader chase after the blockade runner provides a good deal more excitement than having him watch a computer screen!
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is in theaters now.