Star Wars spin-off Rogue One has had a lot of column inches devoted to its reshoots and plot changes (including on this very website), with many fans noting that key shots and scenes from the trailers are changed or completely absent from the final film.
However, now director Gareth Edwards has revealed that there’s more to these absences than meets the eye – because apparently some trailer scenes were never intended for the finished movie at all.
Speaking at a Director’s Guild screening of the movie (captured on podcast The Director’s Cut), Edwards explained that every day on set they engaged in an activity called Indie Hour, when they’d just shoot random clips to see what it looked like.
“It was just a way for the crew of understanding, for now, we’re just going to do loads of random shit,” Edwards said. “Don’t try to ask, we can’t explain.
“It would just be things I thought were a beautiful moment or ‘This is a great idea’ and a lot of the stuff in the [first] trailer ended up through that process.”
Perhaps the most notable of these additional trailer scenes not included in the movie was the above shot of star Felicity Jones turning round in an Imperial tunnel while lights switch on, which became the most recognisable image for the film in the months moving forward.
“We finished a shot and [Felicity Jones] was just walking to the next shot, which was at the end of the tunnel,” Edwards recalled. “And as she walked, someone switched the lights on and the way they turned on they went *clickclickclick* like this.
“Someone called her, and she just turned around a little bit and I was like, ‘Oh my god that looked great.’ And I was like ‘Stop stop stop!’ and everyone stopped. ‘This will take 10 seconds, just roll camera’….Then obviously 10 seconds turned into a half hour, and we probably did 17 takes. So that ended and there’s that feeling of, ‘Well what was that for?’ And I was like, ‘I don’t know, that just felt good.’
Then, Edwards said he promptly forgot about the shot – at least until the marketing department asked him for clips to put in the trailer, inspiring him to send over that footage despite never intending it to be part of the film.
You can listen to the full recording below in which Edwards discusses other similar mood shots that weren’t part of the film, as well as the difficulties of shooting Rogue One in general.
Rogue One: A Star Wars story is in cinemas now