Director Gareth Edwards has finally revealed why one of the most memorable shots from the first Rogue One: A Star Wars Story trailer wasn’t in the final cut.
Edwards spoke about Rogue One at a screening of the film for the Directors Guild of America and admitted the shot of Jyn Erso in the middle of a lit up tunnel wasn’t meant for use in the final film. Edwards explained that during shooting they would take time every day to have “Indie Hour.” During this time, they could shoot whatever they wanted for no specific purpose and see if anything came out of it.
As Edwards explained to Chris Miller, one of the directors on the upcoming Han Solo stand-alone Star Wars movie, they had just finished with one shot and were heading to do another. As Jones began to walk out of the tunnel, someone flipped the lights on and the way it powered up created a spectacular image.
“Someone called her, and she just turned around a little bit and I was like, ‘Oh my god that looked great,’” Edwards said, as heard on The Director’s Cut podcast. “And I was like ‘Stop stop stop!’ and everyone stopped. ‘This will take 10 seconds, just roll camera.’ Then, obviously, ten 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.’”
Edwards admitted he forgot about the shot until it was pulled up by the marketing team and used in the trailer. He admitted it was for similar reasons that certain shots of Ben Mendelsohn as Director Orson Krennic seen in early trailers ended up going unused in the final film.
Shooting the film that way, Edwards confessed, made editing difficult because they wound up with too much footage. Based on everything that Edwards, Mendelsohn and other members of the editing team have said, it sounds like there’s quite a bit of footage left over.
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is currently playing in theaters. You can listen to the entire Director’s Cut podcast below.