Yesterday, we reported on the rumors from Page Six that Gareth Edwards’ Rogue One: A Star Wars Story wasn’t doing so hot, and would require extensive reshoots. We theorized that Disney was a little freaked out about the “darker turn” Edwards wanted the film to take, and now, it looks like we were right. According to The Hollywood Reporter, corporate executives screened the film and decided it was “tonally off with what a ‘classic’ Star Wars movie should feel like.” As a result, the reshoots were ordered, in order to “lighten the mood, bring some levity into the story, and restore a sense of fun to the adventure.” Which makes sense, because if you want that “classic” feel, who can forget the lighthearted vibe of the hand-severing, father-revealing, carbonite-freezing Empire Strikes Back?
Actually, it’s too early to read much into this one way or the other. Sure, this is above and beyond the usual reshoots that are baked into any tentpole film production these days, but it’s also entirely possible the film really did feel a little off. Until we see the final film, it’s a crap shoot as to whether this particular room full of suits is any different from the one that demanded Thor take a lightning bath in Age Of Ultron. “This takes place just before A New Hope and leads up to the 10 minutes before that classic film begins,” a source told THR. “You have to match the tone!” You don’t, actually; you just have to match the haircuts. The movie can be whatever tone suits the story, which in this case was presumably a little darker than the Yub-Nub song. “This is the closest thing to a prequel ever,” that same inside source added, which is a weird comment for a franchise that literally has an entire trilogy of prequels.
Regardless, the version of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story we’ll see in theaters is going to be more upbeat than whatever was in the cut Edwards just screened, which is described as having the “feel of a war movie.” And sure, that sounds really cool, and like exactly the kind of left turn, stylistically speaking, that this franchise could use, but hey: Maybe that’s what Episode VIII is for.