First and foremost, it is important to remember not to panic.
Reshoots are commonplace for big blockbuster films, with studios using their huge budgets to fix obvious plot issues, insert more action or just generally fix any problems that have been identified by studio executives in early cuts. Unlike independently funded projects, big blockbuster films aren’t just the sole vision of a director, with a team of producers and executives also having their own desires for what the film should be, with the compromise between the two resulting in additional filming days.
However, the reports surrounding the reshoots for Rogue One should elicit some cause for concern, with Disney reportedly undecided on the tone that the film should carry. The studio will be keen for Rogue One to emulate the titanic success of Force Awakens, a film that perfectly encapsulated the tone of the original trilogy, to fans’ frenzied delight.
“This is the closest thing to a prequel ever,” A source told The Hollywood Reporter, “This takes place just before A New Hope and leads up to the 10 minutes before that classic film begins. You have to match that tone!”
It seems that Disney are seeking to brand Star Wars in the same vein as the Marvel Cinematic Universe, a franchise with a consistent, instantly recognizable tone across all its films, with Rogue One’s script going through various revisions in a bid to imitate that success and convey the appropriate tone.
Be that as it may, I don’t believe that this is the correct mindset for any future Star Wars spin-off films. As it stands, we are scheduled for one Star Wars film per year until the end of time, with a combination of main story and spin-off films making up the release schedule. Due to the heavy frequency of Star Wars films, I think its very important to differentiate the spin-off films in a distinctive manner, whether that’s through tone or themes – I want to feel like I’m witnessing something new.
Gareth Edwards has stated that Rogue One does have a unique feel to it when compared to its predecessors, feeling more like a war movie than the traditional swashbuckling adventure that we are used to. There are the obvious darker connotations that a war movie will suggest, which may feel slightly awkward amongst Star Wars’ younger audience, but there should the courage at Disney to do something different with the source material, something unique that will surprise its loyal audience.
As I mentioned earlier, the reshoots or the reasons behind them doesn’t mean we should panic. I am confident that Disney and Edwards will find the right balance that is appropriate for Rogue One, and these reshoots will only add to a memorable Star Wars experience.
You never know, the additional filming may even offer an opportunity for our new Han Solo, Alden Ehrenreich, to make a cameo appearance.