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Disney reportedly unhappy with Rogue One


The first “Star Wars” spinoff, “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story,” is in crisis, and the movie will have to go into expensive reshoots over the summer, sources exclusively confirmed to Page Six.



The much-anticipated “Rogue One” is due for release on Dec. 16, but we’re told bosses at Disney are not fully satisfied with the first cut from director Gareth Edwards.


One Hollywood source told us, “The execs at Disney are not happy with the movie, and ‘Rogue One’ will have to go back into four weeks of expensive reshoots in July.”


It was announced earlier this month that Edwards would not direct “Godzilla 2” later this year, and would instead “focus on smaller films.” But the movie insider told us, “Gareth’s work on the first ‘Godzilla’ [which came out in 2014] shows he can handle a big studio blockbuster. But ‘Rogue One’ has fallen short of what J.J. Abrams did with ‘Star Wars: Episode VII — The Force Awakens.’ So Disney has ordered reshoots.”


Edwards is well-known as a risk-taking director, but has also been reported to prefer to keep studio influence at a minimum. The source added, “Disney won’t take a back seat, and is demanding changes, as the movie isn’t testing well.”


Reps for Edwards didn’t get back to us last night.


A Disney source added, “The filmmaking team and the studio always anticipated additional shooting and second unit work to make the film the absolute best it can be, and the actors were aware there would be additional shooting. Coming off The Force Awakens, there’s an incredibly high bar for this movie and we have a responsibility to the franchise and to the fans to deliver the best possible movie we can.”

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It's gonna be tough: it's a Prequel. We already know how it ends - the story's gotta strengthen the mythology. The only appeal I can think of - is that it's gonna be awesome seeing literal classic Star Wars...what, taking place days / hours before A New Hope (it's the opening crawl!) and the possibility of seeing classic Darth Vader potentially recovering his reputation as a cinematic bad-ass.


They've covered the 'stealing of the Death Star plans' a few times in the EU - this really has to be a story / version worth telling - that's the only way this thing will survive. Just nostalgic eye-candy might be enough for some - but I'd like to see a Star Wars Prequel be great. They should've been at 100% at script-level, but everybody knows these Star Wars movies are being fast-tracked. I heard Episode 8 had to take a pause to recalibrate. To the young Han Solo flick...seriously, good freakin' luck.

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Disney has all teh monies. Even if Rogue One cost $200million to make, it'll earn double that back easily. So these reshoots could just be Disney execs trying to take credit or put their stamp on the franchise. Eh, or maybe Edwards has lost his damn mind and has Forest Whitaker doing a Jar-Jar impression for half the film. Either way, this first trailer was gold and it is all I need to know about Rogue One prior to opening night. I'm eager to experience learning about these new characters and their place in SW cannon from the film.

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For what it's worth, the site that reported this is a gossip rag more contemptible than the hated Latino review, so this isn't necessarily true. The only reason that anybody's giving this any credence is because the site correctly stated who the new Han Solo would be.

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Every movie has reshoots.


Also, the issue of phrasing is important because some articles say the movies isn't testing well 'with execs'. If it's not testing well with actual test audiences that's very different.


In terms of the reshoots though, I feel that one things Disney has always understood, even in their less successful films, is good visual storytelling. We saw that in TFA when even with the pushing of fan service for various things they still managed to put together a serviceable story while moving around multiple pieces on the fly (I hear for instance Maz was supposed to go to the Resistance base an earlier draft etc). I suspect a lot of what they do is very formulaic, as in beat sheets and all that, but that stuff tends to work in making a good story though it can restrict the ability of the tale to be unique. Then again, ANH was the original beat sheet blockbuster.


It worst we get a serviceable space action movie.

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There were 2 things I was expecting in the Prequels -


1. A character study - I wanted to see a good man's fall to the Dark Side.


2. The birth of the Rebellion - I wanted to see the galaxy's reaction and response to a dictatorship steadily rising. (The novelization of the OT had a summation of the Prequels waaay back in the day - it described the rise of the Empire and the fall of the Republic as something like, 'Like a great oak, the Republic rotted from within...').


I was disappointed on both ends - Anakin was born a bad seed and the entire galaxy was full of blind idiots. Also, all the advertised scenes w/ Mon Mothma and Bail forming what would be the Alliance was completely cut.


So was a lot of stuff involving Palpatine twisting Anakin's views, feeding his already seething resentment - resulting in total condemnation of the Jedi as murderous hypocrites, which I thought was super-interesting shit and could've fixed the whole 'born a bad seed' issue. But all that was also cut. An out of place remnant exists: "From my point of view - the Jedi are evil!" 'Huh? Why? Talk to me Anakin...are you attempting to rationalize or do you actually believe that?' Such a leap in...it's just so lame - LOL


Although Anakin's turn to the Dark Side was an utter, schlocky mess of an afterthought - I still would like to see the birth of the Rebellion. 'The Force Unleashed' went there - and they proudly boasted how it was a 'Lucas approved' new chapter in the SW mythos a'la 'Shadows of the Empire'. (oy - RIP, 'Starkiller' - FUN FACT: He voices Darth Maul in Clone Wars, Rebels n' Disney Infinity - and the Emperor in both Force Unleashed and Rebels. Dayum! That's range!)


ANH billed the 'theft of the Death Star plans' as the Rebellion's first victory. The Rebels tv show isn't...isn't the Rebel Alliance, yet - (I've only seen Season 1) According to the 'new Disney canon' - it's a movement that still doesn't have an origin! (Although, according to ROTS deleted scenes - it's been manifesting for 18 years...but Rebels is making it look like it might be much, much younger than that...proper.)


If Rogue One (and by extension, all future 'Star Wars Stories') is to have a place, it really has to earn this 'victory'. The birth of the Rebellion really is the last puzzle piece in regard to the origin of key-players in the OT. As evident w/ the Prequel Trilogy - it is very possible to destroy the myth.


Like Jumbie said, worst case scenario - I think we're getting a 'serviceable space action movie' (Force Awakens, in my opinion). I hope whatever they put out, it's gonna strengthen the myth / universe of Star Wars.


A movie about how a young Han Solo first met Chewie, actually showing his infamous Kessel Run victory and the 'secret origin' of the Millennium Falcon is just gratuitous. It could end up just being a fun, silly movie - but, Rogue One is venturing in sacred waters. I hope they throw down whatever it costs to make it great.



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Nemo, you keep mentioning in your post the "birth" of the Rebellion. Are you hoping for some sort of film or episode where a bunch of senators are sitting in a room somewhere going, "Enough of Palpatine's bullshit. Let's rebel!" or something of that nature? I feel like the REBELS TV show is doing a good job of showing the early stages of the rebellion and how it's going from isolated attacks to an organized and increasingly effective threat to the Empire. ROGUE ONE will also add a big piece to that chapter of the story, and if we're lucky we'll see overlap between events and or characters in the show and film down the line. (REBELS is pre-Rogue One, I believe.)

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Nemo, you keep mentioning in your post the "birth" of the Rebellion. Are you hoping for some sort of film or episode where a bunch of senators are sitting in a room somewhere going, "Enough of Palpatine's bullshit. Let's rebel!" or something of that nature?


Yup! LOL - like at 5:09...


And at 8:01...


The Rebels tv show isn't...isn't the Rebel Alliance, yet - (I've only seen Season 1)


Yeah, if they're gonna do a movie focused solely on the Rebel Alliance's first victory, I'd love to see that scene - the one were they declare an open Rebellion against the Empire. If it already had been declared in the movie, I'd expect that scene in the tv show.


Just like how Palpatine had his declarative moment in ROTS, I'd love to see the retort - the one that launches the Galactic Civil War.

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I'm just saying that the 'birth of Rebellion' is one of those moments in SW I've always wanted to see. TFU finally got to it - but Disney has since obliterated everything. The fact that we're getting Rogue One and there's a running show called 'Rebels' - I'm gettin' a chubby imagining we'll get that moment again on an epic-scale. (shrugs)


The ROTS deleted scenes w/ the Delegation of 2,000 planted the beginnings of the Alliance, but damn - the formal declaration of Rebellion...I've always envisioned it as an epic, bad-ass moment. TFU succeeded, but it was a video game w/ not that huge an audience. I hope the Disney-revised version is not a missed opportunity.




Bitch. LOL!

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  • 4 weeks later...







Cue the heavy breathing.

Darth Vader is alive, angry, and merciless.


As part of EW’s Rogue One cover reveal, we confirmed the Sith lord will be back at the height of his powers in the Dec. 16 film, which takes place just prior to the events of 1977’s original Star Wars.

Ever since Lucasfilm announced that the plot of its first stand-alone movie would focus on the Rebel warriors who staged a heist of plans for the first Death Star, fans knew – or at least seriously expected – that the most iconic villain in film history would return to the screen. If he didn’t…? The collective rage of the Star Wars fandom would probably Force-choke whoever nixed him.


Rogue One is a new kind of movie for Lucasfilm, a story that explores territory beyond the core “saga” films of the first three classic movies, George Lucas’ prequels, and the new trilogy that started with J.J. Abrams’ The Force Awakens and will continue in 2017 with director Rian Johnson’s Episode VIII. The next stand-alone film after Rogue One will be a young Han Solo story, coming out in 2018, which delves into the history of the captain of the Millennium Falcon long before he encounters Luke and Obi-Wan Kenobi in that cantina on Tatooine.


Lucasfilm has said the main difference between the features is that the “saga” films are focused mainly on the Skywalker family – but now we know that doesn’t mean Rogue One will be completely devoid of Skywalkers.


In her interview with EW, Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy was asked about which characters from the original trilogy may turn up alongside the new heroes and villains.

After a momentary hesitation, Kennedy said: “I think we can talk about Vader…”

Those were the seven words fans wanted to hear.




At 85, James Earl Jones will also reprise his role as Vader’s foreboding voice, while a variety of large-framed performers will embody the character behind the mask. (David Prowse, now 80, was often inside the suit in the original trilogy.)


Jones has lately performed the character on episodes of Disney's XD's animated Star Wars: Rebels - but many actors have imitated the voice over the years for games, cartoons, and other products. Onscreen, however, there can be no substitute.


That leaves the question: How much Vader are we going to get? The answer – just a little bit. (That’s why there isn’t a new image of him, unfortunately.) Kennedy says Rogue One has to make careful use of Vader. “He will be in the movie sparingly,” she says. “But at a key, strategic moment, he’s going to loom large.”


EW also learned a little about Vader’s reputation in the galaxy at this point in the chronology, roughly 19 years after the events of Revenge of the Sith, when Anakin Skywalker lost most of his limbs and was horrifically burned in a battle with Obi-Wan, necessitating the life-sustaining armor he wears forever after. As Rogue One unfolds, Vader is still a background player in galactic politics.

Vader is the muscle. The fixer. And also… the breaker, when he needs to be.


The Empire’s grip on the galaxy is beginning to be pried open, and the Death Star is how Emperor Palpatine intends to maintain his dominion over the star systems rising up against him.

The Rebels are barely familiar with Vader. Even within the Empire, he is more legend than everyday presence. “Within the Rebellion, it’s not commonly spoken about,” says director Gareth Edwards. “Within the Empire, there is the culture of knowing of the existence of Darth Vader. There’s definitely an underlying feeling that there is a power – a dark power – available to the Empire and that if you overstep your mark, you will suffer the consequences.”


With the man in black as a background figure, that brings us to the central villain of Rogue One: a man in white.




The main antagonist of the story is Ben Mendelsohn’s Director Orson Krennic, an ambitious Imperial officer with Machiavellian tendencies who is eager to secure a place at the Emperor’s side. “There is a lot of palace intrigue going on in the Empire, with people conspiring to move up the ranks and sabotaging each other,” producer John Knoll says. “There’s not a lot of loyalty there.”

In other words, Krennic and Vader aren’t friends. They’re barely allies, and Krennic is understandably threatened by the Sith Lord. “Vader doesn’t really play by the rules,” says Kiri Hart, Lucasfilm’s chief of story development. “He’s present in the military structure, but he’s not beholden to it. He’s not accountable to anybody, really, except Palpatine.”


Hart believes Vader’s volatility in the original film is part of what made him memorable and unsettling, so that quality will also be coming back in Rogue One.


“When Tarkin says to Vader to ‘release him’ when he’s choking that guy, Vader does it, but not because he has to. He’s just willing to give Tarkin one in that moment,” she says, with a nervous laugh. “That’s part of what makes the reveal of the Emperor, even in a hologram inEpisode V, so cool because you’re like, ‘Oh, wow. Here is the guy that Vader literally bends his knee to. What’s that all about?’”


That’s what Krennic is trying to figure out, too: How can he acquire that most-favored status? What is it between the Emperor and Vader that binds them?


Krennic is left with a lot of motivation to quash this Rebel strike force and keep the Empire’s Death Star plans from going awry.


He can feel Vader’s mechanical breath on his neck.




With Lucas retired and stepping back from the creative process, this new slate of Star Wars films marks the first time that a generation of filmmakers who grew up as fans are taking over the official stories. Some, like Edwards, first started making up their own Star Warstales as children with the help of their Kenner action figures.


Bringing back a key original character onscreen is sort of like one of those 3 3/4-inch figures becoming life-size.


When asked about his first day with Darth Vader, Edwards actually went way back. He recalled being a kid and going to the opening of a toy shop that featured a special celebrity guest – the dark lord himself. “When I got home, my mum encouraged me to tell a neighbor what I’d done that day, and I said, ‘Oh, yeah, I met Darth Vader.’ And the neighbor said, ‘The real one?’ I was like, ‘No, it was just an actor – the real one’s out in space.’”


While prepping to start Rogue One, Edwards’ first experience with the fallen Jedi came in the Fall of 2014 during a test shoot on the Starkiller Base set of The Force Awakens. They were experimenting with how best to light all that gleaming black armor in amongst the shimmering backdrop of Imperial-style architecture.


“He’s got more in common with lighting a car than a person, so we wanted to get it exactly right,” Edwards said. “We had the breathing sound just to inspire everyone. I just got massive goosebumps. I was so nervous to turn the corner and see him. You have to pinch yourself. Everyone became children again, so easy. You just go straight back to being a 4-year-old, like, in a heartbeat.”


He says that’s when a filmmaker becomes a fan again. “There’s all these rules about security on set, but I couldn’t help it,” Edwards says. “I got my phone out and started taking pictures of him, and pictures of me with him, because I felt like no one would ever believe that I’d met Darth Vader.”

The real one this time.


In December, we’ll be encountering him again, too


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