When the release date and bonus features for the home media release of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story were announced, one feature that was conspicuous by its absence was the deleted scenes. Given how much we heard about reshoots during the film's production, and how many shots were in the trailer but not in the film, many fans assumed the home media release would be chock full of deleted and extended scenes. But this was not the case and the release will not feature any deleted scenes.
Director Gareth Edwards addressed this in a recent interview with Fandango. Edward explained that,
"The stuff people talk about, like what they saw in the trailer, they're not scenes you can just put on a DVD. They're moments within scenes and threads, and you pull a thread and it all changes. It was changing the whole time. It's not like there was one version and then there was this other version -- it was like this thing that incrementally evolved constantly through all of postproduction and didn't stop until there was a gun at our heads and we were forced to release the movie."
He elaborated that many of the scenes were never finished, because of the amount of visual effects involved. Discussing the alternate version of the Scarif battle specifically, he said,
"The visual effects were never finished on it. It's not like there's something sitting somewhere. I feel like making a film is like a sport where someone blows a whistle and that's it -- the score is what it is. And the goal is to win. If I could go back and do the film knowing what I know now, the final film would be completely different. I'd probably be willing to make Star Wars for the next 10 years and never let go of it -- constantly trying to finesse and find new ideas. But at some point, it stops, and it is the movie. The film that got released, I feel like that is the film, and everything else is just the process of making it."
As Star Wars fans, we were spoiled during the prequel era when George Lucas was willing to spend his own money to finish the deleted scenes as a gesture to fans who were interested in seeing them. However, it is completely understandable that Lucasfilm and the filmmakers would not want to spend their time finishing the VFX on the deleted scenes. If we look at the deleted scenes on The Force Awakens, they were largely scenes that did not include that much VFX (Resistance base, Jakku village) or scenes that were cut very late in the game (Kylo on the Falcon). And even the ones that did have the unfinished VFX (snowspeeder chase, X-Wing pilots), the effects were far enough along that we could get a real sense of what the inention was for the scene.
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story will be released as a digital download on March 24th, and on blu-ray and DVD on April 4th.
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