Rogue One Editor Reflects On “Very Complicated Third Act”

If Rogue One: A Star Wars Story started slow, hopping between one planet and the next to establish the core characters and their respective arcs, then the crowded third act brought practically everything to a head in spectacular fashion.

Reserving much of the scene-stealing action for a film’s finale is nothing new in the blockbuster space, but few movies are able to weave a series of interconnected story strands together in the style of Rogue One – and fewer still are able to do so without devolving into a cluttered mess of half-baked plot points and CGI noise. It’s a testimony to the movie’s editors, then, that Rogue One: A Star Wars Story was able to balance so many plates as the Gareth Edwards-directed pic reached its crescendo.


When quizzed about the creative process involved by io9, John Gilroy – one of three editors credits on Rogue One – conceded that “it was a very complicated third act.”

“There’s a lot of things happening at the same time. Our characters are at different places in the movie and we’re cutting from one to the other to the other. And you had to keep things clear, but you had to keep things moving. This movie was supposed to be different than other Star Wars movies,” he said. “They were trying to push the envelope of what a Star Wars movie could be. And when you do that, you try to walk that line. You want to make it different but you also want to very much make it part of the whole Star Wars saga. So trying to find that balance was the biggest challenge.”

For all of its purported troubles, Rogue One emerged on the other side relatively unscathed, which is a feat Gilroy takes great pride in. The same can’t be said about his work on Suicide Squad, after the editor admitted that he didn’t necessarily agree with the decisions made on David Ayer’s anti-hero picture.

“I didn’t agree with everything we did on Suicide Squad. But I did agree with everything we did on Rogue One. These things happen. These movies are very big, there’s a lot riding on them and sometimes it makes people change course or think of a new direction for their film before release.”

With a total box office haul of $913 million to call its own, Rogue One is now the second highest-grossing Star Wars movie in the franchise’s decorated history. Next on the calling card is Star Wars: Episode VIII, with Rian Johnson’s sequel poised to continue the Skywalker saga on December 15 of this year.

Source: io9