Rogue One’s Ben Mendelsohn Reflects On Shooting “Vastly Different” Scenes

It’s no secret that Rogue One was under scrutiny all throughout the summer months. Perhaps it was the added pressure of following in the footsteps of The Force Awakens, or simply the inimitable Star Wars name on the masthead, but when news broke that the Gareth Edwards-directed pic was being hauled back into production to undergo reshoots – reshoots headed up by writer-director Tony Gilroy – an air of trepidation descended over Disney’s spinoff movie.

And though we’ll likely never know the full extent of those creative changes, many were relieved to find that Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, despite its minor flaws, debuted in theaters as a competent, wildly entertaining anthology movie. It’s the first of Disney and Lucasfilm’s planned spinoffs, what with the Han Solo and Boba Fett films simmering in various stages of development, but here, Ben Mendelsohn reflects on what it was like to experience those creative changes on a ground level.

Yep, absolutely, very much. We did have multiple, multiple ways of going at any given scenario, we had multiple readings of it. So should they ever decided to, there would be a wealth of ways of approaching these different things. And I know from having seen sort of the crucial kind of scenes throughout it, I know there’s vastly different readings of at least four of those scenes.

Mendelsohn isn’t the first – nor is he likely to be the last – to look back on Rogue One with the benefit of hindsight. Gareth Edwards, for instance, addressed the movie’s somewhat controversial ending soon after release, and though we understand the finale was subject to the biggest changes, Mendelsohn estimates that there are anywhere between 20 or 30 scenes that could have played out differently.

Collider: So in essence there’s basically a completely different version of the movie that could be played on like an alternate cut of the entire film.

Mendelsohn: Absolutely, with enormous differences within I would’ve said 20 or 30 of the scenes. There really would be. There would be enormously different renderings.

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story debuted in theaters a fortnight ago and has already stormed to $600 million worldwide. In related news, a new report suggests that Disney and Lucasfilm are readying the Blu-ray and DVD release for April 2017.