With its 483 million-dollar domestic profit, 900 million-dollar profit worldwide and 89% fan approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes, there is no doubt that “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” is a massive hit. The favorite scene amongst many crazed “Star Wars” fans comes near the end of the film when (MASSIVE SPIOLER ALERT) Darth Vader boards a ship and cuts down an entire hallway full of rebel troops. However, what most fans may not know about “Rogue One” is that this amazing scene almost never happened.
In the Summer of 2016, fans of “Star Wars” became nervous when news that “Rogue One” would be undergoing major reshoots. The term “reshoots” has a bit of a negative connotation in filming. Usually when a movie goes through extensive reshoots, it means the filmmakers are having trouble getting a final cohesive cut of the film put together. The reshoots are apparent for any fan who watched the first two trailers that were originally released for the movie. Felicity Jones’ famous “I rebel” line, Forest Witakers’ monologue, as well as several other lines of dialogue and shots from the trailers never appeared in the final film.
While there is no way to know for sure, it seems that most of the reshoots were of the ending of “Rogue One.” The trailer briefly shows Felicity Jones’ character running on the beach of Scarif with the Death Star plans in hand. There is also a shot of her facing off against a tie-fighter on top the communications tower. Both cool shots were nowhere to be seen in the finished movie. Instead, the film ended quite differently with the rebels sending the plans electronically from the tower to the rebel ship, where Vader has his crazy fight scene.
According to a Yahoo Movies interview with one of the head writers for the film, John Gilroy, the Darth Vader fight scene was added to the movie during reshoots. “What was added – and it was a fantastic add – was the Vader action scene, with him boarding the ship and dispatching all those rebel soldiers,” said Gilroy. “That was something conceptualized a little later. ... It was a really great punch in the arm and something I think fans wanted to see.”
This big change in the ending was most likely done to get that incredible fight scene from Darth Vader. This change seems to be a welcome one as the general consensus from the audience is that this particular scene is perhaps the best part of the whole film. It appears as though these reshoots were indeed for the better.