‘Rogue One’: How Gareth Edwards Snuck Unused ‘Star Wars’ Footage into the Big Battle

     December 19, 2016


Please be aware there are minor Rogue One: A Star Wars Story spoilers below.

The technical mysteries of Rogue One never cease. We’ve been over the abysmal decision making behind including a CGI version of Peter Cushing‘s Grand Moff Tarkin. We’ve analyzed what the early trailer footage revealed about those much-discussed reshoots. Now, Radio Times got the inside scoop on how Gareth Edwards integrated unseen Star Wars footage into the climactic battle sequence.

You may have noticed in your some prominent cheers in your screening when the rebel backup arrives in the X-Wing pilots exchanged their callsigns. According to the director, he found the footage in the archives at Lucasfilm and just couldn’t resist the opportunity to integrate the homage into the climactic battle.


Image via Lucasfilm

Edwards told the outlet,

“And as we’re walking around, and doing all the cool things and looking at the Millennium Falcon and trying on Han Solo’s jacket and things like that, in the back at the bottom was all these cans of film. And we said ‘what are they?’ and they said ‘Oh, it’s Star Wars….And you go… ‘has someone gone through all this? And it’s like ‘not really, they’re not fully like digitised at all.’”

Edwards handed the footage over to the wildly talented folks at ILM to integrate it into the action,

“We got the neg documents and found the clips from A New Hope that hadn’t been used,” he recalled. “And there’s pilot photography and lines that were never featured in A New Hope….Through the magic of ILM [special effect studio Industrial Light and Magic] they cut round them and manipulated them and stuck them into our cockpits,” he said.

While the director wasn’t sure iff the effort would pay off, “It’s the sort of thing you think, ‘how many people will notice?’, he told the outlet, but like I said, you probably heard the cheer in your screening and the fans were definitely appreciative. And it’s absolutely one of the best callbacks in the film (and oh boy, there are a lot). “At the world premiere in LA, there was this massive cheer at a particular point in the film,” Edwards said. “It was the only time during the premiere where I actually punched the air.”

For more on Rogue One, check out our latest coverage in the links below.

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