How did Tony Gilroy save the production of Rogue One?

01 March 2023
"Rogue One: A Star Wars Story" was a highly anticipated film, set in the Star Wars universe and telling the story of a group of rebels who undertake a daring mission to steal the plans for the Death Star.

It made a shit tonne of money and featured one of the best ever Darth Vader scenes in the whole of Star War media. 

However, during the production process, there were reports of significant creative differences between director Gareth Edwards and the studio, as well as concerns about the film's tone and pacing. 

These issues led to the decision to bring in Tony Gilroy to oversee reshoots and rewrites.

Gilroy, an experienced screenwriter and director, had previously worked on the Bourne series and other high-profile films. His expertise in both areas proved invaluable to the production of "Rogue One," as he was able to identify areas where the script and pacing needed improvement, and also bring a fresh perspective to the story.

One of the key changes Gilroy made was to rework the film's ending, which had been deemed unsatisfactory by the studio. The original ending was reportedly darker in tone and had a significantly higher body count, but was ultimately deemed too bleak for a Star Wars film. Gilroy's version of the ending added new action sequences, more character development, and a more hopeful and optimistic conclusion.

tony gilory with Diego luna

Another significant change Gilroy made was to the film's pacing, which had been criticized for being slow and meandering in places. He added new scenes and dialogue to help move the story along, and also helped to clarify the film's themes and message. For example, in the original version of the film, the character of Jyn Erso (played by Felicity Jones) was somewhat flat and underdeveloped. Gilroy added new scenes and dialogue that helped to flesh out her character and provide more insight into her motivations and backstory.

Additionally, Gilroy worked to strengthen the relationships between the characters, adding new moments of interaction and bonding that helped to create a more cohesive and emotionally resonant film. For example, he added a scene in which Jyn and Cassian (played by Diego Luna) have a heart-to-heart conversation about their pasts and their hopes for the future. This scene helps to deepen their connection and provides a more compelling emotional arc for their characters.

Despite Gilroy's significant contributions to the film, there were reports that he clashed with Edwards, the film's original director. According to some reports, Edwards was pushed aside during the reshoots and had little involvement in the process. However, both Edwards and Gilroy have downplayed these reports, with Edwards stating that he was still heavily involved in the production and that he and Gilroy worked well together.

Regardless of the behind-the-scenes drama, "Rogue One" was ultimately a critical and commercial success, grossing over $1 billion worldwide and earning strong reviews from audiences and critics alike. The film's improved pacing, emotional resonance, and memorable action sequences were widely praised, and it has since become a fan favorite in the Star Wars franchise.

Given that, Disney gave Gilory the keys to the kingdom and let him make the absolutely brilliant television follow up, Andor. 

Some interesting trivia about the film includes:

  • The character of Darth Vader, one of the most iconic villains in the Star Wars universe, was originally only slated to appear in one scene. However, the filmmakers decided to expand his role and add more scenes featuring the character, which proved to be a hit with fans.
  • The film's climactic battle on the planet Scarif was partially inspired by the real-life Battle of Dien Bien Phu, a significant conflict in the First Indochina War.
  • The character of Saw Gerrera, played by Forest Whitaker, was originally created for the animated series "Star Wars: The Clone Wars," but was later adapted for the live-action film.
  • The film's title, "Rogue One," was reportedly chosen as a reference to the callsign used by Luke Skywalker during the attack on the Death Star in the original "


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About the author Jimmy Jangles

My name is Jimmy Jangles, the founder of The Astromech. I have always been fascinated by the world of science fiction, especially the Star Wars universe, and I created this website to share my love for it with fellow fans.

At The Astromech, you can expect to find a variety of articles, reviews, and analysis related to science fiction, including books, movies, TV, and games.
From exploring the latest news and theories to discussing the classics, I aim to provide entertaining and informative content for all fans of the genre.

Whether you are a die-hard Star Trek fan or simply curious about the world of science fiction, The Astromech has something for everyone. So, sit back, relax, and join me on this journey through the stars!
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