One of the editors’ biggest contributions came in the third act. As originally conceived by Lucas, the film would have ended with the Rebels’ daring raid on the Death Star. What the editors came up with, though, was the addition of a ticking clock: rather than simply hanging in space like a big, vulnerable bauble, the Death Star is on the cusp of firing its weapons on Yavin IV, the site of the Rebels’ base. It turns what could have been a repetitive scene of aerial bombardment into a last-gasp fight for survival.
Nearly 40 years later, Star Wars prequel Rogue One went through a difficult production of its own: after the initial shoot headed up by director Gareth Edwards, writer-director Tony Gilroy was brought in to rewrite the script and oversee the reshoots. Evidence of how late these changes were in production can be seen in Rogue One’s trailers: numerous scenes in the promos were no longer present by the time the final cut appeared in cinemas. Toys based on the likeness of Felicity Jones’ heroine Jyn Erso appeared in the shops with the name Sergeant Erso emblazoned on them – suggesting the character had a more overt military background than the abandoned insurgent introduced in the finished film.
Ryan’s blog bounces off of the above Rocket Jump YouTube video. Which is a fascinating look at the making of Star Wars.