Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is holding reshoots this summer. No one disputes this. What is disputed is just what those reshoots mean for the movie, how much the film is changing in the middle of production, who is in charge of those reshoots, and whether it means the production is in any kind of trouble.

Reports from late May claimed that Disney wasn’t happy with the Rogue One rough cut they saw and demanded that producers add some “levity” to a movie they deemed “tonally off” from what a Star Wars movie should look and feel like. As part of their extensive Rogue One coverage this week, Entertainment Weekly investigated these claims and found that while the movie is undergoing reshoots, they’re not fundamentally changing Rogue One as it was first envisioned and then as it was executed on set by director Gareth Edwards.

EW’s sources repeatedly insist that for all the talk of a lighter movie, Rogue One was and is a darker Star Wars film. Here’s Edwards comment:

‘I’d definitely describe it as: It’s got dark tone. The studio has been very supportive of that. I mean, the sort of tone we were going for when we started was the tone you have in films like The Empire Strikes Back. And that’s not in any way been compromised.

Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy reiterated that there’s “nothing about the story that’s changing” during these reshoots, which are being overseen by Edwards along with Michael Clayton director Tony Gilroy, who also wrote new material for these reshoots. Edwards described these pickups as “all little things within the preexisting footage,” and he also insisted that they always planned to do reshoots. It just wasn’t clear what exactly they would reshoot until they began editing the movie.

This could all be the absolute truth. It could also be damage control. Or it could be somewhere in the middle. As in most situations with movies that haven’t opened in theaters yet (and won’t even see the light of day for months), it’s probably best to take everything with a grain of salt, wait for the finished product, and judge that on its own merits. I suspect Rogue One will be a war film, but one with plenty of Star Wars style, although this same EW piece revealed another surprising tidbit: Lucasfilm isn’t sure yet whether to start this Star Wars with the opening fanfare and crawl that the main saga installments get. My guess: It will, but with a slight variation like different color text or a different arrangement of the famous John Williams theme.

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story opens on December 16.

Check Out a Gallery of Star Wars: Rogue One Images:


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