The Rumored Rogue One Reshoots for “Levity” and Possible Han Solo Cameo Trouble Me
Before I get into this opinion piece on the recent rumor that certain Disney Executives aren’t happy with Gareth Edwards’ first cut of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, I just want to say that I fully understand that films of this size usually do pick-up shoots, so that aspect of the news doesn’t concern me. What concerns me are the reported reasons for the reshoots, which all revolve around the fact that these particular Suits felt that the film doesn’t tonally match up with A New Hope, and the other two classic trilogy films. It’s rumored that the Executives want more levity and fun added to the film, because it apparently is too serious and war-movie like.
Hasn’t it been billed as a war-movie from the get go? Shouldn’t that mean that its tone is supposed to be dark and not all happy-go-lucky? How much levity and fun can you work into a film that is all about a suicide mission to steal the Death Star plans from the imposing Imperial forces? I’ve always felt that this film, and particular story in general if ever told, would feature a dark narrative solely based on the fact that in A New Hope the Rebel forces make it pretty clear that a major sacrifice was made to secure the plans and transmit them to Leia. The mission to steal these plans just doesn’t seem to be one that will be full of fun, or lighthearted moments, so I just don’t get the critique that these supposed Disney Executives are making.
I found the first trailer for Rogue One to be fantastic, and thought the tone of it was spot on for a war-movie, which Gareth Edwards stated it would feel like from the get go. Its tone was dark and mysterious with ominous looks at the Empire’s massive power compared to the much less organized Rebels. I didn’t see any moments that looked to be in the need of having more levity, because there shouldn’t be that much in a film of this nature. We can get the levity at the end when we know that the mission to steal the plans succeeds when they’re transmitted to the Tantive IV. I truly feel that this mission has always been a suicide-style one, so I just don’t see why it needs to be portrayed in a more lighthearted way.
Haven’t we also been promised scenes featuring a more threatening Darth Vader, which also doesn’t lend well to a film needing more fun and levity? I guess watching Vader toy with a Rebel Battalion by himself could be fun to watch, but by no means should it be funny. My point is that just because A New Hope has some lighter moments, doesn’t mean that Rogue One has to match its tone to make it a great Star Wars movie. I guess adding in a few jokes or one-liners can’t hurt anything too badly. I hope the reshoots are more geared towards Star Wars one-liners or smart ass Han Solo-like quips, than full on scenes being shot only to lighten the mood because a handful of really rich people think they know how to make a film better than those actually making the film.
Quite frankly, the reshoots for added levity are much less troubling than the thought of them being used to crowbar in a cameo of the new young Han Solo to spark interest in his solo film. This rumored idea just seems so knee-jerkish that I hope it’s false. How does Han Solo even fit into the story of Rogue One? The film will end where A New Hope begins, and we know at that time that Han has no involvement in the Rebellion. He’s happy screwing over Jabba with Chewie and smoking Rodians in Cantinas, and is far from ever wanting to risk his own ass for the Rebellion.
Also, since the timeline matches that of A New Hope how can you possibly jam Alden Ehrenreich in there as a young Han? He looks nothing like Harrison Ford did in 1977, so it would be a very hard sell for long time Star Wars fans to buy into this new actor portraying one of the most iconic rogues from the movies with a forced cameo in Rogue One. I think the cadence Harrison uses for Han will be even harder for fans to buy into hearing it coming from a new actor, so trying to get Han in Rogue One just seems like a hard sell due to the closeness of the timelines and how identifiable Harrison Ford’s portrayal of the character is.
That’s not to say that the standalone Han movie will suck, because I think it can work if it truly is a younger Han, so we can suspend our disbeliefs while watching Alden try to channel Ford. It worked with Ewan McGregor and Sir Alec Guiness because of the vast amount of years separating their versions of the same character. It’s much easier to buy into a new actor playing an iconic role when they portray a much younger–as in decades younger–version of the same character. At least to me, but I think other long time Star Wars fans will agree.
It just feels like the Disney Executives who are rumored to want a Han cameo are rushing it to help build up excitement for the character’s standalone film. We are talking about Han Solo, one of the most important Star Wars characters of all-time, so I highly doubt that Star Wars Nation would boycott a film featuring his younger self if they don’t get to see him pop up in other Star Wars Stories beforehand. If anything, a MCU style end credits scene could make sense, but would still be odd due to the timing of A New Hope and Rogue One’s ending. A flashback may make the most sense, but I still don’t see how it would be introduced in Rogue One when you consider that Han had nothing to do with the Rebellion at that point in time.
In the end all of these reshoot rumors could be a load of shit, so I’ll reserve my final judgment of Rogue One until I see the finished product. I do believe that reshoots are taking place, but it’s hard to know why and to what effect the new footage will change the flow of the film. If they’re solely to add in more fun and levity to lighten up its tone I feel like the reshoots will ultimately be a mistake for the reasons listed above. If they’re being done to crowbar in young Han I’ll find them to be even more potentially dangerous for the film, so hopefully come December we will all walk out of Rogue One with huge smiles on our faces and feelings of Star Wars love in our hearts.
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