Rogue One: A Star Wars Story was primarily embraced by the Star Wars fanbase, in part for its combination of new storytelling and references to the previous films.
According to one of the film's screenwriters, Gary Whitta, this balance was a conscious effort on the part of the film's creative team. While those involved with the film were longtime fans of the Star Wars franchise, they were wary of letting their adoration drastically affect their storytelling.
"We did have some other characters" Whitta explained in a recent interview with Entertainment Weekly. "But the reason why they’re not in the film is because any time we did something like, where I’m wearing the fanboy hat and not the professional writer’s hat, someone would come along and say, let’s not do that character again. We don’t have to be winking at the audience all the time."
According to Whitta, a particular set of cameos that did end up in the film left him with a bit of uncertainty.
“I thought having Evazan and Walrus Man was a little too much,” Whitta says, referencing the scene where Jyn (Felicity Jones) and Cassian (Diego Luna) run into the pair, who had previously been seen in Mos Eisley Cantina in A New Hope. "You have to reign in that instinct to go back and put things in just because you loved them when you were a kid."
Whitta reassured that this restraint were not necessarily meant to steer the film towards a particular storyline, but rather to make sure that the cameos were done with intent.
"The number one mandate we got from [Lucasfilm] was to show things we have not seen before. Don’t show us the stuff we’ve seen already. Show us some new stuff."
This led to a certain pivotal character in the film's third act taking on a different identity to what Whitta and the film's other writers had already planned.
"I always loved Admiral Ackbar. I wanted to have him in there, but J.J. Abrams got to him first. We didn’t want to use him again after The Force Awakens. So Ackbar became Admiral Raddus. You will see those little evolutions."
But Whitta explained that some cameos - even major ones - were ultimately simply cut from the film instead of further evolved into other characters. "I’m not going to tell you [which ones]," Whitta said jokingly to the interviewer. "You will write it up and it will become a big deal. It’s not a big deal. They were just little things that we put in there."
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is now out on Digital HD and will be released on Blu-ray and DVD on April 4.
MORE ROGUE ONE NEWS: ·Riz Ahmed Originally Scored A Very Different Role
·Producer Says He Has Another Spinoff Pitch
·Jyn Erso And Luke Skywalker's Similar Goals
·Han Solo Will Be "Completely Different" From Rogue One
·Whitta Can't Believe What Disney Let Him Get Away With
Directed by Gareth Edwards, it's the first of the new standalone features from Lucasfilm and Disney, which take place outside the core "Skywalker Saga" of films noted by an Episode number. Rogue One tells the story of the small band of rebels that were tasked with stealing the plans to the first Death Star.