It has been well established that Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is very closely related to the first Star Wars movie, Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope. However, new information reveals that the ties that bind the two films are even deeper than first realized.
Some Rogue One: A Star Wars Story SPOILERS follow.
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story features a third act space battle, which is a kind of tradition for the Star Wars franchise of films.
Given how closely the events of Rogue One take place in relation to A New Hope, this space battle was an opportunity to include some of the original Rebel Alliance pilots who flew in the Battle of Yavin to destroy the original Death Star.
In order to pull this off, Rogue One acquired and used some previously unseen footage from the A New Hope.
“We went to Skywalker ranch, and there’s the archives there,” Rogue One director Gareth Edwards told RadioTimes.com. “And as we’re walking around, and doing all the cool things and looking at the Millennium Falcon and trying on Han Solo’s jacket and things like that, in the back at the bottom was all these cans of film. And we said ‘what are they?’ and they said ‘Oh, it’s Star Wars.’
“And you go… ‘has someone gone through all this? And it’s like ‘not really, they’re not fully like digitized at all.’”
Those cans included several unused shots from the sequence in A New Hope where the X-Wing pilots announce their call signs.
“We got the neg documents and found the clips from A New Hope that hadn’t been used,” Edwards said. “And there’s pilot photography and lines that were never featured in A New Hope. Through the magic of [Industrial Light and Magic], they cut round them and manipulated them and stuck them into our cockpits.”
Edwards actually wasn’t certain that including that footage was worth all the effort it took, but he was quite pleased with the results.
“It’s the sort of thing you think, ‘how many people will notice?’ Do you know what I mean? It’s like, is this a lot of effort for very little reward? At the world premiere in LA, there was this massive cheer at a particular point in the film. It was the only time during the premiere where I actually punched the air.”
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In Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, in a time of conflict, a group of unlikely heroes band together on a mission to steal the plans to the Death Star, the Empire's ultimate weapon of destruction. This key event in the Star Wars timeline brings together ordinary people who choose to do extraordinary things, and in doing so, become part of something greater than themselves.
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is written by Gareth Edwards and written by Chris Weitz and Tony Gilroy, from a story by John Knoll and Gary Whitta. The film star Felicity Jones, Diego Luna, Ben Mendelsohn, Donnie Yen, Mads Mikkelsen, Alan Tudyk, Riz Ahmed, Jiang Wen and Forest Whitaker.
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is now playing in theaters.