Star Wars is a film franchise that has been plagued by numerous production woes, and Rogue One: A Star Wars Story was no exception. During the summer, reports about extensive reshoots came out on what seemed like a daily basis, as people tried to figure out why exactly the pickups were ordered and what they would entail. Lucasfilm’s marketing campaign did a good job of quelling any fears with well-received trailers, but the revelation that Tony Gilroy made $5 million for his involvement on rewrites (including fixing the ending) and post-production help from June to the late fall caused some to be skeptical again.
Because of all this, fans have anxiously been awaiting the first reactions to Rogue One. The professional review embargo will lift on December 13, and then viewers will learn if the latest Star Wars film lives up to the hype. However, strong buzz has already started to generate over a week before then. During the press junket event this weekend, Lucasfilm screened 28 minutes of Rogue One footage, and it’s safe to say that the response was very positive.
Many walked away from the presentation highly impressed with the aesthetic, tone, and emotional weight to the scenes. Undoubtedly, several were thrilled by the reception, but perhaps the most pleased was director Gareth Edwards, who was able to breathe a much-needed sigh of relief following the panel. Speaking to Comic Book, Edwards teased that this only scratched the surface of what Rogue One has to offer:
“It feels good, and it’s a relief. because I feel like the best is yet to come. The little clip we showed is not really – the film is built as a whole, so it’s really hard to show bits and pieces. It’s a journey that you and the characters go on. So I really can’t wait for you to see the rest of the movie, because it builds and builds.”
Of course, Edwards isn’t going to bad mouth the other 90+ minutes of Rogue One so soon before the movie’s release, but this is all still encouraging to hear. Based on what was shown, Edwards and his team were extremely successful in crafting a hard-hitting war drama in the galaxy far, far away – something that’s grittier and more intense than anything released in the series before. If the rest of the film can match that in terms of quality, then audiences have much to look forward to. There’s a strong possibility Lucasfilm carefully selected footage that would make the best impression, but it bodes well for Rogue One‘s overall prospects that everyone was so enthusiastic coming out of the preview. The studio did unveil a decent chunk of the finished product, and if the set-up sold the audience, the payoff should be able to as well.
Luckily, it won’t be long now until moviegoers learn how Rogue One stands in its entirety. Lucasfilm is holding the world premiere on Saturday, December 10, and there will most likely be social media reactions following the screening just like there was last year after the Force Awakens premiere. Granted, there won’t be any full-written reviews, but 140 characters will be enough to give fans a general idea of what they should expect when the spinoff hits theaters. By all accounts right now, Rogue One is poised to be the latest Disney smash of 2016 from both a commercial and critical perspective.