Gareth Edwards used archived Star Wars footage for Rogue One


If you were watching Rogue One: A Star Wars Story in theaters this past week and wondered if you recognized some of the space battle scenes before, it is because director Gareth Edwards did, in fact, use archived Star Wars footage for Rogue One….

One of the many great things about Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is that the film connected with so many old-school, die-hard Star Wars fans through its liberal use of nostalgia, harkening back to the Original Trilogy, and more specifically, the film that started it all, Star Wars: A New Hope. And, as it turns out, the film’s director, Gareth Edwards used archived Star Wars footage in Rogue One, for some of the scenes of X-Wings and space battle.

According to Radio Times, Edwards has confirmed that in fact, there were particular scenes in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story that were created from unused, archived footage, originally meant for 1977’s Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope.

"“We went to Skywalker ranch, and there’s the archives there. 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.’”"

Edwards goes on to say that he asked if anyone had gone through the cut archived Star Wars footage from A New Hope, and he was told no, no one had. So the director seized the moment, went through the negatives, and found the shots he wanted to use in Rogue One.

The deleted archived scenes that Gareth Edwards ended up using were from the Rebellion’s attack on the Death Star in the final battle of A New Hope. In fact, the specific scenes were the X-Wing callsign exchange.

Of course, as we found out in Rogue One, Red Five was destroyed in the battle over Scarif, making room for Luke Skywalker to inherit the now famous callsign.

Edwards recalls worrying if anyone would notice the archived footage that he and the amazing folks at ILM seamlessly worked into Rogue One, but as it happened, his worrying was for naught.

"“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.”"

As a life-long Star Wars fan, myself, I instantly noticed the footage was different from the new Rogue One stuff, and I audibly cheered in the theater. Gareth Edwards delivered exactly what Star Wars fans needed, with Rogue One, and I can only hope that he will return in the near future for another Star Wars Story.

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