Dantooine and classic character cameos were cut from Rogue One: A Star Wars Story


The backwater planet of Dantooine almost made its way into Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, as well as some familiar faces from the Star Wars cinematic universe….

Now that Rogue One: A Star Wars Story has been released for HD digital download, many and more secrets from the film are being released by the director, producers, and screenwriters, from the very first Star Wars standalone film. And, thanks to Entertainment Weekly — revealed many of the “behind the scenes moments” from the film last week — we know that the heroes of the film nearly visited the planet of Dantooine.

The first time Star Wars fans ever heard of Dantooine was in Star Wars: A New Hope, when Princess Leia tells Darth Vader and Grand Moff Tarkin that the location of the hidden Rebel base was on that planet. Instead, Tarkin orders Alderaan to be destroyed by the Death Star, and later, Imperial scouts confirm they went to Dantooine and found an abandoned Rebel base there.

Ultimately, due to financial concerns, Dantooine was cut. Rogue One’s director, Gareth Edwards, spoke to EW and revealed the reasoning behind wanting Dantooine in the film.

"We did a few things to save money and one of them was they go to a Rebel base in the first half of the film, then go off on their adventure, and the second half of the film they return to a Rebel base. It used to be that the first half of the movie was not on Yavin it was Dantooine."

Moving on, screenwriter Gary Whitta explained that even more classic Star Wars characters were originally going to be in Rogue One, yet they were cut because it felt too much like “fan service.”

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"We did have some other characters 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."

In fact, Whitta thought the fact that Mos Eisley cantina visitors — Ponda Baba and Dr. Evazan — was a little too much. Classic Star Wars characters that did make it included:

  • Darth Vader
  • Grand Moff Tarkin
  • Leia
  • R2-D2
  • C-3PO
  • General Dodanna
  • Mon Mothma (prequels)
  • Bail Organa (prequels)

I get why more Star Wars classic characters weren’t included in the film, and to be honest, I am glad the braintrust at Lucasfilm decided against it. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story was an excellent bridge from the prequel trilogy tp the original trilogy, and it wasn’t necessary to include more classic cameos just to please the hardcore Star Wars fans out there.