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Sunday, 22 January 2017

ROGUE ONE: DECIPHERING THE ORIGINAL SCARIF LAND BATTLE...

Into the fire, as Jyn and her team run towards Imperial Walker fire in a classic deleted scene from ROGUE ONE.

Who didn't love that superb end shot to the first April 2016 teaser trailer of ROGUE ONE showing our heroes, led by Jyn clutching the stolen Death Star data tape, running into an approaching storm of AT-AT's? And who wasn't mildly disappointed that the scene - the perfect visual marketing image - didn't make it to the final film?

From what's been revealed in all the various behind the scenes materials and trailers, and until some hopefully deleted scene material reaches the DVD and Blu-ray this April, here's AFICIONADO's best guess as to how the original land battle of Scarif played out before it underwent drastic editing and reshoots last summer. Don't get me wrong, we loved the end cinematic product and how it played out - tense, dramatic and involving, but the original sequence is too fascinating to not want to discover more about, especially as interviews with the film's editors remains relatively vague on what was changed and reworked here.

A helicopter follows our arrived heroes for unused camera angles.
No time to enjoy the scenery.
Another unused angle being shot.
Rushing the beach and on the look out for Stormtrooper patrols.
Either a generic patrol of the shore, or a scene where they are looking for our heroes.
Another great shot of the Stormtroopers in this evocative setting.
Specially posed image, or the aftermath of a beach battle?
Stormtrooper in the jungle.
Presumably the same one that falls foul of Chirrut Imwe's lightning reflexes.
Our heroes gather outside the bunker entrance after taking down a Stormtrooper squad.
Jyn and Cassian check equipment as they begin the next stage of their plan.
A brief respite from battle for Baze Malbus and Chirrut.
Filming this scene with director Gareth Edwards in the UK.
The Moroff (Ian Whyte) was cut out from the Scarif scenes but was seen earlier in the film, on Jedha.
Moroff and Rebel squad leader Pao on the beach in a behind the scenes shot.
Our disguised heroes begin their entry to the Imperial Vault complex.

Starting out, we can assume that Bodhi dropped Jyn Erso and her main squad (which also comprised Baze and Chirrut) from their obtained shuttle onto the beach, before heading to one of the outdoor Imperial landing fields. Jyn's party then ran to one of the outdoor bunker areas leading into the vault complex. On the way, they likely took out Imperial Stormtrooper beach patrols and Shoretroopers, with Baze, Chirrut and the rest of their squad being cover and/or creating numerous diversions in and around the bunker, whilst Jyn, Cassian and K-2SO, disguised as Imperials, entered the facility, then the vault, to steal the plans.

STAR WARS AFICIONADO WEBSITE: ROGUE ONE: ENTERING THE VAULT - THE UNUSED FOOTAGE

The alarm has been raised...
The AT-ACT's are out in force on the shoreline.
A race against time for Jyn and her comrades to the Communications Tower.
Jyn, holding the plans, Cassian and K-2 run for it amongst debris.
As enemy fire blankets the beach, a stuntman on wires prepares to "die".
Still running from the bunker as Rebels fire at enemy troops now also behind them.
Running out of options...
A Rebel U-wing makes a timely entrance.
Suspended by crane, the container representing the U-wing gun interior is above our heroes.
Bistan provides fire against the enemy.
Advance leaked BTS image of the crashed U-wing on the jungle/shoreline set recreated at Buckinghamshire.
Our heroes dive for cover and return fire at both attacking sides from within the huge sand trails of the crashed U-wing.
Pao is front and centre of the battle but soon killed.
Felicity Jones on the burning wreckage set at Pinewood.
Filming on the Maldives from various positions, including more aerial shots.
Cassian and his men fight back against beach Stormtroopers.
Pinned down by enemy forces.
Baze fires at a Walker, as Cassian and his men provide additional blaster support.
Bodhi on the beach holding binoculars not seen in the film.
Filming on location in Maldives, Bodhi with the heavy duty cable he'd wear on his back as seen in the film.
A different angle of the exploding shuttle than was seen in the completed film.

By then, the base is on alert, and as the team assembled and rushed out of the Bunker - Jyn and Cassian - now back in Rebel fatigues- are attacked by four approaching AT-ACT Walkers (three seen in the film) as they rush to the separate location Communications Tower and its dish from which to send the captured plans/schematics to their arriving forces (the dish can be seen in the teaser trailer). As the race/battle across the shore continued, the U-wing carrying Bistan provided cover fire above/behind them (as filmed on location in the Maldives, and confirmed by Felicity Jones in a recent magazine interview) but is soon cut down, crashing on a section of beach near the Communications Tower (seen but reworked with editing/CGI in the finished movie). We know that in this original sequence, Jyn, Cassian, K-2, Chirrut and Baze were all together (alongside several of the other alien creature rebels joining them somewhere in the action), cut off and fighting in small sand trenches against front and behind opponents near the U-wing wreckage, before the timely arrival of the X-wings and their swift attack on the lumbering beasts. Concurrently, Bodhi, at some point alongside Rebel protectors in the jungle (as seen in an early released image/BTS footage), is presumably killed in the exploding shuttle on the landing field, before he can take off to rescue his colleagues. (Bodhi's role in the film's story would be significantly expanded on at the beginning and end in re-shoots, one notable example: the need for him to send a signal to Admiral Raddus about the incoming transmission from Jyn- a sequence shot in the Maldives but with more added to it later).


Shoretroopers and Stormtroopers emerge as our heroes press on to the communications dish- part of a reworked scene in post production.
Death Troopers rush the beach.
Ruthlessly attacking our heroes by the crashed U-wing fighter.
Baze's last stand was re-worked for the final cut.
The enemy presses its attack.
Atmospheric war shot from behind the scenes footage.
Director Krennic arrives at the Communications Tower to survey the chaos.
Krennic pulls his trusty blaster pistol out, in a scene shot at Pinewood.
The original demise of K-2, being repeatedly gunned down, presumably in the alcove or just inside the Communications Tower entrance.
K-2 collapses near to the dead (or injured) Cassian.
Jyn inside the Imperial facility - on a set we didn't see in the film.
Injured and limping, Jyn struggles across the dish platform catwalk.
Gareth Edwards films Jyn's struggle.
Cornered by a TIE fighter.
Jyn leaps out of the way of blaster cannon fire...

We know that Krennic's Death Troopers rushed the beach originally (the film scene of them coming down the all-new TIE Shuttle ramp to attack surviving Rebel soldiers added or digitally manipulated in re-shoots/post production), and were fighting our remaining core heroes in and around the U-wing wreckage- presumably where Chirrut and Baze met their end taking out the special enemy soldiers, and that, in a beach area laden with Stormtrooper bodies, the newly arrived Krennic may have killed or critically injured Cassian (footage shows Krennic pulling out his gun to shoot at someone), with K-2 also succumbing to further enemy fire in the bunker or canopy area to fall near Cassian's body (as seen in a recent ABC news clip). With a wounded (clearly limping) Jyn the only survivor, she makes her way up to the tower's dish (presumably by lift), getting it ready to send the signal transmissions of the plans, then faces down a TIE fighter which laser strafes the catwalk she races across, partially destroying it (the TIE fighter was replaced in an alternate scene, with a new ship used on Scarif - the fast atmosphere riding TIE Striker). After the catwalk attack, we can assume that Jyn confronted and killed Krennic either by herself or possibly with the help of a not dead but wounded Cassian, presumably leading to their final scenes together as seen in the film, escaping via the beach bunker to witness their final end from the Death Star weapon Tsunami...

If anyone has any more information on the sequence, please get in touch.

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