The Star Wars franchise does not have a fantastic record when it comes to movies with reshoots. Both Solo and Rogue One were the subjects of massive reshoots before being unveiled to largely mediocre or downright terrible critical reception. Now, Wired, and a number of other trusted entertainment sites, are reporting on rumors that the upcoming Star Wars film, The Rise of Skywalker, will be undergoing reshoots of its own. This could mean a lot of things for the production of the highly-anticipated finale of the Skywalker saga. But for now, there’s no real cause for worry.
Black Park, the forest area of the UK where J.J. Abrams and his production have been reportedly shooting scenes of Skywalker, has been closed off for shooting yet again, and multiple sources are saying that some real-life X-Wings have been spotted over there. Wired‘s coverage says that the shoot could continue into early September. Yes, that’s cutting it quite close to the film’s December 20 release date. But, realistically speaking, this is not all that out of the ordinary for large-scale moviemaking.
Reshoots are just part of the game for filmmaking. The fact that J.J. Abrams and his team have had virtually no reported drama or major shake-ups in creative control means that The Rise of Skywalker could be in fine shape for its winter release date. Both Solo and Rogue One were marred by enormous rifts in production, with the Han Solo standalone film being completely reworked with an entirely new director. The film was passed from director duo Phil Lord and Christopher Miller to longtime crafter of Americana Ron Howard, ushering in a wholly different approach to the comedic caper. This is by no means a change in command–J.J. Abrams has been in complete control of Skywalker since he took the reins from Colin Trevorrow all the way back in September 2017.
Rogue One, according to screenwriter Tony Gilroy, was in “terrible, terrible trouble” when Disney tasked the creative team with reshooting the project in a major way. According to Entertainment Weekly, the situation was described as a “mess” and “such a swamp.” EW reported that actor Ben Mendolsohn, who played the main antagonist of the film, Orson Krennic, told Collider that the dueling versions of the film were “enormously different.”
There’s no reason to expect that Rise of Skywalker is under such chaotic duress. Reshoots are just a part of moviemaking. Skywalker is set to release on December 20, 2019. Until then, we’ll be nervously laughing in anticipation like Emperor Palpatine.