Rogue One: Stop Worrying About Jyn Erso and the Reshoots


As fans wait with bated breaths to see the results of the first Star Wars standalone film, Jyn Erso leads the rebellion against the haters. 

As Ghostbusters so sadly demonstrated, it’s not difficult to stir the internet waters into a frenzy. Despite all the slow progress Hollywood has made for equal representation, there will always be a group of fanboys roaring with disappointment as their beloved franchise spreads its wings and takes bold steps in a new direction. 

Last December, Star Wars did the unthinkable. The Force Awakens introduced three new main characters: a woman, a black guy, and a latino. Nothing in the marketing campaign prepared the audience for what would become a highly contentious discussion. Was Star Wars good? Is Rey a Mary Sue? Who is she related to? Nearly a year later, these questions are still hot topics as we head into the next Star Wars film, Rogue One

While Rogue One: A Star Wars Story isn’t the sequel to The Force Awakens, fans immediately drew comparisons between the film’s respective leads: Felicity Jones as Jyn Erso and Daisy Ridley as Rey. They’re both brunettes from across the pond, etc. But because Jones’ character came second (despite the film’s timeline placing it before the events of TFA), people took more issue with her. Especially since her character took center stage in the film’s first teaser. Previous reports on the film presented a team-centric movie. Per the official opening crawl of A New Hope, you can see that “Rebel spies” stole the plans, not “a female soldier and her back-up.” Obviously, this bothered fans who couldn’t stand to see a quarter of the Star Wars franchise featuring a female lead.

So, now that I’ve fairly presented that side of the argument, let me just say that this is an issue exclusive to crybabies and nincompoops. Thanks to a new image released by Entertainment Weekly, it appears as though Lucasfilm doesn’t really care if someone thinks Jyn Erso is “too much.” She’s a leader, she’s nuanced, and she’s not going anywhere. Tough cookies to everyone. 

The fact is that Lucasfilm is led by a woman, Kathleen Kennedy, who’s already figured out the proper formula for a blockbuster. Come haters or high water, she can get a film back on track and she does it with a team compromised of at least 50% women (the gall!). 

When it came to putting together a standalone, Kennedy chose Gareth Edwards. She gave him the room to find his vision and they dealt with the problems as they came along. It takes a village to create a Star Wars film. Plus, there’s going to be an immense amount of pressure when you’re following The Force Awakens, but also bringing back Darth Vader, but also creating a story that’s already been alluded to in the franchise. 

As Rogue One’s director generously explains:

"“The thing every [filmmaker] typically struggles with is ‘How does it end?’ But we knew how our film was going to end. Our problem became ‘How do we reverse engineer from that and know where to start?’ You’ve got a finite number of options and you go through them all like a puzzle to find the one that’s going to lead to the strongest result.”"

Personally, the more important thing to me about Star Wars is how inclusive it’s meant to be. Of course, reshoots carry a negative connotation nowadays. But there will always be bumps in the road. I don’t remember Luke Skywalker just stepping off Tatooine and immediately becoming the greatest Jedi in the galaxy. 

Next: Rogue One: Director Talks Creating New Villains, Bringing Back Old Ones

My point is that everyone needs to stop worrying about the reshoots. Also, stop complaining about the female leads. Instead, prepare yourself for the meager two minutes of screentime Darth Vader’s probably going to get.

Rogue One hits theaters on December 16.