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Disney Execs Are Panicking Over Rogue One

Okay, everyone stay calm...but there is the growing possibility that Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, might not actually be the amazing movie we hope it is. That's because in May 2016, Page Six reported that Disney executives were "in a panic" over the results from some test-screenings of the film. The result has been "expensive reshoots over the summer." While lots of movies go into reshoots before they're released, it's a less-than-encouraging sign for what fans hoped would be the the first of many Star Wars spin-off movies. We may not know much about these rumored reshoots, but we've still got more concerns than you can shake a lightsaber at.

So what's wrong with the movie?

Why don't the test audiences like what they see? Do they not like Felicity Jones' lead character Jyn Erso? Are they confused as to where in the timeline Rogue One falls? Is Forest Whitaker's eye making them uncomfortable? They've got drops for that! In the end, there are a litany of possible issues that could be bugging the test audiences. After all, memories of the hated prequel trilogy are still pretty fresh in many moviegoers' minds. Could it be that revisiting the ghosts of Star Wars past is all it takes to ruin fans' good feelings?

Disney has never done this before

Disney is a pretty smart company for the most part. For proof, take a look at, well, most Disney movies, not to mention every Marvel movie that's been released since 2009, when the company bought Marvel Comics and all that came with it, including Marvel Studios. Simply put, Disney is in the business of entertaining people, and they do it better than anyone. That said, the bar is set higher for Rogue One than for any of its other movies. This is literally the first time this has been attempted. Never before has there been a spin-off of the Star Wars movies—and no, those crappy Ewok adventure movies don't count, since they went straight to television.

Was a spin-off a bad move in the first place?

After successfully revitalizing the Star Wars franchise in 2015 with The Force Awakens, Disney has an incredibly valuable franchise on its hands. And it's jeopardizing the public's appreciation and understanding of that franchise by taking a break from the sequential story it was telling with its "Saga" movies (any of the films with the word "Episode" in the title). By slotting in Rogue One a year after Episode VII, Disney runs the risk of alienating all the casual fans who were hoping to see the next part of Rey and Finn's story.

Or maybe the problem is that it's a prequel?

As we mentioned earlier, going back in time for Star Wars hasn't gone so well to this point. We got three prequel movies, and the best thing you can say about any of them is that they had some cool lightsaber fights. Drama and suspense tend to evaporate if a movie's ending point is a foregone conclusion. And since Rogue One's story is all about how the plans to the Death Star were stolen, it's hard to imagine a scenario in which the Rebels fail at their objective. To be successful, the movie will have to draw viewers in on the strength of its characters and their personal stakes...because everyone already knows how this story is going to end. And if the characters aren't actually all that interesting or likable, we may be in deep Jabba drool.

What if the test audiences are kinda stupid?

It's entirely possible that the results of these test screenings isn't a true indicator of the quality of Rogue One in its pre-reshoots form. After all, millions of people tuned in to watch American Idol for years, and that thing was never not terrible. And let's not forget that there's actually a popular product in the universe called "truck nuts"—and that there is a legitimately fascinating dispute between two men who claim to have invented the things. The point is, there's a lot of dummies out there.

What if the reshoots make things worse?

So who's to say that the test audiences weren't full of truck nuts-loving, American Idol-watching ding-dongs? If director Gareth Edwards is being pushed into making changes to Rogue One to appease them, the final cut may be more than a little disappointing. Will the result be a movie chock full of slapstick robots and alien fart jokes?

What if Jar-Jar Binks comes back?

Hey, it could happen! Disney owns that character, and probably inherited a warehouse full of unsold Jar-junk. Maybe in an effort to make Rogue One more kid-friendly, Disney and Lucasfilm revives the most-hated character in the galaxy...