Edwards account of the reshoots is below:
“What happened was that I’d say a third of the movie or more has this embedded documentary style to it, and as a result we shot hours and hours and days and days of material. Normally when you put a film together like A-B-C-D-E and you move on. Whereas we had so many permutations, so many different ways it could be constructed, it took longer in the edit to find the exact version.
We’d always planned to do a pickup shoot but we needed a lot of time to figure out all the material and get the best out of it. So they pushed the entire schedule in a big way. Then Disney saw the film and reacted well and they said, “Whatever you need, we’re going to support you.” Our visual-effects shot count went from 600 to nearly 1,700, so suddenly we could do absolutely anything we wanted. To design 1,000 visual effects shots should take a year, so it was all hands to the pump and we never came up for air really until about a week ago.”
Edwards’ account is definitely more in the spirit of everyone trying to make the best product possible, rather than a studio demanding reshoots. It also sounds as though he was given a tremendous amount of freedom in terms of bringing his own style to the production — a style that may have been far more loose than your typical potentially billion-dollar-grossing blockbuster is known to have. In addition, the idea that the visual effects shot total nearly tripled is also a fascinating indication of how the movie was constructed.
At any rate, it’s almost time for fans to see the finished product for themselves. And that sort of judgment will be far more telling of just how successful Rogue One: A Star Wars Story really is.