Although everyone so far has been largely positive about Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, one of the more interesting points about the film is just how much of the trailer footage varied from the final product.
There were several shots in the trailer that didn't make it into the film, including the famous shot of Felicity Jones' character, Jyn Erso, turning to face the camera in full Imperial uniform. Many people - ourselves included - incorrectly speculated that her character was some sort of double-agent for the Empire when it turns out that that shot was a complete fluke.
Gareth Edwards appeared on the Director's Cut podcast and explained his process for the shot. "We finished a shot and (Felicity Jones) was just walking to the next shot, which was at the end of the tunnel. And as she walked, someone switched the lights on and the way they turned on they went *clickclickclick* like this."
"Someone called her, and she just turned around a little bit and I was like, 'Oh my god that looked great.' And I was like 'Stop stop stop!' and everyone stopped. 'This will take 10 seconds, just roll camera'...then obviously 10 seconds turned into a half hour, and we probably did 17 takes. So that ended and there’s that feeling of, 'Well what was that for?' And I was like, 'I don’t know, that just felt good.'"
Edwards then forgot about the shot, moved on and when the marketing people came to look at dailies for the first trailer, that one was picked out and used along with a few others. Another scene, which made it into the trailer but not the film, was Ben Mendelsohn's character, Orson Krennic, standing alone in the Death Star's control room and looking quite menacing. As Edwards explains, it was merely Mendelsohn holding character before Edwards decided to call cut.
As you can imagine, this way of filming can lead to tons of footage that isn't used and can make editing a nightmare. It also probably explains why Tony Gilroy was sent into help with the screenplay and directing a few scenes in the film itself. While this explains a few shots here and there, it doesn't explain how the entire beach sequence seems to be missing from the film - namely, where we see the AT-ATs firing on them or the bit where Orson Krennic is walking through all the rubble.
Extended cut for the home release, maybe? Who knows. The podcast in question definitely worth a listen and we've included the link below.