There's been plenty of talk about how the ending of Rogue One changed throughout production. Hell, you can see most of it in the trailers. But that wasn't the only thing that changed before the film hit theatres. The beginning was quite different, too.
Yes, it's true that some early versions of the script had a crawl, but we're not talking about that. Nor do we mean the prologue, featuring a young Jyn Erso and her family. What did change was almost everything after.
In an interview with Yahoo UK, Rogue One editors John Gilroy and Colin Goudie talked at length about putting the movie together. It's a very interesting interview, well worth a full read, but a few bits deserve a call out. Here's Gilroy on the new scenes created for the first act of the film:
The scene with Cassian's introduction with the spy, Bodhi traipsing through Jedha on his way to see Saw, these are things that were added. Also Jyn, how we set her up and her escape from the transporter, that was all done to set up the story better.
According to Goudie, after the prologue, the film originally just introduced Jyn in a meeting, which was deemed too big of a leap from seeing her as a child. The prison break helped bridge that. "So having her in prison and then a prison breakout, with Cassian on a mission, everybody was a bit more ballsy, or a bit more exciting, and a bit more interesting," Goudie said.
Unfortunately, the editors didn't want to get as specific about what was changed in the third act of the film, which looks pretty different from the trailers. "It changed quite a bit," Gilroy admitted. "The third act has a lot going on. You have like seven different action venues, the mechanics of the act changed quite a bit in terms of the characters, and I don't want to go into too much detail about what had been there before, but it was different."
What they did say is that they "moved some of the things that our heroes did, they were different in the original then they were as it was conceived".
Read the rest of the interview at the link below.