Yesterday's look at the supertitles was a big hit, so here's a closer look at how they evolved throughout production.
To start with, the approach to the Claw doesn't change much at all. Most of the preliminary titles are also green instead of blue as depicted here in the final cut:
The Pegasus attack at the beginning of the movie probably morphs the most in some ways. Some of the early edits start with a flyover of a destroyed Pegasus and then flash back in time to the attack. The final cut of the film is linear and so does away with a lot of the supertitles. There were at least two alternate cuts of the opening, both opened on the Pegasus debris field after the attack.
The more straight forward version has a flyby over the debris and then jumps back in time to show the attack:
The second is a more condensed version that intercuts the debris fly-over with flashbacks to the attack. The titles are divided into three parts.
The most interesting supertitles in the rough cuts are the ones that got completely eliminated with the loss of the traitor subplot. There's a number of establishing shots of the Kilrathi fleet that got excised from the movie because they were lead-ins to scenes that never made it into the final cut. It's a shame because it would have helped sell the size of the Kilrathi threat but it also helped keep the ticking clock of the plot more in mind during the more character heavy first half of the film.
This one is an establishing shot of the Kilrathi fleet and prefaces the scene that would introduce the Pilgrim Traitor on board. (Variations are included mostly to show the evolution of the title look and CG)
Pretty much all of the Diligent's approach on the Claw have C.S.S. Tiger Claw in the workprints.
The interstitial with the Concordia was supposed to take place a little later in the film than it does in the theatrical cut. In the early versions you can see the time to Earth is 12 hours instead of 18.
When the traitor plot was cut the section before the jump to the Ulysses Corridor had to be reworked to improve pacing and to remind the audience of the Kilrathi threat. One of the loses was an exterior shot of the claw that would have prefaced some of the map room discussions.
Another victim of the traitor plot removal, a scene after Blair and Angel's initial encounter with the Comcon would have had a prefacing Kilrathi fleet shot - 10 hours from Earth.
A third Kilrathi fleet establishing shot existed between Maniac's injury during the decompression scene and before Blair talking to Angel. The Kilrathi admiral sends the Pilgrim traitor to the Comcon to get the jump coordinates ready since they're only 2 hours out from the jump
The Concordia Battle Group title near the end of the film doesn't change much. The final CG shots are a different angle versus the preliminary animatics.
The oldest version interestingly calls the fleet at venus just "Confederation Battle Fleet," which is subsequently changed to "Concordia Battle Group.
The original versions are also reversed from the final version and have more interesting camera movement IMO...
And last of all, we also lost another fleet scene right at the end with the hero ships in earth orbit. I feel the movie really would have benefited from those fleet scenes throughout
And that's it! I think they're neat, and maybe nobody else does, but that's ok. It's a fascinating look into the evolution of the film from pre-production to post. A lot of the CG shots in the movie were mocked up in pre-vis and used to fill in during the early edits of the film and replaced as finished or newer versions of the shots came in.
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