Gareth Edwards discusses the very different original ending to Rogue One

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story spoilers


When ROGUE ONE: A STAR WARS STORY was first announced and we knew that it was going to be about the Rebels stealing the plans for the Death Star, we had a pretty good idea of how it would end. After all, Princess Leia was able to give those plans to R2-D2 during the events of A NEW HOPE and the Rebels would later successfully use them to exploit a weakness in the Empire's battle-station and blow it out of the sky. The only mystery ROGUE ONE could solve for us would be just how the Rebels stole the Death Star plans and what the cost would be.

Gareth Edwards spoke on the Empire Podcast (which was later pulled for being released too early) and revealed how different the original ending to ROGUE ONE was during the scripting phase and how he was surprised that Lucasfilm allowed them to go ahead with the ending they have now. I'll place that conversation below this photo so you'll have one last chance to back out. Remember, spoilers!

As those of you who have seen ROGUE ONE: A STAR WARS STORY know, the film ends without any of the major characters surviving to see the end-credits. Jyn Erso (Felicity Jones), Cassian Andor (Diego Luna), Chirrut Îmwe (Donnie Yen), K-2SO (Alan Tudyk), Bodhi Rook (Riz Ahmed), Baze Malbus (Jiang Wen), Saw Gerrera (Forest Whitaker), Galen Erso (Mads Mikkelsen) and Orson Krennic (Ben Mendelsohn), all dead, but originally, Gareth Edwards and the writing team were attempting to craft a story in which left at least a few of the characters alive, merely because they assumed that Lucasfilm/Disney weren't about to let them kill everybody off.

I think there was an early version [of the screenplay] – the very first version they didn't [die] in. And it was just assumed by us that we couldn't [kill the cast] and they're not gonna let us do that. So we're trying to figure out how this ends where that doesn't happen. And then everyone read that [original screenplay], and there was just this feeling of like, 'They gotta die, right?' And everyone was like, 'Yeah, can we?' And we thought we weren't gonna be allowed to, but Kathy [Kennedy] and everyone at Disney were like, 'Yeah, makes sense.' I kept waiting for someone to go, 'You know what, can you just film an extra scene where we see Jyn and Cassian, they're okay, and they're on another planet…' And [that] never, ever came. No one gave us that note, so we got to do it.

If you've seen ROGUE ONE you're also likely aware that a good amount of footage used in the trailers didn't make it into the final edit, either because it was left on the cutting room floor or was changed during the reshoots. Edwards explained that "there was a bit of a process to refining the third act in terms of specific shots and moments, and certain things just fell away. What happened was marketing loved those shots and said, 'Oh, we've got to use that.' And you say, 'Well, it's not in the movie,' and they said 'It's okay. It's what marketing does, we just use the best of whatever you've done.' I know that's not in the film, but the spirit of it is in the film." ROGUE ONE: A STAR WARS STORY is currently playing in theaters, so make sure to check out reviews from our own Chris Bumbray and Eric Walkuski.

Was killing off these characters the best way to end ROGUE ONE, or do you wish that one or more of them had survived?



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