If you’ve seen Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, and let’s face it, by this point you have, you’ll know full well that it was far from a conventional Star Wars movie. There are a few reasons for that, but one of the biggest is that our new heroes were all killed by the end. That’s a risky decision to make for just about any film, let alone one coming from Disney, and in a recent interview with ComicBook.com, writer Gary Whitta revealed that he never thought he’d get away with such a thing.
Despite the fact that audiences were mostly alright with the way that Rogue One ended, Whitta says that both him and director Gareth Edwards were certain that the studio was going to make them change how things played out, especially since they were dealing with the Mouse House.
“I never believed that they would let us kill off all the characters in the film. That was our original instinct. The very first meeting with Gareth I remember saying, ‘I kind of feel like they all need to die, but there’s no way Lucas … There’s no way Disney’ll let us do that. We can’t kill everybody. It’s a Disney movie.’ And yet, they were fully supportive of it, and it’s actually one of the coolest things about the film.”
In our opinion, the tragic ending certainly worked within the context of Rogue One, and we applaud the studio for making such a bold move. As much fun as it would have been to see some of these characters again, having them die at the end made for a more powerful conclusion and shows that Disney really did just intend to have the spinoff be its own thing.
Further in the interview, Whitta touched on what it meant to make Rogue One a standalone movie, and how that factored into the creative process, saying that it was liberating from him and Edwards.
“It took us awhile to get to grips with what it really meant to do a standalone film, but then once we understood it, we realized that it’s actually really liberating,” the writer said. “These characters are kind of one and done characters. There was never going to be a Rogue Two. Rogue Two already exists. That’s what the original Star Wars is, and those characters aren’t in it apart from Leia and Vader, and so we knew that we, now didn’t necessarily mean that we had to, but it meant we had the luxury to, you know, we had the full spectrum of options in terms of what the fate of these characters were.”
Finally, he noted that in the first draft of the script, Jyn actually survived since he never thought the studio would let them kill her off:
“We always felt that it was the right thing to do, that these characters make the ultimate sacrifice,” Whitta said. “It wasn’t that way in my original script, but again, we never felt that we would get away with it. K-2 always died, but Jyn survived in the very first version of the movie that we developed, and then it was Gareth who kept pushing for it, saying, ‘I feel like they need to die. They need to die.’ Eventually he convinced [Disney and Lucasfilm].”
Tell us, what did you think of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story‘s ending? Was the decision to kill our heroes off the right one? Sound off in the usual place and let us know!