Rogue One Director Discusses The Film’s Controversial Ending


Since we’re going to be talking in detail about the climax of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story here, if you’ve yet to see the movie, massive spoilers will follow. You’ve been warned…

For those who’ve seen the film, you’ll know that the events leading towards the final scenes on Leia’s ship get pretty dark, as the movie makes the very brave choice of killing off every single member of the team. It’s not especially violent or bleak (they all go out knowing their sacrifice will save countless lives), but it’s still quite a surprising move for a Disney flick and has understandably stirred up quite a bit of controversy.

During Empire’s most recent podcast, director Gareth Edwards addressed the ending for the first time since Rogue One‘s release, and revealed that at one point, there was a version of the script in which Jyn and Cassian, at least, survived.

I mean, it’s a great Disney tradition isn’t it? For ever single character to die in all their movies. I think there was an early version – the very first version they didn’t [die] in the screenplay. And it was just assumed by us that we couldn’t do that 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, 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 guess they have to because they’re not in A New Hope.

And so from that point on, we had the license and 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 la la la…” And [that] never ever came, and no one gave us that note so we got to do it.

There are probably quite a few Star Wars fans that wish someone did step in and force Edwards’ hand on the matter, but there’s no denying that the ending we got did make the most sense as a lead-in to A New Hope.

Tell us, what did you make of the death-filled climax of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story? Would you alter it if given the chance? Drop a comment below and let us know.