Anyone who watched Rogue One: A Star Wars Story was likely shocked at its ending when all of the film’s main characters die in an explosion after stealing the Death Star schematics. It was a bold move that felt very different than other entries in a franchise known for having hopeful, uplifting conclusions. Even more surprising is to realize that Disney had to sign off on allowing all of the heroes in the film to die in its finale – something most of us wouldn’t expect from the family-friendly company.
But Rogue One‘s ending wasn’t always so gloomy. During a Q&A discussion with CineFix and IGN, writers Chris Weitz and Gary Whitta shared some unexpected news about earlier drafts of the script. Though the writers had previously envisioned the cast dying at the end, the decision to avoid any human main character deaths in prior versions was made because they didn’t anticipate Disney agreeing to it.
Therefore, they wrote the script in such way that only one main character would die in the final showdown, and it wouldn’t have even been a human one. Instead, the death would’ve gone to the movie’s comedic relief, K-2SO, a reprogrammed imperial security droid voiced by actor Alan Tudyk.
In later rewrites, however, they decided to take a chance on their vision and in a shocking twist, Disney and Lucasfilm were thrilled with the unexpected ending. It’s great that they liked it, too, because Rogue One‘s finale served as one of the most impactful moments in Star Wars history and helped sell the immense loss and sacrifices made that led to the ultimate defeat of the Empire in later films.
Despite meeting their fates at the end, the characters of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story may not have seen their last moments on-screen. After all, a series based on Cassian Andor (Diego Luna) is in the works for Disney+, though rewrites are causing some delays. No one can say for sure when the show will finally release, but be sure to watch this space for more.