Rogue One’s Original Ending Was Far Less Tragic Than The Finished Cut


To say that much digital ink has been spilled concerning Rogue One‘s turbulent production may read as something of an understatement, but with the dust now beginning to settle on Gareth Edwards’ anthology pic, we’ve caught wind of some truly fascinating tidbits regarding the purported creative changes and reshoots – even if we’ll never actually get to see those scenes sentenced to the floor of the editing room.

Just yesterday, for instance, Rogue One scribe Gary Whitta admitted to being surprised when the film’s grand finale officially received the green light from Disney and Lucasfilm. During the midst of production, though, there was another, far less tragic conclusion doing the rounds, and it would’ve resulted in Jyn Erso and some of the film’s principal characters making it off Scarif alive.

In Whitta’s eyes, their sacrifice – the ultimate sacrifice – gave weight to the rebellion, particularly as it resulted in the eventual destruction of the Death Star in Star Wars: A New Hope. Reflecting on the creative turnaround, during which time Felicity Jones’ Jyn was conceived as a Rebel solider as opposed to a prickly street criminal, Whitta confirmed to EW that both Jyn and Cassian managed to survive the ordeal, but there were still significant casualties on both sides.

I didn’t say everyone made it off. Kaytoo always died. Jyn did survive. Cassian also survived. There were a lot of casualties on both sides, in both versions of the scripts.

Looking back with the benefit of hindsight, the screenwriter stood by his decision on the belief that Jyn and Cassian’s sacrifice – along with the sacrifice of their ragtag crew – was not in vein.

The original instinct was that they should all die. It’s worth it. If you’re going to give your life for anything, give your life for this, to destroy a weapon that going to kill you all anyway. That’s what we always wanted to do. But we never explored it because we were afraid that Disney might not let us do it, that Disney might think it’s too dark for a ‘Star Wars’ movie or for their brand.

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story makes a beeline for home video – both digital and physical – on April 4th and will jump-start the beginning of a very, very busy month for Disney’s beloved space opera. Not only will Star Wars Celebration Orlando bring forth the first peek at Rian Johnson’s The Last Jedi, but there’s also word that EA will utilize SWCO as a platform to showcase both Star Wars Battlefront 2 and Visceral Games’ mysterious third-person title. Stay tuned for more on that one.