By: Dominic Jones
One of the things that sets Rogue One: A Star Wars Story apart from most Hollywood blockbusters is that all the main characters died at the end. But this wasn't always the case, director Gareth Edwards has spoken in the past about how originally some of the characters would have survived because he didn't think Disney would let them kill of all the characters (even though he felt they all should). Now, with the the film being released on digital download this week (and DVD and blu-ray on April 4th), Edwards and the film's first writer Gary Whitta have revealed to Entertainment Weekly's Anthony Breznican how they originally envisioned the film ending.
The film still would have ended with the Death Star arriving at Scarif to end the battle after Jyn and Cassian got their hands on the data tapes, however the rest of the ending would have been quite different. Via EW,
“A rebel ship came down and got them off the surface,” Whitta says. “The transfer of the plans happened later. They jumped away and later [Leia’s] ship came in from Alderaan to help them. The ship-to-ship data transfer happened off Scarif.”
Darth Vader was still in pursuit and began attacking Jyn’s shuttle as the Rebels tried desperately to transfer the information from the data tapes to Leia’s vessel. Finally, Vader was successful in breaching their shields and destroying the craft.
The audience would have been left fearing the heroes were dead. But as Vader’s Star Destroyer ventures off to chase Leia’s Tantive IV, we would have remained focused on the shuttle fragments floating in the vastness of space.
“They got away in an escape pod just in time,” Whitta said. “The pod looked like just another piece of debris.”
Edwards and Whitta were never really happy with this ending. When Chris Weitz joined the project as writer he agreed and was able to pitch the idea of all the characters dying to Lucasfilm executives. Fortunately they agreed and the filmmakers were able to kill off all their main characters.
Other aspects of the film changed from the original version include the addition of the characters Chirrut Imwe, Baze Malbus, and Bodhi Rook. Jyn was also a Sergeant in the Rebel Alliance (hence why some of the toys are labelled as "Sergeant Jyn Erso") instead of being on her own. One thing that never changed, however, the droid K-2SO always died.
You can read the entire interview with Whitta and Edwards about the early stages of the film's production over at Entertainment Weekly.
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story will be released as a digital download on March 24th, and on blu-ray and DVD on April 4th.
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