If you haven’t watched Rogue One: A Star Wars Story yet ,then you really shouldn’t read this article at all. We’ll be talking about the end of the film and revealing mass spoilers. You have been warned!
For months we’ve heard rumors that the ending of Rogue One had been rewritten by Tony Gilroy. After seeing how different a lot of the footage in the trailer was from the final product, it seems to confirm that rumor.
During an interview on the Empire podcast director Gareth Edwards revealed that the ending had been reworked during the early screenwriting stage as well as killing off the entire Rogue One team wasn’t initially the plan. Here’s what he said via Heroic Hollywood:
“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.”
It sounds like the decision to kill off the entire cast was made pretty early, but it’s hard to say whether that happened before or after Felicity Jones was cast in the movie. Her contract has a clause for a second movie, but considering she doesn’t make it out alive, it would be pretty difficult for them to make a Rogue One sequel.
I do have to applaud Lucasfilm for allowing the filmmakers to kill off the entire Rogue One cast. It was a very gutsy move for a big tentpole film in a popular franchise. I really liked this cast of actors, and it would have been great to see at least one more movie with them, but from a story point of view, it really felt like a really honest way to end the movie.