Over the weekend we brought you some comments from Rogue One: A Star Wars Story director Gareth Edwards, who discussed how the reshoots changed the original ending that had been shot for the blockbuster Anthology movie. And now screenwriter Gary Whitta has been chatting to EW about the very first draft of the script, which would have seen Jyn Erso and Cassian Andor surviving the battle on Scarif.
Whitta revealed that while K-2SO always died (and Bodhi Rook, Chirrut Imwe and Baze Malbus weren’t included at this point), the original ending would have seen the Death Star arriving at Scarif to destroy the facility, but Jyn and Cassian would have escaped the beach beforehand, transmitting the plans off-world:
“A rebel ship came down and got them off the surface,” said Whitta. “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 would have then launched an attack on Jyn’s ship, destroying it before pursuing Princess Leia aboard the Tantive IV. However, among the fragments of the shuttle would have been an escape pod housing Jyn and Cassian. A happy ending for the Rebel heroes, but not for the creative team, it seems.
“The fact that we had to jump through so many hoops to keep them alive was the writing gods telling us that if they were meant to live it wouldn’t be this difficult,” Whitta says. “We decided they should die on the surface [of Scarif,] and that was the way it ended. We were still scratching the itch that they all needed to die. Chris Weitz [who wrote another draft] thought we were right. They finally went off and fought for it. We told them, we feel they all need to die, and [Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy] and everyone else said to go for it. We got the ending that we wanted.”
What do you make of this “happy ending”? Are you glad that Lucasfilm opted instead to have the characters make the ultimate sacrifice? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below…
From Lucasfilm comes the first of the Star Wars standalone films, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, an all-new epic adventure. In a time of conflict, a group of unlikely heroes band together on a mission to steal the plans to the Death Star, the Empire’s ultimate weapon of destruction. This key event in the Star Wars timeline brings together ordinary people who choose to do extraordinary things, and in doing so, become part of something greater than themselves.
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story sees Gareth Edwards (Monsters) directing a cast that includes Felicity Jones (The Theory of Everything), Diego Luna (Milk), Ben Mendelsohn (The Dark Knight Rises), Donnie Yen (Ip Man), Jiang Wen (Let the Bullets Fly), Forest Whitaker (The Last King of Scotland), Alan Tudyk (Con Man), Riz Ahmed (Nightcrawler), Genevieve O’Reilly (Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith), Jimmy Smits (Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones), James Earl Jones (Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope), Valene Kane (The Fall), Alistair Petrie (The Night Manager), Warwick Davis (Star Wars: Episode IV – Return of the Jedi), Ian McElhinney (Game of Thrones) and Jonathan Aris (Sherlock).