Rogue One: A Star Wars Story originally hid its Death Star connection and featured a happier ending.
There’s no question that Rogue One: A Star Wars Story was a huge success, popular with both fans and critics, while also making large sums at the box office. The film, however, underwent many iterations before arriving at its final version, which leads one to wonder how it would have fared if another path was chosen.
One of Rogue One‘s writers Chris Weitz has revealed a couple of those different paths, telling the Cult Popture podcast (via The Playlist) about what the film was like before he came on board as a writer:
“The version prior to [mine] didn’t have everyone die. As a matter of fact, it ended with a wedding. I think it was on the presumption that Disney wouldn’t allow characters to die with such abandon. I felt it was necessary because nobody ever mentions them or sees them again. But also because we’ve done this whole sort of theme about sacrifice that it was appropriate that all of our main characters die.”
Weitz also spoke about how his version of the script differed from the final cut: “It wasn’t clear at the beginning of the movie that the Death Star was going to be the Death Star. It was just the sense [in] the Rebellion that something bad was going down and we need to find out about it. There was this developing sense of dread throughout the film.”
While hiding the existence of the Death Star from the characters certainly sounds like an interesting idea – with them trying to uncover a secret throughout the film and only realising what it was later on – it seems like the film finally landed in the right place with the final cut.
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).