'Rogue One' screenwriter reveals alternate ending for Jyn and company

Rogue One screenwriter Gary Whitta recently spoke with Entertainment Weekly about the evolution of the story for the first non-Skywalker Star Wars film.

The film ends with all the major protagonists sacrificing their lives with as many allusions to A New Hope as possible to make the transition as smooth as possible even to the point of digitally recreating an actor through CGI after his passing almost 23 years ago. "I think they've got the hardest task, I think, out of all the films that I heard about that one is probably the greatest challenge", Edwards said, before proclaiming, "They're gonna knock it out of the park, but I wouldn't have had the balls to do that". But don't get too freaked out just yet, he's talking about films that'll be made in 10 or 20 years, which still leaves plenty of time for all of our favorite old-school characters to show up in numerous films.

But then we discover that Jyn and Cassian were able to get away in an escape pod just before Vader destroyed the ship they were on. To transmit the plans, they had to escape and run along the beach and go up the tower. Sorry K-2SO fans, looks like your favorite smart-droid didn't make it out.

"I didn't say everyone made it off. Kaytoo always died", Gary added. In fact, judging by what he's seen, the Rogue One director is very impressed. It just didn't seem to matter.

But the ending felt too ideal, too happy, to convey the struggles the Rebellion went through the defeat the Empire. "The original instinct was that they should all die", Whitta told EW. The studio's willingness to go there has us excited to know that Lucasfilm and Disney won't be afraid to let things get dark when the story calls for it.

Back in December, Rogue One kicked off the Star Wars anthology films with a story about the theft of the Death Star plans and the shockingly high price that was paid for that act of rebellion.

The creative team struggled to make the Rebels' survival into a satisfying outcome for the film.

"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 hard", said Whitta. "They need to die". Thankfully, when the team approached Lucasfilm and Disney, the ending they wanted was approved. There's no way Disney'll let us do that.

This post discusses the ending of Rogue One. "Diego said, 'Alan, it's wonderful how little respect you have on set right now'".

  • Ernesto Newman