Disclaimer: This post contains spoilers for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.
The more we hear about Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, the more it feels like there can be an entire movie made from all the deleted scenes and alternate takes. In fact, in the several months prior to its release, it seemed clear this movie would have a lot of scenes not make the final cut. Looking at the first teaser and that final trailer, there seemed to be a lot of changes that would change the course of the entire flick. When the film came out, those differences were highlighted all the more.
In weeks past, we’ve learned a great deal about what was taken out — how the third act was condensed for time, and how the fate of our heroes are vastly different from what they used to be. If that wasn’t enough, it seemed that there were two more potential alternate endings to the film.
Speaking with io9, chief creative officer John Knoll discussed two very different endings to Rogue One that could have been.
In this version of the story, Jyn and Cassian escape Scarif with their lives, and have Darth Vader on their tails.
“And the last jump they do, they try to get lost in the traffic that’s around Coruscant. It’s a giant cloud of ships. Ten-thousand ships coming and going and they’re trying to get lost in that traffic but they don’t make it. There’s still an hour’s flight away from Coruscant and their ship gets damaged.”
“So they discover that Leia’s ship has just taken off from Coruscant and is on its way to its diplomatic mission to Alderaan. They know that she’s secretly working for the Rebellion and they risk blowing her cover by transmitting the plans to her ship with the hope that this transmission won’t be detected but Vader’s ship.”
They take the risk anyway, and sadly, they are caught. However, with Leia’s ship now on its way, they know that she has a chance to escape Vader’s grasp. They, on the other hand, do NOT have a chance of escaping Vader. They know they’ll be captured and tortured until they talk. Rather than let that happen, they decide blow up their own ship, taking their lives along with it.
That's about as much of a bummer as the final ending.
This ending is largely the same up until the point where they transmit the plans to Leia. However, this particular iteration has a different interpretation of Cassian that requires some extra backstory from Knoll:
“Then I had a version of it where the Cassian character, originally, was a double agent. He was a spy planted by the Empire into the Rebellion. And over the course of the mission he becomes aware that the Death Star actually is a real thing and it’s not just propaganda. The Empire really built it, intends to use it and its only purpose is a genocide weapon. He realizes a lot of what he’s been told is a lie and that he’s been on the wrong side. So he switches sides to the Rebellion and he realizes he can let everyone live.
“They’ve got a carbon freeze bomb on the ship and the idea is that he forces everyone into the airlock. ‘I’m going to set this off and you’re all going to survive.’ He sort of times it with one of the hits from Vader’s ship so he blows up the ship and sets off this carbon freeze bomb and everyone is frozen. Then on Vader’s ship they detect no life signs and they think everyone’s dead. And they’re like, ‘Where’s that ship the plans were transmitted too?’ and they go. So I was going to leave our heroes out of the picture. It’s why they don’t show up in Empire or Jedi — they’re stuck in [carbon freeze].”
For the longest time, fans wondered how Lucasfilm would be able to make Rogue One without killing off all the lead characters. Of course, the obvious choice was to kill them all off, but us savvy viewers knew that Disney would likely be looking for a way to capitalize on these characters down the line. This latter ending would have allowed them to do that. In freezing them, you’ve pretty much covered all your bases.
That being said, it would have felt supremely disingenuous for them to have ended on this note. With Lucasfilm trying to expand into standalone films, this is one that would have begged for a sequel, and with none planned yet, it would have felt like an awful setup for a film that could potentially never happen.
What do you think of these endings? Would you have preferred either one over the one we got? Let us know in the comments down below!
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