MAJOR spoilers for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story follow.
Leading up to the release of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, fear and scepticism surrounding the movie grew as reports came in of extensive reshoots. Writer and director Tony Gilroy was reportedly brought in to help with the post-production process and write new material for reshoots. This was around the time it was alleged that Warner Bros. had a disruptive interference in the production of Suicide Squad, resulting in a troubled process. Many were worried that the powerful corporations were strangling these pop culture movies to drain as much money from them as possible. As Rogue One continues to clean up at the box-office, director Gareth Edwards has revealed he had a very different ending in mind for the spin-off story because of a similar mentality.
Speaking in an Empire podcast (via The Verge), Edwards revealed that his original ending had all the main characters survive because he expected Disney would want to keep them around. Much to his surprise, however, they gave the green light for the conclusion in which they all bite the dust.
“We thought we weren’t going to be allowed to but Kathy [Kennedy, president of Lucasfilm] and everyone at Disney were like ‘Yeah it makes sense. I guess they have to because they’re not in A New Hope,” Edwards said.
“I kept waiting for someone to go, ‘You know what? Could we just film an extra scene where we see Jyn and Cassian, they’re okay and they’re on another planet? And it never came. No one ever gave us that note, so we got to do it.”
Gareth went on to speak about how he never filmed an alternate ending in which the ensemble survives, but was anticipating the call to come that asked him to ensure they do. Empire’s podcast has since been pulled down but will be back up on the 26th December.
In a landscape now were cinematic universes are all the rage and Robert Downey Jr’s Marvel contract has been re-signed on numerous occasions, it is encouraging to see studios give directors free rain to kill characters as they see fit. Disney and Lucasfilm could have very easily insisted that the tremendous characters of Rogue One survived the narrative’s ordeal to have them appear in bankable future movies, but they didn’t. Everybody is killed on the Rogue One posters bar Darth Vader, just think about that for a moment.
As the dust settles surrounding this latest Star Wars flick and many are holding it in such high regard, it is safe to assume it is because of the unconventional direction the movie went it. It is still a Star Wars movie, but one that made some bold choices.