Oh lord, this is making us weepy.
Spoilers for ‘Rogue One: A Star Wars‘ story – although it’s been out for three months, just what the hell are you doing with your life – but the writer behind Disney‘s Star Wars spinoff has revealed the film was originally going to have a very different ending.
If you’ll recall, the final minutes of ‘Rogue One’ are an absolute bloodbath, with almost every single major character including Jyn Erso (Felicity Jones), Cassian Andor (Diego Luna), K-2SO (Alan Tudyk), Chirrut Imwe (Donnie Yen), Bodhi Rook (Riz Ahmed) and Baze Malbus (Wen Jiang) being ruthlessly slaughtered.
It was a bittersweet, brutal suckerpunch of an ending. Yeah, they all died, but they did it for the Rebel Alliance, y’know?
‘Rogue One’ writer Gary Whitta said that although he always thought the cast would have to die by the film’s end, he never thought Disney would actually let it happen.
“I never believed that they would let us kill off all the characters in the film,” he told ComicBook.com. “That was our original instinct. The very first meeting with [director] Gareth [Evans] I remember saying, ‘I kind of feel like they all need to die, but there’s no way Lucas … There’s no way Disney’ll let us do that. We can’t kill everybody. It’s a Disney movie.’ And yet, they were fully supportive of it, and it’s actually one of the coolest things about the film.”
Basically, in the original, Jyn and Cassius were meant to survive (a rebel ship swung down and grabbed them), K-2SO always died, and Bodhi, Chirrut and Baze didn’t even exist.
“In fact, some of the toys that are sold still say Sgt. Jyn Erso,” Whitta told EW. “That’s who she was, she was a sergeant in the Rebel Alliance. By the time we changed that, some of the toys were already in production. I have a Sgt. Jyn Erso on my desk, even though she’s not a sergeant in 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 difficult. We decided they should die on the surface [of Scarif,] and that was the way it ended. We were constantly trying to make all the pieces fit together. We tried every single idea. Eventually, through endless development you get through an evolutionary process where the best version rises to the top.”
In the end, Evans convinced Disney and Lucasfilm that everyone needed to die, and history (or at least, an extremely good film with a bittersweet ending) was made.
“It’s the biggest kind of emotional punch that I think the movie has,” he told ComicBook.com. “I’m so glad that they supported that decision.”