Rogue One: A Star Wars Story originally had a very different ending from what audiences saw at the movies!
Spoilers ahead if you haven’t seen the movie…
In the originally scripted ending, Jyn (Felicity Jones) and a character who later was changed to Cassian Andor in the final script, managed to flee Scarif with the data tapes.
“A rebel ship came down and got them off the surface,” screenwriter Gary Whitta told EW. “The original instinct was that they should all die. It’s worth it. If you’re going to give your life for anything, give your life for this, to destroy a weapon that going to kill you all anyway. That’s what we always wanted to do. But we never explored it because we were afraid that Disney might not let us do it, that Disney might think it’s too dark for a Star Wars movie or for their brand.”
“I didn’t say everyone made it off. Kaytoo always died,” Gary added. “Jyn did survive. ‘Cassian’ also survived. There were a lot of casualties on both sides, in both versions of the scripts.
“The transfer of the plans happened later. They jumped away and later [Leia’s] ship came in from Alderaan to help them. The ship-to-ship data transfer happened off Scarif,” Gary said of the old version.
In the unfilmed version, audiences would have seen Darth Vader’s Star Destroyer chasing Leia’s Tantive IV at the end, and the viewer would be left to think everyone died. However, you’d soon discover, “They got away in an escape pod just in time. The pod looked like just another piece of debris.”
The creative team eventually fought for the death of all the characters on Scarif after uploading the data successfully – and Lucasfilm agreed.
Rogue One is out on DVD and Blu-ray on April 4.