Rogue One’s rewrites were much more extensive than first thought

Rogue One’s rewrites were much more messy and extensive than first thought, with fans whipped into a frenzy over how the Star Wars universe could have been changed forever.


Prior to Rogue One’s release, it was widely known the film’s ending was tweaked. Those whispers were confirmed when many fans left the cinema realising several key moments from the movie’s trailer didn’t make it into the final cut.

Now, thanks to several crew members doing the rounds to promote the movie’s digital debut, fans have learnt exactly what the original ending entailed – as well as the draft story arcs that could have altered the course of upcoming films.

Screenwriter Gary Whitta told Entertainment Weeklythat Rogue One originally had lead characters Jyn Erso and Cassian Andor survive the battle of Scarif.

“They got away in an escape pod just in time,” he said. “The pod looked like just another piece of debris.”

While Whitta and his team always had a gut feeling that both characters should die, they thought this would be too dark in the eys of Disney executives. But eventually they worked up the courage to change it.

“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,” he said. “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.”

It’s also been revealed that villain Director Krennic, played by Australian actor Ben Mendelsohn, was also meant to survive the Death Star’s deadly blast – only to be murdered by Darth Vader. But that, too, was changed.

Rogue One’s ending wasn’t the only part of the film to face dramatic changes before and during production. In earlier drafts of the film, Cassian Andor was meant to be a double-agent who ultimately sided with the Rebellion, while Jyn’s mother was meant to be a Jedi.

One early draft of the script even had Jyn and Cassian surviving by fleeing Scarif in a ship before freezing themselves in carbonite to avoid detection by Imperial scanners. This ending would have left open the possibility for the duo to crop up in later Star Wars films once their bodies were discovered.

Indeed, John Knoll – the special effects genuis behind Rogue One – has let slip that he has another idea for a Star Wars spinoff, according to Screen Rant.

But before you get too excited, it’s important to understand Disney definitely has its hands full with at least three new Star Wars films coming out over the next three years.