There are tons of fan theories floating around right now about Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. A lot of them have to do with what seems like a ton of footage that was in the trailers, but never made it into the film itself. There’s also the widely reported story that Felicity Jones (Jyn Erso) was signed on to a contract that included at least one sequel. With the movie now in its second week of release, director Gareth Edwards is speaking up on his original plan for the film’s ending and how it evolved into what we ended up getting on the big screen.
“The very first version, they didn’t [die]. In the screenplay. And it was just assumed by us that we couldn’t do that. ‘They’re not going to let us do that.’ So I was trying to figure out how this ends where that doesn’t happen. And then everyone read that and there was this feeling of like, ‘They’ve got to die, right?’ And everyone was like, ‘Yeah, can we?’ 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.’ And so from that point on we had the license.”
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.”
Well, that settles some of the mysteries, but it still leaves us with a lot more. It sounds like the changes were made before filming ever began. If that’s the case, why is there the footage of Jyn and Cassian running on the beach with the data tape? I’m guessing that the ending we got (which was great), is the result of the reshoots. It’ll be very interesting to see what bits of extra footage find their way out with the Blu-Ray release of the film.