While it may seem obvious in hindsight, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story took many by surprise. Not only was it a critical hit and embraced by fans and general moviegoers alike, but it made Disney over $1 billion at the global box office. In the process, it proved that standalone stories set in the Star Wars universe could work, which is good news for the upcoming Han Solo spinoff. While that movie will be quite different from Rogue One, it will face a similar challenge of introducing new characters and plots while tying things into the existing lore.
Luckily, we know audiences are hungry for these anthology stories. Even with Rogue One out of the theaters, news continues to pour out about the film, gobbled up by those anxious for the next installment in the franchise. While we’re still waiting for more news on The Last Jedi, the upcoming home video release of Rogue One has offered a lot of bonus info on last year’s film. We recently learned the humorous origin of the planet Scarif’s name. On top of all that, details have been pouring out about the third act of the film, which was famously reworked at the eleventh hour.
Collider spoke with Rogue One co-writer Gary Whitta on the change, and he opened up about the original, happier ending of the film:
“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.”
We learned yesterday that the team behind the film were worried Disney would shoot down the dark ending, so it’s no surprise that an alternate one was created. We’ve even seen images from the beach escape of Jyn and her comrades, with the scene also popping up in the marketing for Rogue One. Whitta went on to describe the team’s rescue following them securing the Death Star plans:
“They got away in an escape pod just in time. The pod looked like just another piece of debris…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.”
While this different ending would have enabled the characters to return in future films, it would have also robbed the film of its brutal and poignant ending. What’s more, it would have left a whole slew of loose ends lying around, as we’ve yet to see any of the characters show up in subsequent stories. Sadly, despite the Blu-ray of Rogue One being packed with bonus features, we’ve been told the alternate ending and other deleted scenes won’t show up on home video. That said, they may appear at some future date, either online or in a special edition of the film, so fingers crossed.
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story will be available on Digital HD and Disney Movies Anywhere on March 24th, and on Blu-ray Combo Pack, DVD, and On-Demand on April 4th.