With Rogue One: A Star Wars Story now available digitally and the Blu-ray coming next week, more details are being spilled about how the film's story changed throughout the course of production. Among the changes from the earlier drafts of the script include a happier ending for Jyn Erso and her band of rebels, and Director Orson Krennic's demise at the hands of Darth Vader. In the end, of course, all the rebels die heroically in the Battle of Scarif; while Krennic takes his final bow in a much more grandiose way.
As it turns out, there was at least one more alternate death scene was in the works for Rogue One, and this time it involved the sarcastic Imperial security droid-turned-Rebel Alliance defender K-2SO (voice and motion capture by Alan Tudyk). In the final version, K-2SO gallantly perishes in a shootout with Imperial forces while protecting Jyn (Felicity Jones) and Captain Cassian Andor (Diego Luna) - but it wasn't always that way.
As Tudyk revealed in an interview with Collider, K-2SO's death in the first version of the Rogue One script involved one of the film's chief villains - as he put it, “Yeah, I got shot by Krennic.” Tudyk didn't provide any other details about the character's death, although it sounds like it wouldn't have been a fair fight since K-2SO didn't have a weapon. In the Rogue One theatrical cut, the hulking droid was armed with a blaster, making his final showdown with a gaggle of Stormtroopers that much more exciting.
Fans shouldn't expect the "Krennic kills K-2SO" scene to turn up on the forthcoming version or any other subsequent releases of Rogue One on Blu-ray either - as Tudyk notes that the K-2S0's death scene via Krennic (Ben Mendelsohn) was never actually filmed, only scripted.
By the sound of it, shuttering the original K-2SO death scene was a great move. An arbitrary death where the droid is shot by Krennic would have been akin to the way Selina Kyle (Anne Hathaway) blasted the seemingly indestructible Bane (Tom Hardy) without warning at the conclusion of The Dark Knight Rises in 2012. Any character with such presence throughout a film – good guy or bad – deserves a better demise than a one-and-done exit, and we got it with K-2SO.
As for Star Wars fans, any new details about "what might have been" in Rogue One are more than welcome, if not for any other reason because details about two other saga films in production – Episode VIII: The Last Jedi and the Untitled Han Solo Star Wars Anthology Film – have been so scant. It's especially frustrating for waiting for something new to come out of the The Last Jedi camp, since the film, set for release in less than nine months, hasn't so much as released a teaser trailer, much less official images from the production. At least news of alternate death scenes in Rogue One can fuel our imaginations.
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