Warning: "Rogue One" SPOILER ALERT. If these aren't the spoilers you're looking for, move along.
No matter what, "Rogue One: A Star Wars Story" was destined to be bittersweet, but an early version was much heavier on the sweet.
In this standalone film -- which leads straight into Episode IV -- Jyn Erso (Felicity Jones) and a group of rebels steal the plans for the Death Star. Director Gareth Edwards revealed that the initial plan was for Jyn and company to make it out alive.
"I think there was an early version [of the screenplay] – the very first version they didn't [die] in. It was just assumed by us that we couldn't [kill the cast] and they're not gonna let us do that. So we're trying to figure out how this ends where that doesn't happen. And then everyone read that [first screenplay], and there was just this feeling of like, 'They gotta die, right?' And everyone was like, 'Yeah, can we?' And we thought we weren't gonna be allowed to, but Kathy [Kennedy, Lucasfilm President] and everyone at Disney were like, 'Yeah, makes sense.'"
Good for Disney. For obvious reasons, Disney is not big on killing off leads, but the spoiler to this story already happened in the very first "Star Wars" movie back in 1977. Fans had already been told how much rebels sacrificed for this cause, and it wouldn't make sense -- or have as much emotional impact -- if the entire core cast survived.
Critics and fans have been mostly positive about the finished product, but we all know "Rogue One" went through major reshoots. That stuff was actually filmed, and maybe we'll see it someday -- beyond what was shown in the trailers that never made the theatrical cut. Edwards talked about the trailer-to-film disparity in the Empire podcast:
"There was a bit of a process to refining the third act in terms of specific shots and moments, and certain things just fell away. What happened was marketing loved those shots and said, 'Oh, we've got to use that.' And you say, 'Well, it's not in the movie,' and they said 'It's okay. It's what marketing does, we just use the best of whatever you've done.'"
Oh, marketing. You just got thrown under the bus. But they threw Edwards right back with that "best of whatever you've done didn't even make the final film" burn. Things turned out A-OK in the end, but the extras on the future Blu-ray have the potential to be epic and quite lengthy with explanations. Heck, maybe even give a featurette to marketing.
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