Rogue One: A Star Wars Story gives Star Wars fans a front row seat to the story of how The Rebel Alliance embarked on that fateful mission to steal The Death Star plans. It was an event that created the spark of hope that Princess Leia, Luke Skywalker, Han Solo and the rest would then ignite into a flame of rebellion that ultimately left The Empire in ashes.
Of course, even before we knew exact details of the story Rogue One chronicles, we knew that the mission to obtain the Death Star plans had been steeped in the blood and sacrifice of Rebel soldiers. As Rogue One heads into theaters, some fans (the impatient ones) may want to know up front: Who Dies in Rogue One?
We would advise everyone to find out the answer by seeing the movie - but if you really, really, want to know? MAJOR SPOILERS FOLLOW!
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In a word: Everyone.
As many fans expected, the entire main cast of characters in Rogue One ends up dead. That includes the Rebel squad that embarks on the mission (Jyn Erso, Cassian Andor, K-2SO...), their major contacts (Galen Erso and Saw Gerrera), as well as the villain, Orson Krennic
To paraphrase Comicbook.com's Lucas Siegel in his official Rogue One review, the movie does a fine job of demonstrating how a diverse group of people is thrown together for a desperate mission that just barely succeeds. Even though this dysfunctional family only exists a short time, their sacrifice creates a ripple effect that allows Luke Skywalker to fulfill his destiny.
We may have only known them briefly, but the Rogue One mission team earned their place as memorable Star Wars heroes.
READ ON for SPECIFIC character deaths.
Saw Gerrera (Forest Whitaker) was the leader of the Onderon Rebels during the Clone Wars, and fought alongside Anakin Skywalker and Ahsoka Tano. But the time of Rogue One, he's a more hardline resistance leader (too hardline for the Rebel Alliance), who also happened to be the adoptive father of Jyn Erso.
After making contact with Imperial defector Bodhi Rook and learning about his old friend's Galen Erso's plan, Saw meets with Jyn and relays Galen message - just before The Empire wipes out his base (and Saw) using the Death Star. Jyn and her cohorts narrowly escape the attack.
Galen Erso (Mads Mikkelsen) designed the Death Star's primary weapon, under coersion of Director Krennic. As an act of rebellion, he also designed a flaw in the Death Star, and recruited Imperial pilot Bodhi Rook to act as a spy on his behalf.
As Jyn and Co. get closer to tracking down Galen, Krennic realizes what the scientist has done - and how Moff Tarkin will use Galen's betrayal to sabotage Krennic in the eyes of the Emperor. Ironically enough as Krennic puts Galen in front of a firing squad, Cassian is simultaneously about to assassinate Galen. But it is Rebel ships attacking the base that ultimately kill Galen in their crossfire.
Poor Galen wasn't making out of there alive, no matter what.
Despite his grim and sardonic nature, K-2SO (Alan Tudyk) dies a hero, by ignoring an onslaught of Storm Trooper blaster fire while he secured the records room, allowing Jyn and Cassian to steal the drive containing the Death Star plans.
Chirrut Îmwe & Baze Malbus
Donnie Yen's Chirrut Îmwe was a scene-stealer as a blind force sensitive, and he put his courage and humor to final use, chanting his mantra ("I am one with the Force, the Force is with me.") as he walked across an open battlefield to flip a switch and power the main communications array. Chirrut was gunned down as soon as the task was completed, but the Force was truly with him: his sacrifice allowed the Rogue One team to transmit the Death Star plans to Rebel ships in orbit.
Moved by his friend's faith and noble sacrifice, Baze Malbus (Wen Jiang) finally puts his own faith in the Force, and takes down as many Imperial soldiers as he can before going down himself.
Bodhi Rook (Raz Ahmed) is the Imperial pilot that Galen Erso recruits, sending him to Saw Gerrera with a message to alert The Rebellion about the Death Star flaw.
Despite completing his initial mission, Bodhi heroically embarks with Jyn on the doomed mission to steal the plans. His final act of courage is running through the battlefield to use the comms on a stolen Imperial shuttle, alerting the Rebel forces outside the planetary shield that the Death Star plans were ready for transmission. Just as Bodhi gets his message out, Imperial forces blow up the shuttle, killing him.
After being critically wounded by Cassian's blaster, Director Krennic (Ben Mendelsohn) dies by his own design when his rival, Moff Tarkin, uses the Death Star to annihilate the entire Imperial security base, with Krennic still on site.
Jyn & Cassian
Our primary two heroes die romantically, hugging on a beach, watching as The Death Star annihilates the Imperial base they stole the plans from.
It's a tender moment that ponders what could have been between Jyn (Felicity Jones) and Cassian (Diego Luna), if they hadn't been so deeply scarred by war and loss.
Honorable Mention: Everyone in Darth Vader's Path
A lot of Rebel soldiers and specialists die in Rogue One, but the final moments of the film feature a particularly horrific sequence where Darth Vader slaughters an entire corridor of Rebel soldiers, who barely get the Death Star plans handed off to Princess Leia.
It's the bridge moment between where Rogue One ends and A New Hope begins, turning a simple line of an opening crawl into an edge-of-your-seat thrill.
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