SPOILERS ON for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. We're talking about the climax of the movie, read on at your own risk.
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is in theaters now, and fans have been talking about every scene, every moment in the movie. Whether it's fawning over the epic space battle over Scarif, laughing at the hilarious lines from K-2SO and Chirrut Îmwe, deciphering the relationships and emotional moments in the movie, or just going nuts over Darth Vader's bad-ass greatness, there's a lot to talk about.
But interestingly, there are also a lot of scenes not in the movie to talk about. That includes several scenes and lines that were in the trailers but not in the finished cut of the movie itself. While we've already broken those down, it's worth taking a second look, as those cut scenes seem to reveal the original ending of the film.
Famously now, the movie had extensive reshoots over the summer. While those were reportedly not to change the ending, there were definitely two versions of the final moments filmed.
Looking at footage from the trailers and behind-the-scenes videos, it seems the climax of the film originally took place on the beaches of Scarif, not in the communications tower. The footage showed Jyn, K-2SO, and Cassian running along the beach with the Death Star plans data drive in hand - but it never left the tower in the final cut (and Kaytoo didn't make it out alive past the theft of said plans). The footage also showed Orson Krennic walking amongst a body-littered beach, implying a final confrontation to take place down there on the ground. Does this mean the original version of the ending had some of the crew surviving and manually taking the plans off-planet? It could be; we'll likely never find out for sure.
Scenes shown off in trailers not making the final cut of the film, and reshoots themselves, are nothing new to movies. In fact, they're nothing new to Star Wars movies - just last year when Star Wars: The Force Awakens debuted, fans instantly pointed out scenes like the lightsaber hand-off from the trailer that didn't make the final cut.
Exactly how Rogue One: A Star Wars Story originally played out will remain a mystery, but it's easy to see why they decided to concentrate the action of the core theft to one location, rather than spreading it back out across Scarif. With stories being told in the space battle in orbit, in four locations on Scarif itself already, plus on the Death Star, that was a lot to juggle. Adding in another location and another subplot may have muddied the waters too much.
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Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is in theaters now. Directed by Gareth Edwards, it's the first of the new standalone features from Lucasfilm and Disney, which take place outside the core "Skywalker Saga" of films noted by an Episode number. Rogue One tells the story of the small band of rebels that were tasked with stealing the plans to the first Death Star. The story spins directly off the opening crawl from the original Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope. In that crawl, it read: "Rebel spaceships, striking from a hidden base, have won their first victory against the evil Galactic Empire. During the battle, Rebel spies managed to steal secret plans to the Empire’s ultimate weapon, the DEATH STAR, an armored space station with enough power to destroy an entire planet."