The blessing and curse of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is that, leading directly into Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope, we all know how this one's going to end: they're going to steal the Death Star plans, which will wind up with Leia and R2-D2, leading to its eventual destruction. But the journey is how we get there, and the question isn't how the story ends in general, but rather how it ends for each of these characters.
With a large ensemble cast that apparently features a primary group of 7: Jyn, Cassian, K-2SO, Chirrut, Baze, Bodhi, and Saw, who makes it out alive? Is there any scenario in which that group assembles for another story?
“No," Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy said bluntly when asked at the Rogue One press junket. "When we came up with the idea to do the standalone movies, it’s liberating in many ways, to truly have a story with a beginning, middle, and end. And stand completely alone.”
When she was pressed, and asked if we'd at least see any of these characters in a future Star Wars film, well, the answer didn't give us a new hope.
“Doubtful. There are a lot of tears. A lot of tears.”
That sure sounds like we're going to see some, if not all, of these characters shuffle loose the mortal coil during the course of this movie, and that's not too huge a surprise - this has been described repeatedly as more of a classic war movie than a traditional Star Wars film, after all. Of course, the question was about whether we'd see them in another movie. With Star Wars Rebels the animated series taking place ahead of Rogue One in the timeline, we could still see slightly younger versions of some of them show up there, or have untold stories revealed in novels and comics.
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Rogue One: A Star Wars Story hits US theaters December 16, 2016. 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."
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