Fans knew heading into Rogue One: A Star Wars Story that the events of the narrative took place before Star Wars: A New Hope, yet that doesn't mean everyone knew how fatal of a journey our heroes were embarking on. Some viewers held out hope that having never learned about the characters after the events of the movie merely meant these characters went into hiding, as opposed to all being killed. Chris Weitz, who worked on the script after Gary Whitta, recently revealed that the ending wasn't always quite as devastating, with one original idea ending on a much more hopeful note.
"The version prior to [my involvement] didn't have everyone die. As a matter of fact, it ended with a wedding," Weitz shared with the CultPopture podcast. "I think it was on the presumption that Disney wouldn't allow characters to die with such abandon."
This ending likely originated from very early concepts for the film, as Whitta himself pointed out to ComicBook.com that he was shocked Disney embraced the idea of all of the characters dying.
"I never believed that they would let us kill off all the characters in the film," Whitta shared in 2017. "That was our original instinct. The very first meeting with [director] Gareth [Edwards] I remember saying, 'I kind of feel like they all need to die, but there's no way Lucas ... There's no way Disney'll let us do that. We can't kill everybody. It's a Disney movie.' And yet, they were fully supportive of it, and it's actually one of the coolest things about the film."
Weitz, however, agreed with the practicality of killing the characters as a way to explain their absence from the rest of the saga. The writer noted, "I felt it was necessary because nobody ever mentions them or sees them again. But also because we've done this whole sort of theme about sacrifice that it was appropriate that all of our main characters die."
Many debates have emerged about Rogue One and how the final product differed from earlier incarnations. Editor Tony Gilroy helmed reshoots on the film, leading to some drastic differences between what audiences saw and original plans.
"If you imagine the beginning of the second act and the end of the second act kind of swapping places, that would not be an inaccurate way to portray how it structurally was changed," Weitz explained of some of the story's differences. "A lot of the deaths were put in different locations than they were originally put in the script and were originally shot. I'm not sure why, for instance, K-2 died in a different place."
The writer also noted that two major changes included the Darth Vader attack, admitting, "The Darth Vader kicking ass I cannot take credit for," and the explicit confirmation that the film would be about the construction of the Death Star.
"It was just the sense that the Rebellion knew that something bad was going down and we need to find out about it," the writer shared. "There was this developing sense of dread throughout the film."
While the admission of many details about original plans for the film could imply that the writer was disappointed with the final product, Weitz confirmed he was actually quite happy with how everything turned out.
"I feel great about the final cut," the writer confessed. "I had no idea what it was going to look like until I sat down at the premiere. It was like watching a movie I had written and a new movie at the same time; I really, really liked it."
Fans will see Cassion Andor from Rogue One in an all-new TV series coming to Disney+ at some point in the future.
What do you think about the writer's remarks? Let us know in the comments below or hit up @TheWolfman on Twitter to talk all things Star Wars and horror!
Have you subscribed to ComicBook Nation, the official Podcast of ComicBook.com yet? Check it out by clicking here or listen below.
In this latest episode, we talk about the new Toy Story 4 trailer, we're breaking down James Gunn's return to Marvel Studios and more! Make sure to subscribe now and never miss an episode!