With the home release of Rogue One: A Stars Wars Story on the horizon, more details about the ending are being revealed. In fear that Disney might not sign off on the somewhat dark ending of the film, an alternate ending was drafted. Speaking with Entertainment Weekly, Gary Whitta, who co-wrote Rogue One, he reveals that Bodhi Rook, Chirrut Imwe and Baze Malbus didn’t exist at the time and Jyn Erso was a staff sergeant. Erso instead survived the Scariff assault and the Death Star plans were physically taken instead of beamed up.
“A rebel ship came down and got them off the surface. The transfer of the plans happened later. They jumped away and later [Leia’s] ship came in from Alderaan to help them. The ship-to-ship data transfer happened off Scarif.”
Writers on the film were never sold on this version of the ending, however. “The fact that we had to jump through so many hoops to keep them alive was the writing gods telling us that if they were meant to live it wouldn’t be this difficult. We decided they should die on the surface [of Scarif,] and that was the way it ended. We were constantly trying to make all the pieces fit together. We tried every single idea. Eventually, through endless development you get through an evolutionary process where the best version rises to the top,” Whitta said.
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is the first standalone film in the new Star Wars Anthology series. The Star Wars Anthology series will contain standalone films used to show different aspects of the ongoing war between the Rebel Alliance and the Galactic Empire, without a heavy focus on a more internal struggle between the Jedi and Sith. Rogue One was directed by Gareth Edwards. It occurs between Episode III: Revenge of the Sith and Episode IV: A New Hope. The story follows the main protagonist Jyn Erso, daughter of Galen Erso, architect of the Death Star. The characters are played by Felicity Jones and Mads Mikkelson, respectively. Jyn and a team of rebels infiltrate the Empire to steal the Death Star plans for the Rebel Alliance. The team includes Diego Luna as Cassian Andor, a Rebel Alliance Intelligence officer. Also, Donnie Yen as Chirrut Imwe, a blind warrior. And Alan Tudyk as K-2SO, a reprogrammed Imperial enforcer droid who is allies with Cassian. Riz Ahmed plays Bohdi Rook, an Imperial pilot who defects to the Rebel Alliance.