We already know that Darth Vader was originally supposed to kill off a major character and that Jyn Erso (Felicity Jones) and Cassian Andor (Diego Luna) were supposed to survive, but now it’s been revealed that Rogue One had TWO more alternative endings and one of them was pretty insane.
John Knoll, the Chief Creative Officer and Senior Visual Effects Supervisor for Industrial Light & Magic sat down for a chat with io9, and revealed exactly what each of them entailed.
The first ending saw Cassian and Jyn fleeing Scarif and setting a course for Coruscant, with Vader hot on their heels. The Sith Lord is majorly peeved about the fact that they’ve stolen the Empire’s Death Star plans so he continuously attacks them en route, leaving their ship in a bad way.
“And the last jump [to lightspeed] they do, they try to get lost in the traffic that’s around Coruscant,” Knoll said. “It’s a giant cloud of ships. Ten-thousand ships coming and going and they’re trying to get lost in that traffic but they don’t make it. There’s still an hour’s flight away from Coruscant and their ship gets damaged.”
“So they discover that Leia’s ship has just taken off from Coruscant and is on its way to its diplomatic mission to Alderaan,” Knoll said. “They know that she’s secretly working for the Rebellion and they risk blowing her cover by transmitting the plans to her ship with the hope that this transmission won’t be detected but Vader’s ship.”
That plan clearly doesn’t go off without a hitch (Vader does detect the transmission and sets off to stop his daughter) and realising they’ll likely be tortured for information, Jyn and Cassian decide to blow their own badly damaged ship up with them on board.
And that’s not even the crazy ending…
Scenario two was laden with intrigue and espionage, because it involved Cassian Andor being revealed as an Imperial spy, who’d been planted among the Rebels by the Empire to keep an eye on them.
“Over the course of the mission he becomes aware that the Death Star actually is a real thing and it’s not just propaganda. The Empire really built it, intends to use it and its only purpose is a genocide weapon. He realizes a lot of what he’s been told is a lie and that he’s been on the wrong side. So he switches sides to the Rebellion and he realizes he can let everyone live”, Knoll explained.
Cassian sacrifices himself for our heroes (namely Jyn) in this plotline, bundling everyone into an airlock on their ship and setting off a “carbon freeze bomb” – ala Han Solo in a big carbon slab – that would preserve them all and later allow them to be defrosted.
“Then on Vader’s ship they detect no life signs and they think everyone’s dead. And they’re like, “Where’s that ship the plans were transmitted too?” and they go. So I was going to leave our heroes out of the picture. It’s why they don’t show up in Empire or Jedi — they’re stuck in [carbon freeze]”, Knoll said.
Bizarre, right? Right. Even the powers that be decided that it wasn’t the best plan, so they opted to kill everyone off instead, tying up any loose ends rather, errr, nicely.