More Scrapped ‘Rogue One’ Plans Reveal Another Crazy Ending, Backstory for Jyn’s Mom
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story will be yours to digitally purchase (or rent, if you still like to give things the ol’ test-drive first) this Friday, and to celebrate, the filmmakers are really leaning into all those reports of reshoots and story changes by sharing unused plot points and alternate endings — like the somewhat happier conclusion Jyn Erso & Co. had in an earlier draft of the script. Today’s additions to the pile of discarded Rogue One ideas include an interesting backstory for Jyn’s mom and an even crazier alternate ending.
First up: For the latest in a series of “bonus” features leading up to the digital release of Rogue One, EW spoke with director Gareth Edwards, who revealed a fairly major change that was made to the prologue featuring Jyn’s origins, as it were. An earlier draft of the script revealed that Jyn’s mom was actually a Jedi, and Krennic’s little visit was part of Order 66 — the genocidal order given in Revenge of the Sith. According to Edwards, “The problem was that the second you make her mom a Jedi you spend the entire movie questioning whether Jyn is a Jedi or not” — you know, like when we spent all of The Force Awakens wondering the same thing about Rey.
But wait, there’s more. iO9 recently spoke with John Knoll, the Chief Creative Officer and Senior Visual Effects Supervisor for Industrial Light & Magic, and the guy who originally pitched Lucasfilm on the concept of a Star Wars movie in which a group of Rebels attempt to steal the plans for the Death Star. As it turns out, that unused “happy” ending — in which Jyn and Cassian survive — wasn’t the wildest conclusion anyone came up with for Rogue One.
Knoll describes another alternate ending, in which Jyn and Cassian escape with Darth Vader in pursuit on the way to Coruscant. Their ship is badly damaged, and their attempts to lose Vader in a crowd of ships prove futile, so they decide to risk blowing up Leia’s spot by transmitting the Death Star plans to her ship. Ultimately, they realize they’re doomed either way, and decide to blow themselves up. That’s pretty crazy, but not as crazy as what Knoll describes next:
Then I had a version of it where the Cassian character, originally, was a double agent. He was a spy planted by the Empire into the Rebellion. And 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.
They’ve got a carbon freeze bomb on the ship and the idea is that he forces everyone into the airlock. “I’m going to set this off and you’re all going to survive.” He sort of times it with one of the hits from Vader’s ship so he blows up the ship and sets off this carbon freeze bomb and everyone is frozen. 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].