As many people know, the last act of Rogue One changed significantly as a result of the highly-publicized reshoots, but one of the most well-known scenes in the movie was added at the last minute – Darth Vader’s unstoppable rampage through the Rebel flagship Profundity in a failed attempt to intercept the stolen Death Star plans – as a result of the additional photography that was filmed. But at one point, Darth Vader was meant to have a very different role in the finale.
In the initial version of Rogue One (which had the “happy ending” treatment and an alternate take on how the Death Star plans were beamed to the Rebel Alliance), there was no horror-influenced scene where soldiers get massacred. Instead, we would have received a much more subtle display of the Dark Lord of the Sith’s power. Director Orson Krennic, the Imperial in charge of the Death Star for much of the movie, was intended to somehow survive the Death Star’s blast by taking shelter. He would then be recovered by Imperial forces scouting the planet for any surviving artifacts of technology. Feeling a sense of relief, Krennic’s confidence in his ability to serve the Empire is renewed – until he realizes that he suddenly can’t breathe. He realizes that he’s made the terrible mistake of failing Darth Vader, which is not something that he was going to live to regret.
Gary Whitta, who wrote the initial draft of Rogue One‘s script, noted that this version of the ending was ultimately cut due to Krennic’s initial survival being such a stretch to begin with. But he also noted that, while he didn’t write the hallway massacre, and the other idea he had – Krennic’s disastrous attempt to appeal to the Dark Lord on Mustafar – the idea of Darth Vader busting a few Rebel skulls was always on the table – even if it didn’t make it into his initial script:
“The rampage where [Vader] murdered everybody wasn’t me. That got added later. I had pictured early on Vader murdering all these Rebel soldiers but I never wrote it into the script. It was an idea that stuck around after I left and they ended up finding a cool way to use it. It’s actually my favorite thing in the film.”
As it was for a lot of people, it seems. Sounds like they made the right call in the end.
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story will be released on Digital HD this Friday and on other formats on April 4.
Source: Entertainment Weekly