Industrial Light and Magic chief creative officer and senior visual effects supervisor John Knoll has revealed two more alternate endings for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.
Knoll himself not only supervised the visual effects on Rogue One but also produced and came up with the idea for the story of the first ever spin-off in the franchise that evolved through several iterations both on the page and during production as well.
Earlier this week we learned of an alternate ending that would have seen the heroic Rebel spies survive the film but in a recent chat with io9 while promoting the film’s home release, Knoll revealed two more endings for the film — one of which would have seen Jyn Erso (Felicity Jones) and Cassian Andor (Diego Luna) commit suicide over Coruscant.
After escaping Scarif with the Death Star plans, Jyn and Cassian are pursued by Vader after multiple jumps through hyperspace. Eventually, Jyn and Cassian’s ship is damaged so badly they know they are doomed. Knoll explained the last jump they are able to make takes them to Coruscant where they pass off the plans to Princess Leia:
“And the last jump they do, they try to get lost in the traffic that’s around Coruscant. 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. 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.”
Having successfully completed their mission but unable to escape from Vader, Jyn and Cassian decide to blow their ship up while they are still on board.
Knoll also revealed another alternate ending that would have featured Cassian as a double agent as he froze our heroes in carbon to allow them to survive an attack by Darth Vader while also offering an explanation as to why they weren’t around during the classic trilogy:
“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].”
So what do you think? Would you have liked to see one of these endings over the one we got? Seeing a bit more of Coruscant than the brief glimpse we got of it in the film sure would have been nice.
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story will be available on Digital HD this Friday, March 24 followed by the DVD & Blu-Ray release on April 4, 2017.