Rogue One screenwriter Gary Whitta finally revealed the film's alternative ending to Entertainment Weekly, and it's a doozy. "Kaytoo always died. Jyn did survive".
With 2016's Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, Gareth Edwards earned himself a place in history as the first filmmaker to deliver a Star Wars movie that exists outside of the main saga of that franchise, and succeeds as essentially a standalone story. "There were a lot of casualties on both sides, in both versions of the scripts", Whitta said.
According to Whitt, in an early version, the ending had Jyn and Cassian escape Scarif with the Death Star plans as a rebel ship picks them up while they are on the beach.
The current run of Star Wars films are in the awkward phase of transitioning between the old and new, but it seems Lucasfilm's grand plan is to eventually tell fresh new stories with all new characters.
Those two were Jyn Erso - who at this point was a regular rebel soldier - and the character who would later be named Captain Cassian Andor.
"They got away in an escape pod just in time", he told EW. "The pod looked like just another piece of debris ..."
I've got to admit, the collector in me wishes director Gareth Edwards has filmed that ending, if for no other reason that to have it on the Blu-Ray when it is released on April 4. The movie often felt a little crowded, and when some of these characters did bite the big one on Scarif, it wasn't like watching Obi-Wan or Yoda pass on. "If you're going to give your life for anything, give your life for this, to destroy a weapon that going to kill you all anyway. Whatever kind of Star Wars films they're making 10 or 20 years from now, I don't think they're going to be relying on the same legacy story elements as we have in the past". That's what we always wanted to do.
"We were still scratching the itch that they all needed to die", Whitta says. They transferred the data to Leia's ship just as their ship was destroyed. Most recently, we learned that the movie nearly had a whole lot less Darth Vader in it. "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 hard".
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is released in the United Kingdom on Blu-ray and DVD on April 10, 2017. There's no way Disney'll let us do that.