The director of Star Wars: Rogue One has revealed the spin-off story almost had an entirely different conclusion to the one currently playing to adoring movie audiences around the world.
Gareth Edwards told the Empire Magazine podcast earlier versions of the screenplay saw the bridge between Episode III and IV take a radically different direction at its climax.
BEWARE: There’s a load of spoilers below this trailer.
On the now-pulled podcast, Edwards said the original draft some of the Rogue One fighters led by Jyn Erso survived, but only due the assumption Disney would never let them all die on Scarif.
Edwards said: “Everyone read that and there was this feeling of like, ‘They’ve got to die, right?’ And everyone was like, ‘Yeah, can we?’”
Unexpectedly, Edwards said, Disney gave the green light for the entire squadron to go down in a totally triumphant blaze of glory.
He added: “We thought we weren’t going to be allowed to but Kathy [Kennedy, president of Lucasfilm] and everyone at Disney were like ‘Yeah it makes sense. I guess they have to because they’re not in A New Hope.’
“I kept waiting for someone to go, ‘You know what? Could we just film an extra scene where we see Jyn and Cassian, they’re okay and they’re on another planet?’
“And it never came. No one ever gave us that note, so we got to do it.”
The fascinating interview will be uploaded once again on Boxing Day, Empire says (via The Verge).
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story brought in worldwide box office receipts totalling $290m (£225m) this weekend.
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Would the Disney-fied conclusion have spoiled Rogue One for you, or do you wish Jyn and Cassian had made it to safety and lived out their lives completely hidden from view for the rest of the saga? Share your thoughts in the comments below.