SPOILERS: Gareth Edwards Reveals ROGUE ONE: A STAR WARS STORY's Original Ending

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story director Gareth Edwards has revealed a very different version of the movie's ending where the fan-favourite heroes ended up...well, you can find that out after the jump!

You only need to watch the trailers for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story to know that reports of 40% of the movie being reshot were accurate, but it turns out that an earlier draft of the screenplay had a very different ending. That featured the Rebels managing to survive their trip to Scarif, something shots of Jyn, Cassian, and a fully intact K-2SO running across the beaches with the Death Star plans in tow may confirm was also the case before Disney and Lucasfilm ordered those extensive reshoots to take place. 

During a now removed chat with Empire Online (via io9), here's what director Gareth Edwards had to say about a version of Rogue One where the Rebels managed to survive their suicide mission to Scarif.

 
The very first version, they didn’t. In the screenplay. And it was just assumed by us that we couldn’t do that. ‘They’re not going to let us do that.’ So I was trying to figure out how this ends where that doesn’t happen. And then everyone read that and there was this feeling of like, ‘They’ve got to die, right?’ And everyone was like, ‘Yeah, can we?’
 
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.’ And so from that point on we had the license.
 
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.

We'll probably never know what Rogue One looked like before those reshoots, but it's clear the movie went through some massive changes along the way. Would it have been better had the Rebels lived? It certainly would have led to a more optimistic conclusion, but might have robbed their story of its impact and led to endless speculation about when and where the characters would show up again. 

What do you guys think? As always, be sure to weigh in with your thoughts in the comments section.
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