As we wait for director Gareth Edwards’ Rogue One to arrive via digital download later this week (the Blu-ray release lands on April 4 in the US), Entertainment Weekly has started up a new series called “Rogue One Revelations” that aims to shed some light on certain topics/talking points associated with the film. First up is a piece on the much talked-about alternate ending that played out quite differently from the finished product we saw.
The Death Star emerges from hyperspace to lay waste to Scarif and protect the Empire’s secrets by destroying the special weapons facility along with the Rebel incursion.
But this time there was no last-second broadcast of the plans from a satellite tower. Jyn and Cassian were escaped the surface of the beach world carrying the data tapes.
“A rebel ship came down and got them off the surface,” [co-writer Gary] Whitta says. “The transfer of the plans happened later. They jumped away and later [Leia’s] ship came in from Alderaan to help them. The ship-to-ship data transfer happened off Scarif.”
Darth Vader was still in pursuit and began attacking Jyn’s shuttle as the Rebels tried desperately to transfer the information from the data tapes to Leia’s vessel. Finally, Vader was successful in breaching their shields and destroying the craft.
The audience would have been left fearing the heroes were dead. But as Vader’s Star Destroyer ventures off to chase Leia’s Tantive IV, we would have remained focused on the shuttle fragments floating in the vastness of space.
“They got away in an escape pod just in time,” Whitta said. “The pod looked like just another piece of debris.”