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‘Rogue One’ Director Gareth Edwards Reveals How the Film’s Original Ending Was Much Different

He was surprised when Disney allowed him to go dark.

Director Gareth Edwards and Diego Luna shooting “Rogue One”

Jonathan Olley © 2016 Lucasfilm Ltd.

(Spoilers within.) Anyone who saw “Rogue One” after obsessively studying the latest “Star Wars” installment’s trailers will have noticed that much of the initial footage didn’t find its way into the final film. According to an interview with director Gareth Edwards, the original idea was even more different — namely the ending.

READ MORE: ‘Rogue One’ Review: The First ‘Star Wars’ Spinoff Is a Scrappy Space Adventure That Plays Things Painfully Safe

At first, the script had the main characters surviving rather than dying. Once they reached that point, however, “Everyone read that and there was this feeling of like, ‘They’ve got to die, right?’ And everyone was like, ‘Yeah, can we?'” Edwards explains to Empire in a podcast that’s since been taken offline but is slated to reappear on December 26. What with “Star Wars” now being a Disney property, they assumed — incorrectly, as it turned out — that the answer would be no.

READ MORE: ‘Rogue One’ Premiere Photos: Latest ‘Star Wars’ Saga Arrives in Hollywood

“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,'” Edwards continues. Unlike much of what appeared in the trailers, the original ending was never even shot. “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.”

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