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'Rogue One' screenwriter reveals alternate ending for Jyn and company

Spoilers ahead!

ByABC News
March 20, 2017, 12:59 PM

— -- For all the people out there that have yet to see "Rogue One: A Star Wars" story, now it's time to look away, or click away, or maybe just read. But don't say there was no warning.

Major Spoilers Ahead.

"Rogue One" screenwriter Gary Whitta spoke to Entertainment Weekly's "Star Wars" expert and senior writer Anthony Breznican and spilled the beans on an alternate ending.

Those who have seen the film know that, at the very end of the mission to steal the Death Star plans, Jyn Erso, Captain Cassian Andor and the rest of the rag-tag crew all perish in one way or another.

But, there's a but. The writers originally came up with an alternate ending where Jyn and Cassian escaped! Sorry K-2SO fans, looks like your favorite smart-droid didn't make it out.

In fact, Whitta said the minds behind the story all wanted to kill everyone off because, "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."

But they didn't think Disney would go for it. So, the first draft had some survivors and some other MAJOR differences.

"I didn’t say everyone made it off. Kaytoo always died. Jyn did survive. Cassian also survived. There were a lot of casualties on both sides, in both versions of the scripts," Whitta said.

In the ending scene of the first draft, "a rebel ship came down and got [Jyn and Cassian] off the surface. 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," he said.

Darth Vader is also seen at the end of "Rogue One" in one of his most talked about scenes in his illustrious history. In this ending, he's just as tenacious, but Jyn and Cassian escape in pods before their ship is destroyed by Lord Vader.

The early script also had a very different story from top to bottom -- one without Bodhi and Chirrut, and one where Jyn had enlisted with the rebellion forces, not reluctantly compelled to help them to save her father and the cause.

"In fact, some of the toys that are sold still say Sgt. Jyn Erso," he said. "That’s who she was, she was a sergeant in the Rebel Alliance. By the time we changed that, some of the toys were already in production. I have a Sgt. Jyn Erso on my desk, even though she’s not a sergeant in the film."

But, as you've seen it didn't end up that way. Still in the middle of the actual ending and the first draft, the creatives had to make the case to leave no rebel alive.

"We told them, we feel they all need to die, and [Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy] and everyone else said to go for it. We got the ending that we wanted," Whitta added. "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 difficult."

ABC News and Lucasfilm are both part of parent company Disney.

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