Rogue One: A Star Wars Story could have had a happy ending, but the movie wouldn’t have been nearly as good or impactful.
One of the things that made Rogue One: A Star Wars Story so different from everything that came before it was the ending.
In the original Star Wars trilogy, the main cast was safe and those that perished were expendable or expected. Their deaths added to the overall story line in a heroic fashion, but they were also considered evil even in the face sacrifice.
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In Rogue One, no one was safe and it showed. Our heroes all perished for the greater good. They captured the plans which included a flaw in the Death Star, for the Republic. But it all could have ended differently.
Very, very differently.
In fact, an early version of the script had the movie end with a wedding.
"“The version prior to that didn’t have everyone die. As a matter of fact, it ended with a wedding. I think it was on the presumption that Disney wouldn’t allow characters to die with such abandon,” Weitz said."
Plenty changed from that early script to what wound up on screen. Changing Rogue One to have a happy ending changes the tone of the movie, and maybe not for the better.
It’s understandable why a Star Wars movie would have a happy ending. Generally, they have with the heroes winning in the end. In Rogue One, the heroes still won but at a heavy cost.
Would Rogue One have been as good with the sappy ending?
Probably not. It still would have been a solid movie, but what made Rogue One stand out was the dramatic ending the Star Wars movie took. The combination of Darth Vader’s epic destruction with the real effects of the Death Star showed just how high the consequences were.
We became attached to characters like Jyn Erso, Cassian Andor, Bodhi Rook, K-2SO, Chirrut Îmwe and Baze Malbus, and to see them perish while fighting for a cause they believed it – to do what’s right is more impactful than any wedding could provide.
That ending made Rogue One different and made it stand out among Star Wars movies.
Who do you think would have gotten married at the end of the early Rogue One script?