We’ve already heard one alternate ending for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story that involved Jyn and Cassian surviving the final battle. Thanks to io9 and John Knoll, the Chief Creative Officer and Senior Visual Effects Supervisor for Industrial Light & Magic, we have two more alternate ending to share with you and they are a lot more interesting than the last one revealed.
The first one involves Jyn and Cassian fleeing to Coruscant and it’s described as follows:
Jyn and Cassian lead a team that steals the Death Star plans, and escape Scarif on a Rebel ship. In hot pursuit is Darth Vader, whose ship keeps attacking them even after multiple jumps to lightspeed. Soon, they’ve taken so much damage, they realize they aren’t going to make it.
“And the last jump they do, they try to get lost in the traffic that’s around Coruscant,” Knoll said. “It’s a giant cloud of ships. Ten-thousand ships coming and going and they’re trying to get lost in that traffic but they don’t make it. There’s still an hour’s flight away from Coruscant and their ship gets damaged.”
Jyn and Cassian realize if they don’t get the plans off the ship, the whole mission has failed. “So they discover that Leia’s ship has just taken off from Coruscant and is on its way to its diplomatic mission to Alderaan,” Knoll said. “They know that she’s secretly working for the Rebellion and they risk blowing her cover by transmitting the plans to her ship with the hope that this transmission won’t be detected but Vader’s ship.”
Obviously, it is detected, but Jyn and Cassian realize that whether Vader catches Leia’s ship or not, they will inevitably be tortured for information by the Empire and could reveal the Rebellion’s secrets, potentially leading to its destruction. So the two Rebels decide to blow up their ship with them on it.
The second ending is basically the same one above but it also includes and more interesting layer that involves Cassian being a double agent and carbon freeze. Knoll explains:
“Then I had a version of it where the Cassian character, originally, was a double agent. He was a spy planted by the Empire into the Rebellion. And over the course of the mission he becomes aware that the Death Star actually is a real thing and it’s not just propaganda. The Empire really built it, intends to use it and its only purpose is a genocide weapon. He realizes a lot of what he’s been told is a lie and that he’s been on the wrong side. So he switches sides to the Rebellion and he realizes he can let everyone live.
“They’ve got a carbon freeze bomb on the ship and the idea is that he forces everyone into the airlock. ‘I’m going to set this off and you’re all going to survive.’ He sort of times it with one of the hits from Vader’s ship so he blows up the ship and sets off this carbon freeze bomb and everyone is frozen. Then on Vader’s ship they detect no life signs and they think everyone’s dead. And they’re like, ‘Where’s that ship the plans were transmitted too?’ and they go. So I was going to leave our heroes out of the picture. It’s why they don’t show up in Empire or Jedi — they’re stuck in [carbon freeze].”
I love the idea of the carbon freeze bomb! Someone’s gotta use that at some point in a different Star Wars film. I wonder how many other alternate endings they came up with!?