(Mild Rogue One spoilers ahead, people.)
As audiences already know, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story doesn’t end well for Jyn Erso and her band of errant rebels. But there might be an alternate version in which things aren’t quite so apocalyptic. Ben Mendelsohn, who plays the nefarious Orson Krennic, has said that there were some very different choices made during the shooting process.
“If you want to talk about alternative takes on things, there’s been quite a few different renderings of this within [director Gareth Edwards]’s mind, and I dare say some of it’s been captured on film,” Mendelsohn told Collider, going on to say that the actors “did have multiple, multiple ways of going at any given scenario, we had multiple readings of it. So should they ever decide to, there would be a wealth of ways of approaching these different things. And I know from having seen sort of the crucial kind of scenes throughout it, I know there’s vastly different readings of at least four of those scenes.”
Asked if the alternate takes would comprise “a completely different version of the movie,” Mendelsohn replied, “Absolutely, with enormous differences within, I would’ve said, 20 or 30 of the scenes.”
The idea of an alternate Rogue One has been hotly debated since the release of the movie, with many fans noting that a number of scenes in trailers for the movie didn’t make it to the final cut—including shots that suggest an entirely different climax to the story outside of the Imperial base on Scarif.
Boosting such speculation was the fact that Rogue One underwent extensive reshoots this summer, with up to 40 percent of the movie reportedly reworked late in the game. While Disney and Lucasfilm aren’t talking about just how much work the reshoots actually involved, it’s believed that writer-director Tony Gilroy, brought on for the reshoots, made upwards of $5 million for his work on a $200,000-per-week rate.
Mendelsohn suggested that the reshoots were born out of the editing process. “It could have well been that was the reason because in the construction they went, ‘Well, this is actually the version we love. So now let’s grab that, and that, and that,’” he said.
Whatever the reason, it’s nice to imagine that, in some different galaxy out there, far, far away, things didn’t go quite so badly for the good guys… as long as we still get that dramatic cameo at the end, of course.
Read the whole Collider interview here.