Rogue One was the very first film to stand apart from the larger-scaled saga films in the #StarWars universe, as it dealt with a group of rebels trying to accomplish a task without the use of convenient Force powers or snazzy lightsabers. And one of the narrative arcs that helped it stand out the most was the fate of its titular characters.
At the end of the film, we got our hearts broken by seeing the people we had fallen in love with for the past two hours perish at the hands of the very weapon they set out to destroy. It was definitely a bold move for a franchise as big and relevant as Star Wars, and it's safe to say it caught a lot of us off guard... and as it turns out, even its writers.
During an interview with Comicbook.com, Rogue One co-writer #GaryWhitta revealed his surprise when Disney was on board with killing off its newly-introduced main characters:
“I never believed that they would let us kill off all the characters in the film. That was our original instinct. The very first meeting with Gareth I remember saying, ‘I kind of feel like they all need to die, but there's no way Lucas ... There's no way Disney'll let us do that. We can't kill everybody. It's a Disney movie.’ And yet, they were fully supportive of it, and it's actually one of the coolest things about the film.”
It definitely is. Of course, not everyone was happy with the characters not being able to live after stealing the blueprints for the super weapon. But regardless of how any of us felt about it, there's no doubt that...
The Characters' Deaths Were The Right Thing To Do For The Star Wars Franchise
Raising stakes in blockbusters is always a hard thing to do, especially in today's modern approach to franchises: We know the characters' lives will never be in danger because there are already three sequels lined up for them to carry.
#RogueOne introduced an element of danger and surprise to the blockbuster mix. Our protagonists weren't all-powerful Jedi who could back-flip their way out of danger. They were soldiers with a few guns and a few grenades who were trying to take down the most powerful organization in the galaxy. And the film showed us such actions come with a price—a considerably high one.
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- Carrie Fisher Didn't Even Realize She'd Been CGI'd Into 'Rogue One!'
The characters' deaths didn't simply raise the stakes for the film, but also for the rest of the Star Wars universe. #Disney's efforts to create a more unpredictable environment in the galaxy far, far away kicked off with the death of Han Solo in The Force Awakens and solidified with Rogue One.
That's showing us as an audience that anything can happen in the franchise. It doesn't matter how big of a role someone has in its movies, if the story calls for it, the character will not get to live to fight another day. That's obviously great when dealing with a franchise primarily dealing with an inter-galactic war, and it makes me excited for the next adventures in the perilous galaxy.
What did you think of the main characters in Rogue One dying at the end? Do you think it added anything to the film? Let me know in the comments!