Christmas came a few days early for Star Wars fans with the release of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, an action-packed tale that some are calling the best Star Wars movie since the original, 1977’s A New Hope. The movie is already a bona fide critical and commercial hit, with $318 million domestically and $555.4 million worldwide from a $200 million budget, after just over one week in theaters. Today we have an extensive new video that breaks down all of the deleted scenes and rejected concepts that had surfaced before the film hit theaters. If you still haven’t seen Rogue One yet, there will be massive SPOILERS below, so read on at your own risk.
This new 14-minute video comes from Mr. Sunday Movies, who begins this video by breaking down the story’s origins. The plot first came from John Knoll, the chief creative officer at ILM who worked on the Star Wars prequels. The original idea was culled from the opening crawl of A New Hope, which reveals that Rebel spies had managed to steal plans to the Death Star. His seven-page treatment was entitled Destroyer of Worlds, which included character bios. He even cut together a sizzle reel of films for inspiration, which included footage from A Hunt From Red October and the first Mission: Impossible movie, with the focus of Rogue One said to be militaristic and self-contained.
John Knoll’s original pitch was also said to be “super low-budget,” which likely meant that his story didn’t include the digital recreation of Peter Cushing’s Grand Moff Tarkin, despite the actor passing away 22 years ago. It was also his idea to recycle some sets from Star Wars: The Force Awakens, although that didn’t happen, but there was a creature who was supposed to appear in The Force Awakens, but ended up being used for Rogue One. This video also breaks down the original team of Rebel soldiers, only two of which actually made it onto the big screen.
Jyn Erso (Felicity Jones) and the reprogrammed Imperial droid K-2SO (Alan Tudyk) were the only members of the original Rebel team, concocted by John Knoll, that made it all the way through development into the finished film. Other included Lunnic and Senna, Dray Nevis, Ria Tello and Jaris Kestrel, although the spelling for each of those character names has not been confirmed. Lunnic and Senna ended up being reconfigured as Chirrut Imwe (Donnie Yen) and Baze Malbus (Wen Jiang), who have already become fan favorites in the days following the theatrical release.
This video also reveals that it was director Gareth Edwards‘ idea to make Jyn Erso the centerpiece of the story, with earlier drafts giving Jyn Erso a younger brother, and a mother who was a Jedi warrior. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story also originally featured more story elements regarding the Jedi warriors becoming extinct, but those were all discarded at some point. There are a lot more new details for Rogue One discussed in this video, which you can check out below.