Rogue One Mysteries: Did Everyone Die? Sure, But Not The Way You Think
Rogue One answered a lot of questions we had about the Star Wars universe… in exchange, it gave us a bunch of new ones to wonder about. Not all of them are unanswerable though.
For instance, the question ‘Did the crew of the Hammerhead Corvette survive their heroic mission to make two massive Imperial starships torpedo each other and take out the shield blocking transmissions out of Scarif?’ actually has an answer.
“Our story was that they made it down to the surface of Scarif, and were standing around the beach going, ‘You know what, it isn’t so bad here!” ILM effects supervisor John Knoll said in an interview with Entertainment Weekly. “Then, as the Death Star fires up its laser… ‘Hey, what’s that bright thing on the horizon?’”
Wondering how they got there? Knoll has an answer for that, too. “There was some talk about, ‘Hey, is this a suicide mission? Are all these guys going down with the Star Destroyers?’ I started pushing for this idea that maybe in one of the shots we could have all these lifeboats, the escape pods, shoot out of it.” Director Gareth Edwards vetoed the idea, however, thinking that it might clutter up the scene.
So Knoll found a more subtle way to send a message of (fleeting) survival. “The last shot you see of the Star Destroyers crashing down through the gate—it’s a very subtle thing, and it would probably be hard to tell this—but the lifeboats are all gone on the Hammerhead,” he explained. “It’s my story that the Hammerhead crew got into the lifeboats and made it out.”
…only to be killed off after the Death Star takes aim at Scarif, of course. In the very least, it leaves time enough for a celebratory round of hi-fives on the beach, right?
Speaking of death and property damage, there’s also evidence that K-2SO might have survived a bit longer in the film’s original ending (ahead of the mega reshoots Rogue One underwent). ABC News released a clip featuring actor Alan Tudyk wearing motion capture gear and appearing to die a very different death than the one we saw in the movie (is that Diego Luna lying on the ground beside him?). We still have so many questions.