Original Rogue One Ending for K-2SO

It’s no secret that Rogue One: A Star Wars Story went through some dramatic changes during the development process. The movie that ended up in theaters is drastically different from the one that executive producer and visual effects supervisor John Knoll originally pitched, and it even has significant changes that were made from the first draft of the script by Gary Whitta.

One of the more closely examined aspects of these changes has been the ending of the movie, mostly because we’ve seen footage from a very different climax of Rogue One. We recently took a look at the three different endings that we know of, and now we have more details on the role of a character who originally saw more action in one of these alternate endings.

Alan Tudyk did the motion capture performance and voice for the reprogrammed Imperial droid K-2SO, and since he was actually on set to fulfill his part in the film, he provided some details on K-2SO’s original Rogue One ending. 

/Film was invited to attend a special press day at Industrial Light & Magic in San Francisco this week, which included a quick interview with Alan Tudyk, as well as Hal Hickel, the animation supervisor for K-2SO. During the interview, we asked how K-2SO’s path was different in the alternate ending (glimpsed in the early trailers) that took Jyn Erso (Felicity Jones) and Cassian Andor (Diego Luna) back out to the beach with the Death Star plans before successfully handing them off to the Rebel Alliance.

The explanation from Alan Tudyk includes confirmation of a difference in how the plans were handled and transferred as they were obtained, something we’ve heard before. However, the real treat comes in how animatedly and excitedly Tudyk talks about the filming of this sequence that ended up getting cut for the most part. In fact, if you have the option to listen to this snippet of our interview instead of just reading the text, I wholly recommend it. We’ve embedded the nearly three-minute clip below, but we’ll also include the text after that for those who would rather read.

When asked about K-2SO’s original path was on the beaches of Scarif, Hal Hickel playfully said, “No, that never happened. Turn that [recorder] off!” But then Alan Tudyk happily explained:

“As it was, we went into the building, the base, and then we never came out; I never came out. But we moved from the base to [another] base. We had to travel. So we had to be part of that war. The good thing about that was I got to go to the Maldives. Then also, I got to be part of a battle, which was so cool.

This is how they shoot things in Star Wars. We’re running down a beach where there’s explosions. This was built actually in London. There’s all these troops, all these Alliance troops. They have a ship on a crane coming over us with that monkey dude on that gun on the side going ‘Ahhhh! Ahhh!’, screaming and shooting. It flies over us, touches down almost. Things are going ksh-ksh, blowing smoke out of the bottom as it touches down. Troops unload from either side, hub-hub, they join the flight. We’re still running while this is happening. Guys are next to me getting launched. The stuntmen are – explosions – and launching in the air, jumping with cables pulling them up. Oh my God! If you wanna play Star Wars battle – while we’re running towards there’s Stormtroopers – like the best version of playing Star Wars, you could never have come up with this. Because I think it was $1.5 million just to do that one thing. Oh my God, it was so cool. All cut, but who gives a shit?”

Hal Hickel jumps in to point out that some of that sequence still made it into the climactic battle on Scarif, just not those involving Jyn Erso, Cassian Andor or K-2SO. He went on to reiterate what we’ve heard before, that the building where our heroes obtain the plans used to be a separate building from where they had to transmit them. Alan Tudyk revealed that K-2SO would have originally died right before they get inside that second building.

krennic beach

One thing Tudyk didn’t mention in our interview was how K-2SO was killed in the original ending. You might assume that it was at the hands of Stormtroopers, just as it was in the theatrical cut. But CinemaBlend got another tidbit out of Tudyk, who revealed that K-2SO originally died from blaster that belonged to none other than Director Krennic (Ben Mendelsohn). The actor notes that this death for the droid never quite felt right though, and everyone thought he deserved a more heroic demise, which he ends up getting in the final cut of Rogue One.

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