In his review of Rogue One, Vulture’s David Edelstein takes note of one thing that separates the film from the rest of Hollywood’s tentpole fare: It actually has an ending. “The problem with these ‘franchise’ films is that because of the need for more, more, and yet more installments, nothing ever seems wrapped up,” he explains. “But this one arrives at a familiar place and things get pretty well-settled. The final battle is still a bit of a hash but each character gets his or her big moment, and the scale of the thing is a wow no matter how jaded you are.”
If you’ve seen Rogue One, you know exactly what he’s talking about. If you haven’t, you might want to click away now, because we’re going to be talking about that ending, right about … now. (Spoilers, obviously.)
So: They all die. Jyn dies. Cassian dies. Bodhi dies. K-2SO dies, as much as a robot can. Chirrut Îmwe and Baze Malbus die, though you’re lying if you say you knew those were the names of the guys played by Donnie Yen and Wen Jiang. Orson Krennic dies. A whole bunch of nameless Rebel soldiers die. The Death Star shows up outside Scarif*, and blows the whole thing up. Darth Vader kills a bunch of guys. And then, as if stepping straight out of an old diary, there’s 1977 Carrie Fisher in full Princess Leia getup, to send us out on a high note.
Some discussion topics:
1. When did you realize everyone was going to die? Was it when the crowd-favorite droid bit the dust? Was it even earlier, when you read that the film wouldn’t have a sequel? Or did you hold out hope until the moment the Death Star showed up?
2. Regardless, killing everyone off was a good explanation for why Jyn Erso & Co. aren’t huge celebrities in the original trilogy, right?
3. What parts of the ending do you think were added in reshoots? Reports at the time said that they involved “the cameo of a very important character,” which would seem to indicate the entire epilogue on the Rebel ship was added, but early trailers were also full of shots from the climax on Scarif that never made the final film.
4. How do you think they made the young Princess Leia? Disney employed a company called Lola VFX to de-age Michael Douglas for Ant-Man, but you have to imagine that making someone 25 years younger is a lot less complicated than turning the clock back a whole 40 years. Maybe Fisher didn’t even come to set, and they worked entirely from old footage from the originals. (According to IMDb, she’s in the Rogue One credits under “Special Thanks,” which could mean anything.) Either way, it was freaky, right?
5. What do you think Wookiepedia’s explanation for why all the new ships flying around in this movie never showed up in the original trilogy will be?
6. Would our heroes have had a better chance of survival if the Rebels hadn’t shown up and made a big scene that attracted the Death Star?
7. Did anyone else think of the claw game when Jyn and Cassian were trying to get the plans in the library?
Talk among yourselves!
* This post originally misstated the planet at the end of Rogue One.