Even though it was released back in December, we still haven't stopped discussing and dissecting Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. The first Star Wars standalone film was met with critical acclaim and box office success, cementing Disney's plan to release a new Star Wars film every year for the foreseeable future. Part of what made Rogue One so great was how it bridged the gap between the prequel trilogy and A New Hope, especially during the film's final sequence. Although not it appears that the epilogue featuring a deadly Darth Vader and CGI recreated Princess Leia was a shock to everyone- including the cast.
Rogue One actor Riz Ahmed (aka Bodhi) recently spoke to Entertainment Weekly about his various acting projects. Of course Rogue One was a big part of the conversation, where Ahmed revealed that the main cast actually had no idea about the film's ending sequence until they were in a screening room. He said,
Is anyone else gobsmacked? While Star Wars has always been vigilant about keeping spoilers on the DL, it appears that they took it to another level with Rogue One. Because not even the group of rebels themselves knew how the film would end.
And while this seems a bit extreme, in a way the cast is lucky. To start, they didn't have to worry about accidentally spilling the beans during interviews in the months leading to Rogue One: A Star Wars Story's release. They couldn't ruin the ending because they simply didn't know it.
Additionally, this also allowed the cast to be genuinely surprised by a film they were in. This is surely a unique experience, as starring actors are usually privy to the major plot points in their film. But being able to see both Vader's badass fight scene and the CGI rendering of a young Carrie Fisher must have been just as mind blowing as it was for theater audiences. In that way, the Rogue One cast could really connect and empathize with the fan experience.
This is not the first time that the Star Wars franchise has taken desperate measures to keep their secrets under wraps. Mark Hamill and other cast members are reportedly given bonuses if the movies keep their secrets, and the infamous "I am your Father" line from Empire Strikes Back was added in post in order to keep even the crew in the dark.
The next installment in the Star Wars franchise is The Last Jedi, which will arrive in theaters on December 15th, 2017.