The following story contains spoilers for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. You have been warned!
The cat is out of the bag by now. Very few Rebels survive the ending of Gareth Edwards' Rogue One. The plans for the Death Star are obtained by Jyn Erso (Felicity Jones) and beamed back to the leaders of the Rebellion. But in order to complete the mission, Jyn, Cassian (Diego Luna) and the members of their ragtag team have to give their lives up. During the normal junket for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, that topic was Off Limits (with a capital "O" and "L"), but when I recently sat down with Alan Tudyk at a Rogue One press event at ILM, I finally asked him about K-2SO's demise, and if it played out the same way in the script. He told me:
There was another ending. We shot a different ending. I mean, a different death for K-2. Krennic shot him. And, he still saves Jyn. He's still pushing the mission forward. But it wasn't as cool as [the final scene]. There was that moment. There was another moment there at that same control, but we sort of took two moments and made them into one in the reshoots. It was such a better way to end it.
The Rogue One reshoots have been a popular topic among fans, so it's nice to be able to signal out an example where, according to K-2SO actor Alan Tudyk, they were able to merge elements together and find a better resolution. K-2SO does receive a particularly heroic death in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, holding off an increasing wave of Stormtroopers for that Jyn and Cassian can make it farther up the tower in the center of Scariff. Because Tudyk and the geniuses at Industrial Light and Magic used a motion-capture suit to capture K-2SO, the actor tells me that he was able to be ON set, acting out the death and collaborating with his fellow thespians. It's a great story, and one that you can watch below:
Disney invited a gang of film journalists to ILM in San Francisco recently to show us how they helped Gareth Edwards bring his vision for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story to life. It was an incredibly insightful experience, learning how modern technology permits a character like K-2SO -- a CGI droid -- to interact with human characters on actual locations. Supplemental material on the new Rogue One Blu-ray and DVD will dive even further into the magic behind these new Star Wars movies, so I encourage you to check them out immediately.