Over the course of its production, "Rogue One: A Star Wars Story" underwent massive changes. Between its first and final cuts, the film underwent major reshoots, which fundamentally altered the course of the story -- that is, if new behind-the-scenes photos are any indication. A slew of new photos from Lucasfilm indicate that the film could have gone in a very different direction.
Before we continue, it's worth noting that this article will discus "Rogue One's" major plot points and is therefore full of spoilers. If you haven't seen the movie yet, now's your chance to look away!
If you've seen the film, you know full well that none of Jyn Erso's band of rogues make it off Scarif alive. In fact, no one makes it off Scarif, because Grand Moff Tarkin uses the Death Star to destroy the whole operation -- just not before Jyn is able to transmit the plans to the Rebel Alliance. However, the new behind-the-scenes photos suggest a much happier ending for Jyn, Cassian Andor, Baze and K-2SO.
In one photo, Jyn and Cassian kneel in front of a bag filled with weapons and other tech, while Baze and another Rebel Alliance fighter stand in the background. Significantly, Stormtrooper bodies lay strewn in the background, which imply that the fighting has ended and the Rebels have won. It seems unlikely that this takes place prior to Jyn and Cassian sending the Death Star plans, as the Rebels used stealth in order to catch the Empire by surprise.
Additionally, pre-CGI K-2SO can be spotted on the beach in another photo. In the theatrical cut of the film, K-2 never makes it to the shore, as he is shot down by Stormtroopers outside the data vault. Prior to reshoots, it's possible that he made it back outside with several other Rebels, if the photo is any indication.
Another photo shows Director Krennic wielding a blaster on what appears to be the Death Star. Throughout the film, Krennic rarely uses a blaster, nevermind inside an Empire stronghold. It's unclear what inspired Krennic to action in the photo.
Directed by Gareth Edwards from a script by Gary Whitta and Chris Weitz, “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” stars Felicity Jones, Diego Luna, Ben Mendelsohn, Donnie Yen, Mads Mikkelsen, Alan Tudyk, Jiang Wen and Forest Whitaker and is now in theaters. “Star Wars: Episode VIII,” the next main “Star Wars” film, arrives in theaters on December 15, 2017.