[*This article contains MAJOR spoilers for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story*]

There are many aspects of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story that fans of the franchise seem to love. But one thing that really seems to have impressed cinema-goers was that epic, battle-heavy final act and even more so, its beautifully bold ending.

[*Seriously, massive spoilers ahead...*]

Anyone who's seen the film will know what is meant by that; and that's that by the time the credits roll, all of the movie's main characters have died including Diego Luna's Captain Cassian Andor and Felicity Jones' Jyn Erso. Heck, even villain Orson Krennic (Ben Mendelsohn) and Alan Tudyk's standout droid K-2SO meet their makers. But as it turns out, director Gareth Edwards almost ended the film an alternate way because was he was convinced the studio wouldn't actually allow him to conclude the story that way...

During a podcast interview with Empire, the filmmaker was asked whether it was always his intention, alongside screenwriters Chris Weitz and Tony Gilroy, to kill off all the film's primary characters in the spin-off-turned-sequel, to which he candidly replied: "I mean, it's a great Disney tradition, isn't it? For every single character to die in all their movies.

"I think there was an early version – the very first version they didn't [die] in the screenplay. It was just assumed by us that we couldn't do that and they're not gonna let us do that. So we're trying to figure out how this ends where that doesn't happen. And then everyone read that, and there was just this feeling of like, 'They gotta die right?' And everyone was like, 'Yeah, can we?'

"We thought we weren't gonna be allowed to, but [Lucasfilm president] Kathy [Kennedy] and everyone at Disney were like, 'Yeah, makes sense.' I guess they have to because they're not in A New Hope. And so from that point on, we had the license and I kept waiting for someone to go, 'You know what, can you just film an extra scene where we see Jyn and Cassian, they're okay, and they're on another planet and la la la...' And [that] never ever came, and no one gave us that note so we got to do it."

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story revolves around a group of rebels who infiltrate the Imperial Army base in the hope of steal the plans for superweapon, the Death Star. It is currently showing in both UK and US cinemas.