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Rogue One Was Initially Pitched As Part Of A Star Wars TV Show

Rogue One almost took the live-action world of Star Wars to the small screen.

According to John Knoll, who wrote the story for the movie, he first came up with the idea for Rogue One as an episode for a potential live-action TV series that Lucasfilm considered developing during the 2003 filming of Revenge of the Sith, on which Knoll served as a visual effects supervisor.

"I started thinking about, 'What would be a fun thing to do as a one-hour episode as a live action Star Wars TV show?'" he told Comic Book Resources. "One thought was, 'What about a Mission Impossible-style break-in into the most secure facility in the Empire to steal the Death Star plans? There could be a lot of tension of potentially being discovered and overcoming security measures. That could be a lot of fun!'"

However, after speaking with some people involved in the TV show, Knoll realized that his idea wouldn't fit with the eras and themes they were trying to cover, and he dropped the idea for a while. It didn't come back up until many years later, when the continuation of the new Star Wars universe (including numerous standalone movies) was announced. "I thought that idea of the mission to steal the Death Star plans, telling that story could make a pretty good standalone feature as well," he said. He pitched the story to a few friends before presenting it to Lucasfilm's Kathleen Kennedy, who decided she wanted to move forward with the project.

While Knoll is not credited as a screenwriter on the movie, he does say that about 50 percent of his original story survived in the final product, including some of the major characters like Jyn Erso, K-2SO, Orson Krennic, and Cassian Andor (although he had a different name at the time). The ending, with Princess Leia receiving the Death Star plans, also remained the same, although in Knoll's version, a few of the film's heroes survived the final battle. (There was also a bit about Cassian being a double agent that, thankfully, didn't make the final cut.)

A live-action Star Wars TV show definitely would have been interesting, but we're pretty happy with Rogue One. If you're a fan of the Star Wars standalone, learn more about it by reading the movie's untold truth.