If you haven’t seen ‘Rogue One’ yet, then turn back as there are some spoilers coming up!
One of the more memorable moments of the big climactic space battle that ends ‘Rogue One’ was when the rebels used a Hammerhead corvette to ram a dying Star Destroyer into another Star Destroyer in order to destroy the planetary shields of Scarif, thus allowing Jyn Erso and Cassian Andor to beam the stolen Death Star plans to the Rebel flagship above. But one question remains following the sacrifice of that ship, did the crew members make it out alive?
After ramming another ship, it was unlikely the Hammerhead Corvette would be capable of flying on its own, so its people needed to escape somehow, right? Well luckily for us, we are not the only ones wondering about their fate, as the good folks over at EW recently got the chance to sit down with some of the filmmakers and ask that very question.
According to ‘Rogue One’ executive producer and ILM visual effects supervisor John Knoll:
“There was some talk about, ‘Hey, is this a suicide mission? Are all these guys going down with the Star Destroyers?’ I started pushing for this idea that maybe in one of the shots we could have all these lifeboats, the escape pods, shoot out of it…We did an animation of that, but Gareth [Edwards, the director] thought it was a little distracting, so we turned that off..The last shot you see of the Star Destroyers crashing down through the gate — it’s a very subtle thing, and it would probably be hard to tell this – but the lifeboats are all gone on the Hammerhead. It’s my story that the Hammerhead crew got into the life boats and made it out.”
So…. they would still have died, right? If you follow the logic, their escape pods would have shot them down to the planet below, where they would have landed, climbed out, cheered at their successful tactic, stretched their legs, maybe even activated a homing beacon hoping someone from the Rebel fleet might come grab them… and then they would have watched in horror as the Death Star shot its blast onto the planet, and then died the same as Jyn and Cassian as the cloud of destruction washed over the planet surface. The only way even some of them would have survived is if their escape pod happened to shoot off in the direction of another rebel ship that had the time to stop and grab it as they made their escape from the system. Actually, that sounds like an awesome idea for a ‘Star Wars Rebels’ plot, and since we know the Ghost was there, here’s hoping someone over at Lucasfilm had a similar idea, so we know at least some of those Hammerhead corvette crew members lived…
Anyways, there are my thoughts on the matter, feel free to share your own theories and opinions in the comments below!