Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy has made it very clear that Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is a standalone movie. The sequel is A New Hope and that's that. However, if that's the case, why do some of the actors have options for more movie in their contracts?
This is about to get into some spoilers so, if you have not yet seen Rogue One, jump out and come back later.
The Hollywood Reporter has a piece up reporting that Felicity Jones, who plays the lead character of Jyn Erso, made the most money of anyone in the Star Wars cast: Seven figures. The meat of the piece is how this breaks from many Hollywood productions where there is a gender-based wage gap.
However, the story also has another interesting note. That Jones has an option for a second movie on her contract.
Last chance for you spoiler-phobes.
Jyn, like most of the new characters in Rogue One, dies at the end of the film. So why would there be an option for a second film? Well, there are a few things we can speculate.
(Note: our headline and opening makes it sound like it's more than one, but that's just to keep people off the scent of the spoiler. The Hollywood Reporter story does not say if others have a second option. Just Jones, which would line up with her pay.)
The most obvious reason for this would be a potential second Jyn Erso film. A film that could, potentially, be about her time growing up with Saw Gerrera, becoming his best soldier, being abandoned and then her time as a criminal. However, I'd imagine even if Rogue One were to outgross The Force Awakens (it won't) and Jyn became more popular than Rey (she won't) a Jyn Erso origin would be pretty low on the priority list for Disney. Either way, from a legal standpoint, you never say never and put in that option.
The second, and probably more likely explanation, is that Jyn's fate was never certain. And especially not when Felicity Jones signed her contract a few years ago. We know from the trailers that Rogue One was a movie in flux until the very last minute. It makes a lot of sense that if the filmmakers weren't sure if Jyn would survive or not, they'd put in an option just as a precaution, and now Felicity Jones doesn't have to worry about it.
Disney did not have a comment on this story.
Either way, it's a pretty interesting side note in the Rogue One mythology. And if something does happen in several years time, now you'll know where it started. I'd be down to learn more about Jyn Erso. Then again, I'm not sure how Jyn One could be more exciting than Rogue One.