Spoiler alert: everyone dies in Rogue One. One by one the heroes sacrifice themselves to retrieve the Death Star plans. Star Wars looks on the bright side in a parody by How It Should Have Ended.
Chirrut Imwe sees the light and becomes a full-fledged Jedi. Something conspicuously absent. He saves the day with his own lightsaber powered by Jyn’s kyber crystal, which turned out be a red herring in the film. Despite seeming like a natural Jedi, Chirrut “lacks Force abilities” according to his official bio.
Jyn and Cassian are rescued from certain death by K-2SO, who pulls a Spock and downloads his program into another droid before his own demise. K-2SO pilots them to safety while chanting “I’m a leaf on the wind.” It’s the same mantra used by K-2SO voice actor Alan Tudyk in Serenity movie.
Of course, Trekkies know it really should have ended with the Enterprise beaming Jyn and Cassian off the planet.
Return of the HISHE
The references don’t stop at other movies. Darth Vader ponders the prospect of being a father when Director Krennic chides him for making dad jokes. It’s a self referential joke to the HISHE parody of Empire Strikes Back, in which Vader is positively giddy about being a father.