Here we will reveal the 9 things connecting Lucasfilm‘s new spin-off Rogue One: A Star Wars Story to the larger cinematic Star Wars saga.
If you have seen the movie then we can tell you all the juiciest Rogue One connections to the Original Trilogy as well as the Prequel Trilogy.
If you haven’t seen the movie yet, Not to worry – here we are not going to discuss the major spoilers or the fate of any of Rogue One‘s squadron of new heroes like Jyn Erso or Cassian Andor.
All we are discussing here is the cameos of saga characters and vehicles, as well as important story elements that overlap with the six films that George Lucas made between 1977 and 2005.
That being said here goes the list:
Rogue One has two key scenes featuring iconic villain Darth Vader, giving him an opportunity to do what he does best, namely being an evil badass. The trailers have also shown that the classic stormtroopers of the Original Trilogy are also back, but one famous character has been withheld entirely from marketing: Grand Moff Tarkin. Yes, despite having died over two decades ago, the great Peter Cushing is able to reprise his role as the scheming Governor Tarkin via the magic of ILM’s finest CGI. While it hasn’t been announced who provides his voice yet, whoever it is did a stellar job, especially when he says his classic line, “You may fire when ready.”
Rebel alliance sees the return of two key characters: Senator Mon Mothma and Senator Bail Organa. Both are vets of George Lucas’s prequel trilogy, with Smits having played Rebel leader/Princess Leia’s adoptive father in Episode II and III, and O’Reilly playing a younger version of the role Caroline Blakiston originated in Return of the Jedi, as she did in a deleted scene from Revenge of the Sith. When we last see these two characters confer together in Rogue One, Organa says that he is returning to his planet of Alderaan to warn them of the Death Star.
On the moon of Jedha where Jyn and Cassian go to look for Saw Gerrera, there are cameos from several famous Saga baddies, including Episode IV cantina denizens Ponda Baba and Dr. Cornelius Evazan, an Imperial probe droid from Empire Strikes Back and Imperial Red Guards first seen in Return of the Jedi as well as the prequels. Red Guards are also visible during Darth Vader’s first scene.
One surprise cameo we should have expected in retrospect was a quick appearance by our favorite droid combo R2-D2 & C-3P0, with the latter remarking, “Scarif? They’re going to Scarif? Why does nobody tell me anything?” General Jan Dodonna, the white-bearded military leader on Yavin 4 is played this time around by Ian McElhinney, best known as Barristan Selmy on HBO’s “Game of Thrones.” Another surprise was the use of A New Hope footage to integrate Y-Wing pilot Jon “Dutch” Vander and X-Wing pilot Garven “Dave” Dreis into the fight against the shield gate in Rogue One‘s climax. They are, of course, part of the lucky group of pilots that are able to jump to lightspeed before Darth Vader’s Star Destroyer arrives. Lastly, through the same miracle technology that resurrected Peter Cushing, we get to see another vintage 1977 character come to life in the film, but you’ll have to see it to know who it is!
It’s no secret that the Death Star plays a major role in the plot mechanics of Rogue One, and you also may have been able to tell from the trailers that the Aztec-influenced Rebel base on Yavin 4 also pops up quite a bit. What you may not realize, even after you’ve seen the film, is that a flashback scene showing a very young Jyn Erso in a private chamber with her father Galen (Mads Mikkelsen) and Krennic (Ben Mendelsohn) takes place in the capital city of Coruscant, which is briefly visible outside their windows.
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