WARNING: This post contains SPOILERS for Rogue One
After only a few days in theaters, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story has proven to have been a smart move on Disney and Lucasfilm’s part. The film has opened to big numbers and has been well-received, thanks in part to die hard Star Wars fans having multiple viewings. Outside of just wanting to see the film again for enjoyment, a big reason behind repeat viewings is to try and find Easter eggs that fans have previously missed. Most blockbuster franchises contain these surprises and Star Wars is no exception.
One of the big questions that Star Wars canon followers were curious of in the lead up was how heavily Rogue One could connect to the Star Wars Rebels cartoon series that takes place just a few years before these events. While neither Kanan or Ezra made an appearance, it has now been confirmed that one member of the show, their regular ship, and a hint towards a character’s future all happen in the film.
Dave Filoni, the executive producer of Rebels, confirmed these details in an interview with EW where they highlighted the multiple connections that the movie made to the show. All are blink and you’ll miss it moments, but as Mon Mothma is told about Rogue One’s quest, Rebels droid Chopper can be seen on the left side of the scene. Filoni was actually on set when his cameo was filmed.
Everybody working on set knew Chopper, and referred to him the way you would about a dog. They all liked him, they think he’s funny, but they know he’s grumpy.
Ironically enough, it’s during this exact scene where another Rebels reference was made as “General Syndulla” is echoed in the Yavin 4 base. This is not a reference to Hera Syndulla’s father Cham, a known resistance General, but instead a hint of what is in store for Hera.
I can clarify that’s absolutely Hera being paged, not her dad. The movie gives that away, but I would rather have all the [references] be right. Hera will eventually become a general in the Rebel Alliance.
Meanwhile, two other shots in Rogue One give viewers a chance to see quick glimpses of the Ghost, the Rebels’ ship. The ship can be seen briefly in the top left corner of one shot of the Yavin 4 landing pad, but can also be seen gearing up for the fight as it sits to the bottom left of General Raddus’ ship. This will not create any continuity problems moving forward as Rogue One executive producer John Knoll discussed the crew’s journey to this point so everything will line up, which has led to Filoni already brainstorming how a Rebels based episode of these events could work.
I already have some theories about the story behind it. I can imagine doing that entire [Scarif] battle from their point of view, whoever is on the Ghost at that point.
While these quick Easter eggs may not seem like much to those who do not closely follow Rebels or other Star Wars canon material, it is a big step to take in continuing to make materials outside of the films important for fans. Not only are they producing quality shows, comics, and novels, but Lucasfilm is showing early on that if you take the time to invest in these properties, they will make it pay off down the road.
These three Easter eggs and the inclusion of former Star Wars: The Clone Wars character Saw Gerrera (Forest Whitaker) are the first steps in making the expanded materials more interesting to casual fans. Gerrera is also set to appear in an upcoming episode of Rebels, which could help develop the character between The Clone Wars and Rogue One. With these ties already happening, it should be interesting to see how well Disney and Lucasfilm continue to implement these materials in other upcoming films.
Star Wars Rebels season 3 will continue January 7th, 2017 on Disney XD.