Rogue One: A Star Wars Story set a new standard for the Star Wars franchise, telling an effective standalone story while still packing in enough Easter eggs to tantalize hardcore fans. Fortunately, these weren’t shoehorned in as an effort to launch additional spin-offs or give awkward winks at the camera, but true attempts to maintain continuity for future events, both seen and yet to be seen.
Leading up to Rogue One, fans were scouring the Star Wars prequel series, Rebels for possible connections to the impending spin-off film. Now having seen the movie, everyone’s working in reverse to put together puzzle pieces gleaned from Rogue One that hint about events that are yet to happen in Rebels. When/how does Hera become a General? Who’s still around during Rogue One other than Hera and Chopper? Why isn’t the Phantom II (or any other shuttle) in the Ghost’s shuttle socket?
LucasFilm Story Group members Leland Chee, Matt Martin, and Pablo Hidalgo recently sat down with StarWars.com to talk about some behind the scenes secrets from Rogue One, and there were a few interesting reveals, including some hints about incoming episodes of Rebels. Pablo Hidalgo reveals yet another ship seen in Rogue One’s battle of Scarif (originally from Return of the Jedi’s Battle of Endor) that is set to eventually arrive in Rebels: The Dornean Gunship.
The Dornean Gunship was originally labeled simply as "ROJ BG Ship," either standing for Return of the Jedi Background Ship or Return of the Jedi Bill George Ship, after the ILM model maker that designed it. Joe Johnston (RotJ’s Art Director and designer of many classic Star Wars vehicles like the AT-AT) didn’t like the ROJ BG Ship, so it barely appears in Return of the Jedi, but fans who know where to look can still spot it.
Like the Hammerhead Corvettes and the Ghost, the CGI model for the Dornean Gunship in Rogue One originated with the Star Wars Rebels production team, not with Rogue One’s ILM team. For all the ships from the animated series that show up in the film, the Rebels team provided the digital models to ILM, who remodeled the ships to look believable in the live-action setting.
Pablo wasn’t forthcoming with any additional details about the Dornean Gunship’s involvement in Rebels, or if it will even maintain the name, since there’s no official canon identifying the craft as such so far, but this new information adds yet another connection to Rogue One for fans to anticipate during the remaining episodes of Rebels season 3.
Source: The Star Wars Show
Star Wars Rebels season 3 continues Saturday, January 21st, with “Trials of the Darksaber” @8:30pm on Disney XD.