Hera Syndulla

General Syndulla

While at the Rebel base on Yavin IV, if you listen carefully you can hear “General Syndulla” being paged over the intercom system.

“General Syndulla, please report to the briefing room.”

This is a reference to Star Wars Rebels. It’s likely that Hera Syndulla has been promoted to General in the year and a half between the current events of Star Wars Rebels and the start of Rogue One. Or it’s also may be possible that a relative, like Hera’s father, is now a General in the Rebellion.

Star Wars Rebels creator Dave Filoni credits sound designer Matt Wood for the inclusion and confirms it is in fact Hera that is a General during the events of Rogue One: “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.”

star wars opening crawl

The Rebels First Victory Against The Empire

As we’ve been writing about Rogue One for the last couple years, it has always been obvious that the movie would be based on the opening crawl for Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope. But it’s easy to forget somewhere along the way that the crawl tells us more about this movie than just the heist of the Death Star plans. The crawl also tells us that the plans were stolen during the Rebellion’s first victory against the Empire, a battle we see in the film on Scarif.

Chopper in Rogue One

Chopper

Another Star Wars Rebels reference featured in Rogue One is the loveable droid Chopper, who can be viewed in the background on Yavin IV. Apparently, they shot scenes with him prominently in the background, but most of those shots did not make the final cut of the film. I spotted him speeding by on the left side of the screen right before Mon Mothma Is told about the Rebels on Scarif. The photo above comes via EW. Rebels creator Dave Filoni was on set when they shot these scenes.

Recreating the Death Star Plans

At Star Wars Celebration Europe, ILM Chief John Knoll revealed that they didn’t have an original copy of the Death Star plans animation shown in A New Hope. So they had to recreate the wire-frame Death Star plans frame for frame.

RA-7

More Droid Appearances

We see appearances in Rogue One of other memorable droid units including RA-7, a mouse droid, and an Imperial probe droid.

tarkin

Tarkin

Probably the least obvious of all of the reoccurring Star Wars appearances. Actor Guy Henry played the character in Rogue One, with production using CG to bring Peter Cushing‘s Grand Moff Tarkin to life.

rogueone-chirrut-castphoto

“May The Force Of Others Be With You”

Before meeting Jyn, Chirrut can be overheard telling passersby, “May the Force of others be with you.” While this might just sound like a tweak on the franchise’s famous blessing, “The Force of others” is a callback to George Lucas’s original Star Wars screenplay drafts. The original expression of good luck recognized a larger, unifying bond between living things. Lucas later expanded the idea into a literal “Force” that binds us, connects us all, and can be manipulated by a select few.

Hammerhead Corvettes

Hammerhead Corvettes

While the Rebels battle the Empire above Scarif in the Rogue One finale, Admiral Raddus orders a Hammerhead Corvette be used to ram one of the Star Destroyers. This tactic is essential to disabling the Shield Gate protecting the Imperial Base on Scarif allowing Jyn to broadcast the Death Star plans.

But did you know that we previously found out how the Rebellion got its hands on the Hammerhead Corvettes in an episode of Star Wars Rebels? In the episode titled “A Princess of Lothal,” we see Princess Leia Organa help the Rebels steal the Hammerheads which actually belong to her family on the planet Alderaan. She used her inside connections to help the Alliance while keeping her connection to the Rebel Alliance publicly a secret.

red leader

Red and Gold Leader

Red Leader (Drewe Henley) and Gold Leader (Angus MacInnes) appear in the final X-Wing battle above Scarif, resurrected using unused footage from Star Wars: A New Hope which has been digitally touched up and de-grained. You can read more about that hereDrewe Henley passed away in 2016, but Angus MacInnes is still alive.

Lord and Miller

Cut Cameo: Han Solo Directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller

Another cameo that almost happened. Han Solo directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller almost made it into Rogue One as part of the Jedha sequence. They were in costume on set ready to shoot their parts, but both had to leave as shooting was running behind and they had a scheduled meeting with a school for their kids to attend during their Han Solo shoot. You can see a photo of them in costume on the set, above.

This would have been Chris Miller’s second appearance in a Star Wars film. While interning at Lucasfilm, he appeared as a Stormtrooper in the Empire Strikes Back Special Edition.

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