Hello everyone, and welcome to The Sarlacc Pit! Last week I did my first ever “State of the Canon Address,” where I briefly went over new canon stories from 2016. One of those stories was the first ever anthology movie: “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.” This movie, taking place just before “A New Hope,” tells the story of how the Rebel Alliance obtained the plans to the first Death Star (remember, Bothan spies were able to get the plans for the second Death Star). Although this was an anthology movie, and stands alone from the main Star Wars saga, it is still canon, and as such has plenty of references to other Star Wars canon. So this week I am going to go over some of the Easter Eggs and references you may have missed in “Rogue One.” Obviously this will have major spoilers, so if you haven’t seen “Rogue One” then get your life together and go watch that first.
“Star Wars: Rebels”
The Disney series “Star Wars: Rebels” follows a Rebel cell during the early years of Imperial rule. It has long been assumed that most of the characters in the show will die in the end, as two Jedi are included which would make Luke Skywalker a lot less of a big deal in the OT. However, during a scene at the Rebel base, observational viewers will notice a call over a loudspeaker for General Syndulla to report in. This is a reference to Hera Syndulla, captain of the Ghost, leader of Phoenix Squadron, and one of the main characters of “Rebels.” But just in case that was too subtle, the Ghost and the crew’s quirky astromech droid, C1-10P (or Chopper), also make appearances in the movie.
Dave Filoni has confirmed all of this stating that now we know that at least Hera and Chopper have survived, but what about the rest of the crew? We will have to continue watching “Rebels” to find out.
So I will start with the two obvious ones: in order to make “Rogue One,” certain characters had to appear. Mon Mothma, Bail Organa, and Darth Vader were easy because all those actors were still alive or easily replaced by another person in a suit (Mon Mothma was played by the same actress who played her in “Revenge of the Sith,” not “The Return of the Jedi”). However, Peter Cushing (Grand Moff Tarkin) had passed away in 1994, and Carrie Fisher could not play a 30 year younger version of herself, so incredible CGI was employed to make those characters appear on the big screen just as if they were really there. While those were obvious, another trick was used to bring back Red and Gold Leader seen in the Battle of Yavin in “A New Hope.” Scenes from the Battle of Yavin were touched up and pasted right into the final cut of “Rogue One,” and while Blue Squadron was wiped out completely, Red and Blue Squadrons lived to fight another day.
Speaking of familiar faces, who can forget Ponda Baba and Dr. Evanzan? While walking through the streets, Jyn bumped into the familiar pair, who immediately attempted to start a fight. Cassian Andor pulled Jyn along, and the two eventually made their way to Mos Eisley on Tatooine, started a fight with a farmboy, and lost one of their arms. You know there’s a saying: you meet one asshole, then you met an asshole, but if you keep meeting assholes, maybe you’re the asshole, and then a Jedi cuts your arm off in a crowded bar.
Finally, after the actions of the Rogue One crew were discovered by the Rebellion, the Rebel force scrambled into action. Bail Organa and Mon Mothma also talked strategy. Bail mentioned he would go to Alderaan (terrible decision), referenced Obi-Wan Kenobi and Princess Leia in a super not-so-subtle way, and turned to someone off camera, whom he referred to as “Captain Antilles.” Some viewers may think this was referencing Wedge Antilles, starfighter ace, but they would be wrong! Bail was speaking to fellow Alderaanian Captain Raymus Antilles, Captain of the Tantive IV, who was choked to death by Vader in the beginning of “A New Hope.”
R.I.P. Red Five
So if you’re like me, you don’t have a lot going on and start asking questions like “Why was Luke Skywalker Red Five in “A New Hope” while Jek Porkens was Red Six even though Luke just joined the Rebellion that day?” Well, “Rogue One” answered that question. While Red Squadron was unable to enter Scarriff’s atmosphere, they still held off Imperial fighters in space, where many died, including one brave X-Wing pilot: Red Five of Red Squadron. Red Five will always be standing by…in our hearts.
Vader’s Pleasure Palace
What’s more pleasant that a long soak in a bacta tank after days of slaughtering Rebels? Soaking in a bacta tank in your personal castle on the lava planet where you got severely disfigured by your best friend! Darth Vader’s castle was on the planet Mustafar, the site of the epic duel between Anakin Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi. Fun fact: his castle was based off concept art for “The Empire Strikes Back.”
The Guardians of the Whills
Chirrut Îmwe and Baze Malbus were both members of an order called The Guardians of the Whills. This is a neat little reference as the original concept of the Star Wars series had the story narrated by an immortal race called the Whills. Now, while we will probably never see these aliens, it was a cool little shout out in the movie.
When we first see Saw Gerrera’s hideout, it’s full of all sorts of interesting-looking people, including an emaciated Twi’lek. This was Beezer Fortuna, cousin to Bib Fortuna, majordomo to Jabba the Hutt. Also, side reference: in Saw’s hideout there is a non-hologram version of Dejarik, Chewbacca and Han’s game of choice on the Millennium Falcon.
The Most Important Easter Egg
All right, there have been a lot of Easter Eggs and references. I mean what could possibly be more important than Hera, Chopper, and The Ghost, or Vader’s castle, or Red and Gold Leaders? Well, ladies and gentlemen, it’s the drink of choice of Aunt Beru and the Erso family: blue milk. Yes, this drink is seen being served at the Erso farm, as it is apparently the only drink that space farmers will imbibe. What is this amazing interstellar dairy delight? We may never know, but at least we got to see it’s return to the big screen in “Rogue One.”
Now this may not be all the references and Easter Eggs in Rogue One, so if you saw any that I missed, feel free to hop on down to the comments section and let me know! “Rogue One” was a great addition to canon, and really set the bar high for other anthology movies and I can’t wait to see what kind of references are in the Han Solo movie coming out in 2018. As for next week, I am going to give my review on the current ongoing Star Wars TV show: “Rebels.” There will be spoilers, but I am going to focus on giving an overall rating to the show including the good, the bad, and the disappointing. That’s all for this week. Thank you for reading, and may the Force be with you!