Rogue One. I dare say it's possibly my favorite Star Wars movie. Almost. The fact that they have created a stand alone movie that flows so seamlessly in the canon without being part of the original material. Mind. Blown. It's running so close to beating out Empire Strikes Back for being my favorite Star Wars movie. So close. Maybe if I see it a few more times it will take the lead. It's close. But let's talk about easter eggs, tie-ins, and cameos to the other movies and Star Wars franchises.
If you haven’t seen it, stop reading now!
***Seriously, stop reading now if you haven’t seen the movie and you don’t want it ruined. You’ve been warned. Spoilers Ahead***
The Clone Wars
They make direct references to the Clone Wars, so that one almost doesn't count. Also, if you are a Clone Wars fan, you know that Saw Gerrara's character has roots in Clone Wars. And Star Wars Rebels has released a poster that shows young Gerrera as a new character coming to the series.
The Stormtrooper Doll
Jyn has a small Stormtrooper doll toy that she drops in the beginning of the movie. That doll, while a Stormtrooper and not a X-Wing Fighter Pilot, certainly is a nod to the X-Wing Fighter Pilot that Rey has in her home at the beginning of Star Wars the Force Awakens.
Twi’lek Dancers and Dejarik
As Captain Andor and Jyn are walked into Saw Gerrera's headquarters on Jedha, there is a hologram of Twi’lek dancers. Twi’lek dancers are seen in Return of the Jedi, as they are favorite entertainment of Jabba the HuttReturn of the Jedi. Saw Gerrera's soldiers are also seen playing Dejarik in the headquarters. The Dejarik board game we see Chewie and C-3PO playing in A New Hope and in The Force Awakens, too.
The blue milk on the counter in Jyn's house at the beginning of the movie is like the blue milk Luke Skywalker drinks in Episode IV A New Hope.
Jedha Marketplace Cameos
There are several characters in the Jedha Marketplace that are also in Episode IV. Dr. Cornelius Evazan and Ponda Baba are spotted for a moment, who we see in Mos Eisley on Tatooine. One of Saw Gerrera’s soldiers is also sporting a Scout Trooper helmet. If you look closely you can see a Viper Probe Droid (Empire Strikes Back) and an AT-ST walker (Return of the Jedi).
Guardians of the Whills
This is also where we learn that Chirrut Îmwe and Baze Malbus were known as “Guardians of the Whills.” The Whills is a holy book that chronicles the history of the galaxy and dates back to before the original Star Wars movies. The Whills were something George Lucas created for his first screenplay.
Yavin Base Cameos
On Yavin Base there are some more familiar faces such as Genevieve O'Reilly as Mon Mothma (the Rebellion’s leader in Return of the Jedi), Ian McElhinney as General Jan Dodonna (A New Hope), and Jimmy Smitts as Bail Organa (Revenge of the Sith). Before Organa leaves the Alliance council meeting refers to an old ally (Obi Wan Kenobi) on Tatooine and a trusted messenger (Leia Organa). There’s also an appearance from R2-D2 and C-3PO, who have appeared in every Star Wars film to date.
Battle of Scarif Cameos
In the Battle of Scarif, we see an RA-7 droid and a Mouse Droid.
We also hear two Stormtroopers talking about the discontinuation of T-15s, which is in reference to the T-16s that are used in A New Hope. Luke Skywalker had a T-16 Skyhopper on his home planet of Tantooine. He was known to use womp rats as target practice and race Beggar’s Canyon.
“I used to bullseye womp rats in my T-16 back home. They’re not much bigger than 2 meters.”
During the big X-Wing battle at the end of Rogue One, we see the Red and Gold leaders Drewe Henley and Angus MacInnes from A New Hope appear digital inserts using unseen footage from George Lucas. Rogue One explains how Luke became Red Five X-wing pilot in A New Hope after the first Red Five pilot get caught between the blasters of a TIE fighter during the Battle of Scarif.
Bast Castle on Mustafar
Darth Vader's castle was supposed to appear in the Empire Strikes Back and was cut, so it's cool to see they revamped it for this movie.
That ending, though
The rebels steal the plans for the Death Star, the whole premise of the movie. They get the plans aboard the Rebellion flagship, only to get thwarted by Lord Vader himself. We see familiar Rebel Troop uniforms from A New Hope and hallways of the starship. They manage to get the plans onto the Tantive IV and a rebel officer hands them off to Princess Leia, just as the ship heads off to Tatooine.
Now, you really should go watch A New Hope as soon as you've finished watching Rogue One.
What other easter eggs did you find?