Every Rogue One Easter Egg!
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is filled with references and call-backs to the main saga films and beyond. However, while some cameos are not very subtle, there are many hidden details and blink and you'll miss it moments that will genuinely surprise you. So, with that in mind, let's take a look at every Rogue One Easter Egg.
The first Easter Egg is not all that hard to spot, as it stares you right in the face. However, in the film's flashback prologue to Jyn's early life, you can clearly see some Bantha milk, the same blue liquid Luke Skywalker and his family consume in A New Hope.
A little more subtle is the name of the Mid Rim planet where we find Jyn held prisoner on. The world is called Wobani, which is an anagram of Obi-Wan.
HAVw A6 Juggernaut
On the same planet, just before Extraction Team Bravo of the Rebel Alliance rescue her, Jyn travels in a vehicle very similar to a HAVw A6 Juggernaut, a tank used during the Clone Wars. While not exactly the same, you've got to think the Juggernaut inspired the vehicle's design.
More familiar items are of course the kyber crystals, which have appeared in countless Star Wars works. They debuted in the very first Expanded Universe novel, Splinter of the Mind's Eye by Alan Dean Foster. The “Kaiburr crystal”, as it was called then, was originally a mysterious gem that could bestow great power over the Force to its possessor. However, the Kaiburr crystal wasn't Foster's own idea. The rare gem was actually conceived by George Lucas as a plot device in one of his earliest outlines for A New Hope. Ever since, kyber crystals have become staples for lightsaber construction, and are now used as a power source for planet-destroying battlestations!
In addition to familiar vehicles and items, Rogue One is filled with many faces from the main saga films and beyond. Firstly, in the Rebel Alliance headquarters on Yavin 4, we can see Mon Mothma, the organisation's leader, who debuted in Return of the Jedi, General Jan Dodonna, who debriefed the Alliance before their attack on the Death Star in A New Hope, and Bail Organa, Leia's adoptive father. There are also appearances from classic droids R2-D2 and C-3PO, as well as relative newcomer Chopper from Star Wars Rebels. Speaking of the animated series, someone over the intercom system calls for a “General Syndulla”. Furthermore, her starship, the Ghost, and the “Hammerhead” ships introduced by the series can later be seen during the Battle of Scarif. During the same skirmish, Red and Gold leaders make a return from Episode IV, a feat achieved after director Gareth Edwards discovered unused archive footage from the original Star Wars. It's also worth mentioning that Episode VIII's director, Rian Johnson, appears as a Death Star operator. But wait, there's more! Grand Moff Tarkin and a young Princess Leia return via CGI, while Captain Antilles returns in the flesh, you know the guy Vader chokes to death in Episode IV, Saw Gerrera from the Clone Wars animated series makes his silver screen debut, and Ponda Baba and Cornelius Evazan from the Mos Eisley cantina in A New Hope have a less than subtle cameo on Jedha.
Speaking of the Jedha marketplace, we quickly learn that Chirrut Îmwe and Baze Malbus are “Guardians of the Whills”. The Whills are a long-standing fixture in Star Wars lore which derive from A New Hope's original subtitle: The Adventures of Luke Starkiller as taken from “The Journal of the Whills”. Fun fact: Qui-Gon Jinn was going to mention the Whills in Revenge of the Sith, but the scene was never recorded.
The “Han Solo” Run
Sticking with Jedha, while escaping from the Imperial forces, Cassian runs into a large group of stormtroopers, forcing him to quickly change direction and run! The scene feels familiar, right? Well, it's very reminiscent of Han Solo's very own encounter with a large group of stormtroopers on the Death Star in Episode IV.
Twi’lek Slave Dancer & Dejarik
When Jyn and Cassian are subsequently captured by Gerrera's forces and taken to his headquarters, there is a hologram of a dancing Twi'lek, something I'm sure Jabba the Hutt would enjoy, and some Partisans playing the classic game of Dejarik.
Mustafar and Vader's Castle
Removed from Jedha, Darth Vader resides on a familiar looking lava planet. Yes, that is Mustafar – the location in which Vader received his life-threatening burns. The castle is not an original idea, however. It was lifted from Ralph McQuarrie concept art for The Empire Strikes Back.
Vader's Bacta Tank
On the same world, to compensate for his injuries, Vader submerges himself in a bacta tank. Of course, this is not the first time we've seen one of these pods. Luke Skywalker introduced us to these devices in Episode V. I guess the saying “like father, like son” also applies to the galaxy far, far away.
Speaking of Luke, during his time on Tatooine, the youngster owned a T-16 skyhopper, which replaced the T-15 model. What does this have to do with Rogue One? Well, in the film, you can hear stormtroopers on Scarif discuss the discontinuation of the T-15s.
I've Got A Bad Feeling About Th-
What would a Star Wars movie be without the classic line: “I've got a bad feeling about this”? Well, I guess we already know. In every Star Wars movie, that exact line is said at least once. However, Cassian cuts off K-2SO before he could jinx the entire mission. As a result, Rogue One is the only Star Wars movie not to feature the line in its entirety, which is appropriate due to its departure from the main saga films.
A classic reference which did stay, though, was a nod to THX-1138. When Jyn and Cassian finally make it to the Galactic Empire archive vault, they must manually extract the Death Star plans using a pair of clamps that are eerily similar to another pair of clamps used by the main protagonist in George Lucas' directorial debut.
Not just that, one of the files the two come across is labelled the “Black Saber”, which could mean the Darksaber.
Finally, the title itself is a call-back to the call sign of the leader of Rogue Squadron, an elite unit of Rebel pilots who most notably make their presence known in the Battle of Hoth.
So, there we have it, every Rogue One Easter Egg that I was able to spot. But were there any that I missed? Let me know in the comments below.