8 Best Easter Eggs in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
The creative team behind Rogue One is being commended for delivering an enjoyable stand-alone Star Wars film that had broad appeal to both die-hard fans of the franchise and to the more pedestrian viewer. And rightly so. Audiences were treated to a film that crafted a vast ensemble of new characters and set pieces while surreptitiously weaving in deep cuts from Star Wars lore, much to the joy of movie lovers everywhere.
One of the most fun elements to these wider universe movies is that they can serve as scavenger hunts for the more obsessive fans, with the props department and set designers incorporating some of the more seemingly innocuous elements that ultimately help fill out the cinematic universe. And anybody who noticed the blue milk in Galen Erso’s home or the creatures playing space chess can appreciate this.
So while a Star Destroyer’s-worth of referential material in this film could be easily constructed, here are the eight best easter eggs in Rogue One.
In A New Hope, Luke Skywalker is antagonized by a duo known as Cornelius Evazan and Ponda Baba. In a rather memorable scene, Obi-Wan Kenobi squashes the altercation by removing Ponda Boba’s arm with his lightsaber. The pair makes a quick appearance in Rogue One, drumming up a beef with Jyn Erso in the Jedha marketplace. Luckily, they are able to leave this squabble with all of their limbs intact.
A running gag in every film in the Star Wars franchise is the inclusion of the line, “I have a bad feeling about this.” In Rogue One, the droid K-2SO begins to deliver this line before the climactic third-act battle, but is silenced by Jyn before finishing his thought.
The Wilhelm Scream is a notorious sound bite amongst cinema history buffs that has been included in over two hundred films. Originating from a man’s scream heard in 1951’s Distant Drums, this scream became interlocked with Star Wars when it was made famous by a sound designer who incorporated it into the original Star Wars film, and later utilized it repeatedly in other movies. This scream is resurrected yet again in Rogue One.
For those gifted in the ways of Star Wars fandom, some notable Rebel fighters appear in the final space battle in Rogue One. Passionate fans of the original Star Wars film know that Luke Skywalker’s call sign during the final X-wing dogfight was Red Five. In Rogue One, we see a pilot referred to as Red Five die in the third act, which explains Luke’s ability to fill the designation’s vacancy.
Unearthed footage from the cutting room floor of the original Star Wars is restored to show fighter pilot Gold Leader taking part in the remarkable space battle over Scarif. Blending footage from Star Wars with its prequel is an excellent tribute to the original and metaphorically services this movie, which is at the core a contemporary homage.
The famous droids R2-D2 and C-3PO make their way into one shot of Rogue One before the final showdown. Though so blatant it could hardly be considered an easter egg, this appearance holds significance to fans of the franchise because they remain the only characters to be seen in every single Star Wars film.
Gamers familiar with Knights of the Old Republic surely noticed the Hammerhead spaceship used as a battering ram in Rogue One.
Rogue One pays respect to the various video game and cartoon show incarnations of the Star Wars saga, which are typically excluded from the film franchise. Though perhaps too obscure to fans of solely the Star Wars movies, viewers of The Clone Wars should notice their ears perking up at the mention of an Empirical project known as “black saber,” as dark lightsabers are a contrivance of the cartoon show.