Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is just weeks away! And, while it’s technically the first stand-alone movie, it’s not as disconnected from the other films as it would seem. For starters, the plot will tie in directly to the first film in the franchise, A New Hope. But we also know part of the movie will be set during or just after the prequel time period, due to flashbacks.
Perhaps even more exciting, though, is the return of characters we already know and love, whether they be from earlier movies or other forms of Star Wars lore. In this article, I’ll be looking at some of the returning characters and cameos we can expect. Starting with the confirmed, and moving all the way down to characters that are less than likely to return.
Darth Vader, of course, needs no explanation. The most iconic villain in cinema history returns to show us just how frightening he can be one final time. From comments and trailers, it’s looking like he won’t be playing a major part in the film. But you can be sure the few scenes he’ll have will pack a punch. Be prepared to be scared.
In stark contrast to Darth Vader, Saw Gerrera is another ruthless Clone Wars veteran that’s more machine than man. He and his Rebel Partisans are looking to be a major part of proceedings on Jedha. Considering he hasn’t been spotted outside of Jedha, though, I’m expecting him to be playing the classic Star Wars part of the mentor that perishes at a focal point of the movie.
More returning leading figures in the Rebel Alliance are Mon Mothma and Bail Organa. Played by the same actors that portrayed them in the prequels, they’ll be a major part of connecting the trilogies together. Bail seems to be little more than a cameo before he returns to Alderaan to get blown up, but Mothma is the face of the entire Rebellion in this movie. Expect her to be the one making the hard calls.
The All But Confirmed
Dr Cornelius Evazan, the man with a death sentence in 12 systems, and his friend Ponda Baba, codename Walrusman, are very likely to make an appearance. An actor has been listed playing Dr Evazan, and both of the scoundrels can be spotted by a keen eye in the Celebration Reel. This is rather curious, as they have their iconic scene in the Mos Eisley Cantina on Tatooine not much further down the timeline.
Similarly, rebel general Jan Dodonna and Jek Porkins have both been spotted in various trailers and images. They’re different actors, of course, but the characters look so similar that I feel pretty confident saying it’s meant to be them. They look like Dodonna and Porkins, down to Porkins’ very specific helmet decal. Both of these characters also make a lot of sense, seeing as they’re known to be on Yavin IV at this point in time.
The Long Shots
R2-D2 and C-3PO are almost essential parts of the Star Wars saga. They’ve appeared in every film to date. The props were at Pinewood from Episodes VII and VIII, and if we see the plans physically arriving on the Tantive IV, it would make perfect sense to see our bickering droid duo once again. The only reason not to do this is that it might come across as a bit too fan-service-y. We’ll see!
Should we see the droids and the Tantive IV, princess Leia wouldn’t be far away. Of course, since Carrie Fisher is some 40 years older than she was while filming A New Hope, it would be harder to believably add a Leia cameo. Should it happen, it’ll be a shot from the back with a stand-in rather than some form of CGI tomfoolery.
Speaking of CGI tomfoolery, remember the rumours of a CGI Grand Moff Tarkin a couple months back? People have claimed to spot the character in both the Celebration Reel and trailer 2, but I’m personally not buying it. While it makes sense story-wise for the character to be there, I think it’d be too much hassle for little reward. I’d love to be wrong though!
From the same batch of Topps cards as the picture of “Porkins” comes a photo of a blond lady pilot, looking suspiciously like Evaan Verlaine, a character from the Princess Leia comic. While I love Evaan (one of my pet theories is she’s appearing in Episode VIII, as played by Laura Dern), I don’t see it happening. The helmet in the comic, though only appearing in undetailed wide shots, doesn’t look similar to the picture. Furthermore, I’d guess this lady as a few years older than Leia at this point, while her creator Mark Waid puts Evaan at about the same age.
To close things off, here’s some characters that have been speculated to be in Rogue One, but are looking very unlikely due to a variety of reasons.
Emperor Sheev Palpatine is a name that had been circulating for a while. Thought to be involved somehow in the infamous ‘bacta tank’ shot in trailer 1 due to the appearance of his Royal Guards, he was looking like a sure thing. Until this very blog broke the news that actor Ian McDiarmid had denied any involvement in the film.
A Han Solo appearance may not have made a lot of sense in-universe, but many people felt it would be a perfect way to get people on board with new Solo actor Alden Ehrenreich. The rumours got so big at one point that director Gareth Edwards felt the need to clarify: “I can put it to bed: Han Solo’s not in the movie.”