Rebellions are built on sacrifice.
Rogue One tells the story of the struggles of morality and making the ultimate choice. We learn what the Rebellion sacrificed to the Empire, the individual, and the collective cost they paid to save the galaxy from the Death Star. The cost of course, is death.
Galen Erso leaving Jyn behind on Lah’mu so she is not captured by the Imperials is the first sacrifice we see. Saw Gerrera rescues Jyn as a child, then promptly abandons her again as teen, because it was necessary to save her (although we don’t see that in the film.)
We see Cassian, who is a true spy, shoot his informant on the Ring of Kafrene. This is not just about self preservation, if Cassian doesn’t escape, details of the Imperial defector never make it back to the Rebel Council, then there is no hope.
Things about Rogue One will seem familiar. When you’re engrossed in the story, an Easter egg will appear to remind you that you’re still watching a larger narrative unfold. You will see several old, familiar characters, some of whom are very unexpected. Some will make you smile. Each one, a wonderful nod to the existing universe.
Technology brings us familiar faces.
The CGI Grand Moff Tarkin – groundbreaking technology for the amount of screen time he was given. We personally expecting to only see his reflection at first, and we were quite wrong. A great effort was given to tie in Tarkin and Leia to the story of Rogue One. (The techniques in showing us a younger Leia were similar to what they used with “Tony Stark” in Civil War)
Kyber Crystals play an important role in Rogue One. They are used to power the Jedi’s lightsaber, but they are also used power the Death Star’s weapon. Kyber Crystals, like the Force, can be used for good or evil (light and dark)
There are many Tie- ins to Rebels cartoon, it may be reading too much into it, but it seems to be pointing to something greater.
• The Ghost (Hera Syndulla’s ship): As Jyn, Cassian, and K-2SO leave Yavin 4, on their way to Jedha, it can be seen on the landing platform, and again in flight during the battle of Scariff
• Immediately after Jyn attempts to convince the council to recover the Death Star plans from Scariff, two calls for “General Syndulla” are heard over the base intercom
• As the Rebel Comms officer at the Yavin 4 base rushes to inform his superiors of the attack on Scariff, you can see Chopper crossing in the background as well as hearing his distinctive vocalizations
• The Hammerhead Corvette used to push Star Destroyers into each other was stolen in episode of SW Rebels
We also see Vader’s castle on Mustafar – the concept art has been around since the Empire Strikes Back, so it’s nice to finally see it appear as part of the official Star Wars universe.
Wondering about the history of Galen Erso and Director Krennic? James Luceno’s book (affiliate) Catalyst: A Rogue One novel gives us backstory on the relationship back to the Clone Wars era.
I hope you enjoyed Rogue One as much as I did. I’d love to hear about any Easter Eggs you caught that my husband and I missed while watching!