Gary Collinson looks at some Original Trilogy characters we could see in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story…
In a week’s time, director Gareth Edwards will take us back to the galaxy far, far away with the release of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, the hotly-anticipated first Anthology movie from Disney and Lucasfilm. And we’ll be in a very familiar timeline too, with the movie detailing the Rebels’ efforts to steal the plans to the original Death Star, which ultimately allows Luke Skywalker to destroy the dreaded battle station in the original Star Wars, a.k.a. A New Hope.
Given its setting, Rogue One provides the perfect opportunity for Lucasfilm to revisit some of its most iconic characters, including of course the legendary villain Darth Vader, who will hopefully have more to do this time than standing on a bridge with his arms folded and screaming “Noooo!” as the Rebels make off with the plans at the film’s conclusion. Alongside Vader, we also have Rebellion leaders Mon Mothma and Bail Organa (with Genevieve O’Reilly and Jimmy Smits reprising their roles from the Prequel Trilogy), and even General Jan Dodonna, who was hidden away in the shadows during one of the trailers.
It seems highly likely that these won’t be the only familiar faces we get to see in Rogue One, so here’s a selection of Original Trilogy characters who may potentially show up in the film. I’ve only covered those I think have a chance of appearing (so no Luke Skywalker, Lando Calrissian or Obi-Wan Kenobi, for example), along with one or two of the more obscure characters I’m personally hoping to see, and a couple of non-OT bonus characters at the end.
Grand Moff Tarkin
It’s been all but confirmed by a recent TV spot that Grand Moff Wilhuff Tarkin will be back on the Death Star in Rogue One, and in all honestly, was there really ever any doubt? I mean, he’s only the guy in charge of the entire battle station. If rumours are to be believed, the late Peter Cushing has been digitally recreated by the folks at ILM, and assuming that’s correct we could be in for some groundbreaking stuff here. Digital Cushing or not though, Tarkin’s inclusion looks to be an absolute certainty.
The first teaser trailer for Rogue One featured a couple of Royal Guards standing by what looked to be a bacta tank, and it stands to reason that where Royal Guards go, so too does Sheev Palpatine. With that in mind, the smart money says that The Emperor will be making an appearance of some kind, despite the fact that actor Ian McDiarmid has denied having a role in the film (let’s face it – he was never going to confirm it if he is). However, The Emperor is nowhere near the Death Star in A New Hope (presumably he’s busy preparing to dissolve the Senate on Coruscant), and I’m not sure what purpose he could serve in this film. I’m not entirely convinced that the bacta tank scene will feature The Emperor (I’m not entirely convinced it will even make the final cut either), so my guess is if we do see Palpatine, it will be via hologram in a brief scene with either Vader or Director Krennic.
Colonel Wullf Yularen
Unless you’re a full-on Star Wars nerd, you’re probably wondering who the hell Colonel Wulff Yularen is. Well, he’s the guy with the white suit who sits in on the meetings between Tarkin and the other Imperial officers on board the Death Star in A New Hope. I’ve always been fascinated by him, despite the fact he has about two seconds of screen time, no dialogue, and doesn’t even really move. For purely personal reasons, I really hope we see him, and maybe some of the other Imperial top brass like Admiral Motti (the guy who Vader chokes before releasing him). Sadly, Krennic has likely filled the one White Suit spot in this film.
Biggs Darklighter is my favourite bit-part Star Wars character of all time. I’d love it if he makes an appearance, but if we take into account the cut scene from A New Hope, he’s yet to join up with the Rebellion by the time of Rogue One, and I’m not big on messing with continuity. Still, that’s a deleted scene, so it would be easy enough to forget about it and work him in as part of Red Squadron, but sadly I’m not expecting to see Biggs and his magnificent moustache.
Wedge Antilles on the other hand must surely be a good shout. He’s an integral part of the Original Trilogy (there was even a role for him in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, but actor Denis Lawson turned it down as it wasn’t a big enough part… like, say, Mark Hamill’s role), and he’s presumably part of Yavin IV’s contingent of fighter pilots at this point in time. And it certainly looks like Red Squadron will be seeing some action in the film, unless it’s another squad of X-Wings attacking that Imperial shield generator orbiting the planet of Scarif.
If Red Squadron does feature in Rogue One, then we’re surely going to see the Garven Dreis – a.k.a. Red Leader – back in action. I’m a massive fan of the character (he’s second only to Biggs in terms of my favourite bit part players), so that would be magnificent. Porkins would be the icing on the cake. Hopefully even if we don’t see them on screen, we’ll at least hear a few of the original Red Squadron reporting in over their comms. That way we could say that Red Leader was “almost there”.
We already know we’ll be seeing many of the big players from the Rebel Alliance with the likes of Mon Mothma, Bail Organa and Jan Dodonna (and there’ll be a Mon Calamari presence with Admiral Raddus), so it certainly wouldn’t be too much of a stretch to think that Admiral Ackbar could appear alongside them. Sadly Erik Bauersfeld, the actor who voiced the character in Return of the Jedi and Star Wars: The Force Awakens, passed away earlier this year, so it could serve as a nice little tribute to get a glimpse of Ackbar as a background character either on Yavin IV or as part of the Rebel fleet.
Click below to continue onto the second page for bounty hunters, heroes of the Rebellion, animated characters, and a Supreme Leader…