Warning: The following contains a few significant spoilers for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.
Despite being billed as a “standalone” Star Wars story, Rogue One turned out to be anything but. The movie had so many connections to the originals, the prequels, and even the cartoons, that viewers might feel the need to crack open a Wookieepedia to fully understand everything that’s going on. Luckily we’ve done a lot of the homework for you, and have taken it upon ourselves to break down some of Rogue One’s best Easter eggs right here.
The Planets: The Rebels home base of Yavin IV from A New Hope shows up in Rogue One. We also get a brief layover on Mustafar, the lava planet from Revenge of the Sith, to hear Darth Vader workshop some of his sweet puns.
The Cameos: In addition to Pappa Vader, we get walk-ons from C-3PO and R2-D2. Bail Organa and Mon Mothma return to the head of the rebel alliance. A young Princess Leia and a living Grand Moff Tarkin show up thanks to the grave-robbing “magic” of CGI. Ponda Baba and Cornelius Evazan are still acting like giant dicks, this time on the streets of Jedha. And while he may not seem like a big deal, there’s one Imperial Officer that will prove extremely important to the future of Star Wars. That’s because he’s played by Rian Johnson, director of Episode VIII. (He and Gareth Edwards swapped cameos in each other’s films.)
The Whills: Chirrut Îmwe and Baze Malbus are described as members (well, one member and one former member) of a Force-observing religious group known as the Order of the Whills. The Whills actually has a history in Star Wars that stretches back further than A New Hope. When George Lucas was first developing Star Wars in the 1970s, he planned to frame it as a reading from an ancient book called The Journal of the Whills. The idea was eventually dropped, but never fully forgotten.
But those are just a few of the Easter Eggs we spotted. The film is so packed with them it may take a few screenings to spot them all. Hmmm… sounds like we just made your holiday vacation plans for you. Let us know any more you notice in the comments!