The upcoming expansion of the Star Wars universe is awash in rumors, speculation, and conspiracy theories. Over the weekend, at D23, Disney and Lucasfilm unveiled our first look at the core cast of Star Wars: Rogue One—one of the spinoffs now called a Star War Story instead of Anthology as previously was the case—and there’s a new fan theory making the rounds that’s just plausible enough that we could buy it.
Just a heads up, there are potential SPOILERS for Star Wars: Rogue One beyond this point.
When we got a face-full of the Rogue One cast, a number of things sprang to mind. One that struck many people was the similarity in appearance between Diego Luna and a small, but important character from Star Wars lore, Biggs Darklighter. This tweet has been making the rounds and offers a side-by-side comparison:
You have to admit, between the sweet, late 1970s hairstyle, cheekbones, and rockin’ mustache, there is at least a cursory surface resemblance between Luna’s Rogue One style and that of Luke’s childhood friend. While that doesn’t necessarily mean anything, as Biggs surely wasn’t the only one rocking this look, it’s enough to make you think.
Though he only has small role in the first movie, and dies as the battle of Yavin 4 at the end, he has a rich backstory. A childhood friend of Luke Skywalker—Biggs was a bit older and the young future Jedi looked up to him with a bit of hero worship—the character originally had more scenes. There were a couple cut out of A New Hope, as well as some that appear in the novelization, which was based on the earlier script.
In the Expanded Universe, which isn’t canon anymore, Biggs actually trains as an Imperial pilot, and while he is there, he hears the first rumors and rumblings of the Death Star’s construction. After participating in a mutiny on his Imperial starship, and going AWOL to join the Rebel Alliance, he is actually part of the Rebel’s first missions to steal R2 units and X-Wing Fighters. While these stories are no longer officially part of Star Wars lore, certain threads could very well have been mined for Rogue One.
The timeline also certainly fits. Rogue One is set before the events of A New Hope and revolves around the theft of the plans for the first Death Star. We know that Biggs left Tatooine before Episode IV and took up with the Rebels, and as a young, enthusiastic, daring recruit, as well as a skilled pilot, it’s entirely plausible to imagine that he would volunteer for such a dangerous mission as this.
Biggs has always been one of those characters you look at and know that there is a much larger story than you see on screen. These Story films appear to be Lucasfilm’s attempt to expand the universe and explore areas of that far, far away galaxy that don’t necessarily fit into the main narrative thrust of the Episode films. Perhaps Rogue One will use the opportunity to explore a character who is familiar to fans, but not one we know a ton about. His connection to Luke would certainly provide a link to larger franchise, and show how these side stories impact the greater saga.
On the other hand, this connectivity could point to why Diego Luna may not be Biggs Darklighter. With the plot to steal the plans for the Death Star, the burgeoning Rebel Alliance gaining momentum, and more, there is already a significant level of connection between this story and the rest of the space opera. If this theory pans out, and reports that Felicity Jones’ character has her own link to an existing fan favorite are legit, Rogue One runs the risk of being little more than a collection of familiar faces and stories.
The point of the Story movies should be to focus on new tales, to shed light on heretofore unexplored regions of the Star Wars universe. Everything is, of course, going to be linked to a degree, and there are going to be people we know, but they should introduce new characters and new narrative threads instead of risking the films becoming a tangled mess of contrivances based on nostalgia.
That said, at this point, we don’t if any of these rumors are true, so we’re not too terribly concerned. And if anything, I love the look of these new characters. They don’t appear to be your typical clean-cut heroes, and if they’re going to steal something, you’re going to want to employ people with an aptitude in that arena, and they tend to inhabit a more morally ambiguous place. These people certainly look like they’ve seen some shit in their time and may get up to some less than honorable activities on occasion.
We’ll find out for sure what the deal is when Star Wars: Rogue One hits theaters on December 16, 2016.