Easter eggs are going to be a big thing in the future of Star Wars. There is arguably no franchise in Hollywood history with a legacy as beloved as the sci-fi saga, and as such we can expect that filmmakers will continue to include little references and callbacks within the titles that are released in the next few years. As director Gareth Edwards realized in the making of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, however, there is such a thing as too many Easter eggs, and it's why he ultimately decided to cut the number of them down -- fearing that they may have the effect of making the universe feel too small.
The subject of Easter eggs came up when I had the pleasure of sitting down with Gareth Edwards at the Rogue One: A Star Wars Story press day that was held in San Francisco earlier this month. Having been shown footage that featured a surprising number of callbacks and cameos, I asked the director about the process of including them, and he explained why audiences shouldn't expect to be drowning in them when they have the chance to see the film this weekend. Said Edwards,
One of the things we didn't want to do was make the universe seem small. If you start to have too many of everything, it just seems like 'That's a fluke.' And you want it to feel like, for me, it's not Tatooine or Hoth. For me they shouldn't be New York, Paris, London. They should be some obscure places. Not everyone is at them. And so you have to let go! We have little things in there, and obviously being Star Wars you can... certain characters and things are justified to exist.
This makes every kind of sense. While it's true that planet-to-planet hopping and hyperspeed travel are things within the Star Wars universe, which inherently shrink the size of the universe, there's still only so much credit that can be given to coincidence when certain characters or items randomly pop up during a new adventure following new characters. There's only so far that "The Force wills it" can be used as an excuse before things just fall apart.
Gareth Edwards also told me, though, that limiting Easter eggs was something that was figured out over the course of Rogue One's development. When first diving in, he was very excited by the prospect of including all matters of details and elements from previous Star Wars features, but eventually realized that a limit needed to be set. He explained,
It was a process of me grabbing everything - 'I want all these. Please! We have to have these in the movie' -- and then slowly over time, people at Lucasfilm going 'You don't need this one, Gareth. You don't need this one.' And what's funny is that you do that and you feel a bit bad about it, and then the next filmmaker turns up and they grab everything, 'I want all these!' It's like you have to go through that process of 'I want everything!' and then it's like, 'Okay, let's be realistic.'
You can watch Gareth Edwards talk about the inclusions of Rogue One cameos and Easter eggs in the video below:
Of course, just because there was a cap set doesn't mean that Rogue One isn't still filled with special references and cameos, and you'll be able to see them all when the film finally arrives in theaters this Friday. Be sure to stay tuned for more of our coverage of the blockbuster, including interviews, editorials, lists, and more!