This weekend brought us Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, which made history as the first standalone film in the franchise. Set directly before the events of the original film, A New Hope, there were a ton of callbacks, easter eggs, and returning characters brought into the spinoff to delight fans who have been following Star Wars for decades. The fandom has been enjoying finding every callback and easter egg in the film, and now a new one was just revealed that is likely to send certain fans into a nerdgasm. Strap on your helmets, this is pretty out of this world.
Rogue One's director Gareth Edwards recently spoke to the good folks at Radiotimes about the standalone film. In this chat, he revealed that unused footage from A New Hope was used in Rogue One during the big X-Wing dogfight sequence. He apparently found said footage at Skywalker ranch, and decided to use it in the film. Edwards said the following:
And as we're walking around, and doing all the cool things and looking at the Millennium Falcon and trying on Han Solo's jacket and things like that, in the back at the bottom was all these cans of film. And we said 'what are they?' and they said 'Oh, it's Star Wars. And you go... 'has someone gone through all this? And it's like 'not really, they're not fully like digitized at all.' We got the neg documents and found the clips from A New Hope that hadn't been used. And there's pilot photography and lines that were never featured in A New Hope.
I mean, how cool is that? Actual footage and lines from A New Hope were used in Rogue One, bringing classic characters back to life in a creative and honoring way. Of course, this isn't the only time in the movie where old characters made returned.
One of the more controversial and divisive elements of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story was the inclusion of the villainous Grand Moff Tarkin. Tarkin was Darth Vader's right hand man in the original Star Wars film, and he ended up perishing when Luke successfully destroyed the Death Star. Actor Peter Cushing portrayed the villain in A New Hope, and by the use of movie magic he reappeared as the same characters in Rogue One. What makes this controversial is the fact that Cushing passed away back in 1994.
Rogue One utilized CGI to bring Peter Cushing's likeness back to the silver screen- utilizing a body double for filming purposes. While this is a pretty impressive feat for technology, some have criticized this move- finding it both cheap and a bit uncomfortable. A younger version of Carrie Fisher's Leia was also created in the film, although that seemed a bit more appropriate since the actress still has an active role in the franchise as a whole.
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is currently in theaters.