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Spoiler warning: The ending of Rogue One will be spoiled here, but you have to know what happens by now, right?
Sometimes directors like to put themselves into their own movies- usually as quick blink and you miss it cameos for the cinephiles to enjoy. Alfred Hitchcock and Peter Jackson are just some examples, but if you're directing a Star Wars, then how can you not give yourself a cameo? Gareth Edwards sure as hell couldn't resist, and while shooting Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, he did a cameo that actually turns out to be an important role. One sharp-eyed fan spotted the director in one of the most pivotal scenes in the entire movie. Check it out.
During Star Wars Celebration Europe 2016, it was revealed that Gareth Edwards would have a cameo in Rogue One, but the specifics of said cameo were for the fans to figure out. Now that the movie has released in theaters, a fan has found Edwards in the film and shared his finding on Twitter. Though it's a little murky, the director can be seen right there in center foreground dressed as a Rebel officer of Princess Leia's ship- seen in the ending of Rogue One and the beginning of A New Hope. And he isn't just any old Rebel soldier either; this is the guy who disengages the ship, cutting Darth Vader off and allowing Leia to escape with the Death Star plans at the end.
At least that's what this Twitter user says. All I can remember from that scene begins and ends with Darth Vader.
Assuming that Gareth Edwards is the same soldier, then that means the director basically gave himself arguably the most important unnamed role in all of Star Wars. He may have just played the guy whose quick thinking and sacrifice allowed for basically the entire plot of A New Hope. He's even more important than the Imperial officer who says "nah, let's not shoot down that escape pod." And what does he get for his reward? Vader wrecks him.
Funnily enough, Gareth Edwards isn't the only Star Wars director with a cameo in the film. Rian Johnson, the director of Star Wars: Episode VIII, also briefly appears in the film, but it's almost impossible to tell it's him. Johnson's cameo was also revealed at Star Wars Celebration 2016, and apparently he and his assistant played the two Death Star troopers who work the laser of the Death Star that fires right behind them. Essentially, one director helps save the galaxy while the other helps blow up planets, both of which would make an inner child happy.
Rogue One is still in theaters, which means you still have a chance to catch these cameos if you pay close enough attention.