There are many reasons to get excited about the upcoming “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.” Given the trailers, it’s possibly going to be the darkest “Star Wars” film we’ll see, especially since director Gareth Edwards has stated that the film will focus more on the “war” aspect of the universe.
The plot involves the Rebel Alliance’s attempts to steal the Death Star plans, taking place before “A New Hope,” when the Rebel Alliance was still developing. It’s the perfect chance to expand on the Star Wars universe and its complex characters. Fans have already been promised a cameo or two of familiar faces and there are quite a few we’d like to see in this difficult transitional phase and a few that we really wouldn’t.
15. DO Want: Jar Jar Binks
We know what you’re thinking, but bear with us. When “The Phantom Menace” gave us Jar Jar Binks way back in ’99, fans weren’t happy. He was an unfunny and generally pointless character, something to which everyone who ever saw “The Phantom Menace” can attest. Yet he ended up being given a role that decided the fate of the galaxy in “Attack of the Clones” when (for… reasons?) Senator Amidala chose him to represent Naboo in the Senate during her absence. It was because of him that Palpatine was able to ascend to such heights and form the Empire as quickly as he did. In fact, that was one of the reasons why a theory was formed about Jar Jar by fans of the saga, postulating that Jar Jar and Palpatine were actually allies and that Jar Jar was actually meant to be a major antagonist.
Whether you believe that or not, it would be genuinely amazing if Jar Jar appeared in “Rogue One,” maybe finally getting his comeuppance. J.J Abrams said his death might be referenced in “The Force Awakens,” but of course, that didn’t happen. Maybe we’ll hear about it, or better yet, see it in “Rogue One.”
14. DON’T Want: Obi-Wan Kenobi
Aside from being one of the most quotable characters in the saga, Obi-Wan is a beloved character with more to his story than the films ever really showed us, like his reaction when he discovers that Anakin survived their heart-wrenching duel on Mustafar, or how he came to be known as Ben. He didn’t become the sage old wise guy just by spending years in the desert.
We saw him as the wise teacher in the original trilogy and we saw him grow in the prequels, but as much as we loved Ewan McGregor’s performance as Obi-Wan and were thrilled after hearing his involvement in “The Force Awakens,” we’re going to have to hope that he isn’t a character in the upcoming film. Ultimately, it wouldn’t make much sense. In the years when “Rogue One” is set, Obi-Wan is presumably busy keeping an eye on Luke on Tatooine. He’d have no real reason to put everything at risk by aiding or interacting with the Rebel Alliance in any way.
13. DO Want: Yoda
After tasting defeat at the hands of Darth Sidious in “Revenge of the Sith,” Yoda fled from Coruscant into exile to the swamp planet of Dagobah in the Outer Rim. You would think that’s where he would have remained, inactive until Luke arrived to return balance to the Force. As we see in the “Star Wars: Kanan” comic series and in “Star Wars: Rebels,” Yoda continued to keep an eye on the handful of Jedi left in the galaxy, aiding Kanan and his Padawan, Ezra Bridger.
Who’s to say Yoda didn’t also come across agents of the Rebel Alliance in all those years? It’s unlikely we’ll get to see him impart a few words of wisdom to the rebels, but an appearance by the former master Jedi would make sense. This is especially true, given that the film features characters such as Chirrut Imwe, who may not be a Force user in the traditional sense, but uses Jedi teachings in more spiritual ways. Who better to learn from than Yoda?
12. DON’T Want: Han Solo
We have a new film to look forward to when we’ve picked our jaws up off the floor after “Rogue One,” and that’s the Han Solo spin-off film starring Alden Ehrenreich as a young Han Solo. It will take place before his appearance in “A New Hope,” where he was hunted by Jabba the Hutt and very clearly shot first! He has a rich history and we hope that the film will add as much to his character as the now non-canon “Star Wars: Legends” did.
As much as we love his brash antics and want badly to deny what we saw happen in “The Force Awakens,” we can’t. That is why, despite the excitement we would have in seeing him, it would ultimately take away from the tragedy of Solo’s death in the sequel trilogy. An appearance by Alden Ehrenreich would take away from any real impact his introduction would have in his film.
11. DO Want: Boba Fett
The dark and mysterious bounty hunter, Boba Fett, has captivated fans since his first appearance in the oft-maligned “Star Wars Holiday Special,” and then in film during “The Empire Strikes Back.” He was a no-nonsense professional whose fearsome reputation and skills spoke for themselves, even if he didn’t do very much. That’s why, when looking for hunters to help subdue Luke, Leia, Han and Chewie, Lord Vader turned to him. The prequel trilogies expanded on his backstory a bit in “Attack of the Clones” with the introduction of his father, Jango Fett, the bounty hunter from which Boba had been cloned.
It’s been years since we last saw Boba in action on the big screen. After meeting his “end” (though not really) in the monstrous throat of the carnivorous Sarlaac, there’s little hope that we’ll see him again in the new trilogy. So why not include one last epic cameo of the character? After all, the Empire hired him once, perhaps not for the first time. It stands to reason, then, that someone from the Rebel Alliance might have encountered him in the years leading up to the destruction of the Death Star.
10. DON’T Want: Chewbacca
Both Yoda and Solo’s long time friend and partner, Chewie, also has his own incredible story. We saw that he was a commander in the Wookie army during the Battle of Kashyyyk in “Revenge of the Sith.” There has to be an interesting tale between the fall of his home planet and the beginning of his career as a smuggler, right? The “Star Wars: Rebels Visual Guide” shows that the rise of the Empire meant the enslavement of the Wookies; and in fact, Chewie himself had been taken as a slave before being rescued by Han Solo and eventually becoming his trusted smuggling partner.
Clearly there’s a lot that the Rebel Alliance could have been involved with during its earlier years but, while it would be interesting to see, you couldn’t have a meaningful cameo of Chewie without Han, and as we’ve established, we can’t have Han. Unfortunately, Chewie is going to have to stay off screens for now.
9. DO Want: Princess Leia
Leia Organa has done a lot throughout her life. She began as a politician like her adoptive father, Senator Bail Organa (who will make an appearance in “Rogue One”), on Alderaan. The “Star Wars: Rebels” series shows that she definitely wasn’t unfamiliar with the dangers of being associated with the Rebel Alliance, either, aiding Ezra Bridger and Kanan Jarrus in a mission to steal ships for the rebellion, all while she was just sixteen years old!
It would make sense that Leia would show up in “Rogue One,” and given her history, there are a lot of reasons why she would. For example, we already know that the plans for the Death Star that Jyn Erso and her squad will steal, were sent to Leia’s ship, Tantive IV. That, of course, is why Vader intercepted and boarded the ship in “A New Hope” in the first place. It would be the perfect link to the Star Wars saga, and a great cameo from true Star Wars royalty!
8. DON’T Want: Emperor Palpatine
The villainous Palpatine was a mastermind, a force of pure evil working in the shadows to twist the galaxy into the mess it eventually became. The original trilogy was all about Luke and the Rebel Alliance seeking to restore order from his mess, and even then, Palpatine himself didn’t appear until “Return of the Jedi.” When he did, it was clear that his role was to act as the symbolic embodiment of the Dark Side of the Force. He’s a cruel, manipulative, unfeeling menace who revels in the power that the Dark Side affords him (though he may not always have been that way).
He was an enjoyable villain throughout the saga, but that kind of evil wouldn’t really work in “Rogue One,” especially since his apprentice, Darth Vader, is already set to appear in the film as the main (if largely unseen) antagonist. Even a small cameo of Palpatine might take away from the formidable force that Vader represents in this film.
7. DO Want: R2-D2
There’s no denying that R2-D2 is quite the astromech droid; a paragon in a sea of imitators, some might even say. There were quite a few moments when his quick-witted intervention saved the lives of major characters who would have otherwise perished. He’s seen and done a lot throughout his service to the Republic and to the Rebel Alliance, a career spanning at least 68 years (from the invasion of Naboo to the destruction of Starkiller Base), so he’s earned a cameo of his own.
If you think about it, there’s really no reason why he shouldn’t make an appearance. He’s seen on Leia’s ship in “A New Hope,” which means he’s already in service to the Rebel Alliance. Leia trusts him to take the Death Star plans because, as we can assume based on the rest of the “Star Wars” saga, he’s been a faithful companion to the Organa family since Leia was born. If the plans were being stolen and transported, why wouldn’t he be there? He’s been there every other step of the way, after all, so it only makes sense that he would be there for this, especially as he is the messenger in “A New Hope.”
6. DON’T Want: Snoke
Supreme Leader Snoke was introduced to us in “The Force Awakens,” with very little information given, and few hints, as to who he is, aside from his status in relation to the First Order. Clearly older than the Galactic Empire, we know that Snoke has mastered the ways of the Dark Side, which has clearly corrupted him so much that it shows in his appearance. The novelization of the film expands on his background just a bit by revealing that he had several apprentices before taking an interest in Han and Leia’s son, Ben Solo. Someone so powerful cannot have come out of nowhere.
“Rogue One” takes place in the years just before the destruction of the first Death Star. It’s admittedly difficult to imagine where and how Rebel agents would ever encounter a wise and powerful Force user like Snoke, but it would be great to see him appear, if even for a moment, in the flesh (as opposed to a gigantic hologram). Still, as bad as we would love to see it, we also know that any involement he may have would most likely take away from the power of his presence in the sequel trilogy. Thus, we hope Snoke remains behind the smoke screen.
5. DO Want: Lando Calrissian
After being introduced to us as the ruler of Cloud City and a good friend of Han Solo’s, Lando Calrissian took us on an emotional roller coaster as he betrayed Luke and the others, watched Vader freeze Han in carbonite, then help save everyone from certain death at the hands of the Empire. He may not have been a “good” guy, but he certainly wasn’t a villain. He was just like Han if you really think about it. He was even the original owner of the Millennium Falcon before Han Solo won it in a game of sabacc.
He may not have had much to do with the Rebel Alliance other than his encounter with a few of its agents in “Star Wars: Rebels,” but it would be great to see him in a small cameo, especially since we can’t have Han Solo appearing in it. It would definitely bring just the right touch of light-heartedness to the reportedly dark film, as well as expand just enough on his character to excite people about his appearance in the Han Solo film.
4. DON’T Want: Jabba the Hutt
Crime runs rampant throughout the Empire and that’s not something we saw much of in the prequel trilogies. We saw Jabba the Hutt on Tatooine in “The Phantom Menace” for a few minutes, but it made sense since Tatooine is on the Outer Rim where the Republic has little power and corruption is free to spread. Jabba the Hutt, as a character, is representative of that corruption. He’s a vulgar mass that tortures his foes, one who might fit very well into “Rogue One” as a minor villain, or perhaps just a creature one of the Rogue One crew might have had past dealings with. After all, these aren’t necessarily the most upstanding of sentients in the galaxy.
Saying that, any kind of appearance he might make in “Rogue One” may ultimately be hollow and meaningless, feeling more like an unnecessary stop-off than anything meaningful. Sure, they could fight him or barter with him, but even if they did they’d have to lose in some small way. Seeing that they will be most likely losing large anyway, that sense of loss would be diluted if the crew failed spectacularly (in one movie) against a relatively minor foe like Jabba.
3. DO Want: Wedge Antilles
You may have heard of this fighter pilot from the films or from the TV series “Star Wars: Rebels.” Many remember him played by Denis Lawson in “Empire Strikes Back” and “Return of the Jedi,” but we were first introduced to him in “A New Hope,” where he was played by Colin Higgins. This, you might hear many refer to as “fake Wedge.” Wedge Antilles has become quite a well known character among “Star Wars” fans, thanks to his complicated history yet relatively short screen time. He began his career as a TIE fighter pilot in the Imperial Navy, but ended up defecting, going on to fight alongside Luke Skywalker and the rest of Red Squadron in the battle of Yavin.
Unfortunately, Luke and Wedge were the only survivors from Red Squadron, and we next saw Wedge as a member of Rogue Squadron. It can’t be a coincidence that the titular “Rogue One” squad was given that name and it’s plausible that there is in fact a link to the Rogue Squadron of the original trilogy. A cameo by a very young Wedge Antilles could pretty much confirm that, and be a nice nod to a fan favorite.
2. DON’T Want: Mara Jade
The Empire had several warriors and assassins under their employ during the Emperor’s reign: the infamous Mara Jade, for example. The “Star Wars: Legends” expanded universe introduced her in “Heir to the Empire,” the first instalment of the “Thrawn Trilogy.” She was a strong, complex character who began her career as a smuggler. Mara later revealed that she was in service to the Emperor, struggling to resist the telepathic potency of his last command to kill Luke Skywalker, even after the Emperor died. With Luke’s help, she was eventually freed from his grip and the two actually end up marrying and bearing a son, Ben Skywalker.
There have been rumors that some “Star Wars: Legends” characters may be re-introduced into the new canon and the possibilities are exciting. Unfortunately, as great as it would be to see some sort of cameo of the Mara Jade on the big screen, she’d have to be a villainous character and the film would have to allude to her connection with Luke somehow for her appearance to make any sense to those who aren’t familiar with the novels or comics.
1. DO Want: The Rebels
The animated “Star Wars: Rebels” series is set roughly in the same period of time as the upcoming “Rogue One” film, and follows the adventures of Kanan Jarrus, a former Jedi; Ezra Bridger, Kanan’s current padawan; Hera Syndulla, captain of the Ghost; Sabine Wren, a Mandalorian warrior; and finally, Garazeb Orrelios, the muscle and former Lasan Honor Guard.
There’s already been some speculation that the crew of rebels will make some kind of a cameo in “Rogue One” and why not? Their part in the war is important, and who better to help steal the Death Star plans than rebels who already perform covert missions on a consistent basis? With the inclusion of Saw Gerrera, who was introduced in the “Clone Wars” series, “Rogue One” has already established its link to the animated “Star Wars” universe, so it’s not impossible for the crew of the Ghost to turn up somewhere in the film.
Who do you hope to see (or not) in the upcoming Rogue One: A Star Wars Story? Let us know in the comments!
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