*Warning: This article contains spoilers for Star Wars Rebels Season 3, Episode 18*
Most of the attention on the latest Star Wars Rebels episode, "Secret Cargo," was understandably directed at revolutionary leader Mon Mothma, who made her long awaited appearance in the animated series. But, like moths to a flame, fans blinded by the light in front of them may have missed another familiar, digitized face in the background.
In the episode, the Rebels meet with Gold Squadron, a starfighter squadron who are part of the Rebel Alliance. The leader of the group, Jon 'Dutch' Vander, first appeared in A New Hope (1977), played by Angus MacInnes. Dutch was a pilot from Onderon, who initially worked for the Galactic Empire, before having a change of heart and switching allegiance to the rebellion, eventually playing a key role in the battles of Scarif and Yavin.
Jon Vander: From 'A New Hope' To 'Rogue One'
In the #StarWars timeline, Rebels slots into the space between the prequels and Rogue One, fleshing out the context of the struggle the Rebel Alliance faced, long before they attempted to steal the plans to the Death Star. This results in an overlap of certain characters with the likes of Saw Gerrera appearing in both CGI and live-action form.
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Although making his first appearance way back when it all began, Jon Vander, too, featured in #RogueOne; his character was revived in the key battle scene, with a clever mix of unused archive footage from A New Hope (from footage of the rebel attack on the Death Star) and new audio — with MacInnes adding his voice to. In #StarWarsRebels, however, Yuri Lowenthall took over speaking duties.
Mon Mothma Puts The Wheels Of Rebellion In Motion
In "Secret Cargo," Senator Mon Mothma (voiced by Genevieve O’Reilly, who played the role in Revenge of the Sith and Rogue One) delivers a speech on her home planet, condemning the Emperor Palpatine, referring to him as a "lying executioner," after peaceful protesters were massacred by the Galactic Empire on the planet of Ghorman.
Mothma's controversial (but ultimately apt) speech makes her a target on her planet, so the Ghost Crew — the rebel group led by Kanan Jarrus and Hera Syndulla — join forces with the Gold Squadron, led by Jon Vander, to make the high stakes transfer of Mothma to the planet of Dantooine, where she will meet rebel cells in a meeting that is set to change the entire galaxy.
With the recent announcement that Rebels has been renewed for a fourth season, the series is primed to include more and more familiar faces as the events etch closer and closer to familiar live-action territory, eventually linking up with Rogue One and A New Hope. Sadly, we already know the tragic fate of Jon Vander...
Did you recognise Jon "Dutch" Vander in Star Wars Rebels?
(Source: Star Wars)