Minor (non-plot specific) spoilers ahead for Rogue One. You can read on without ruining the film — put that blaster back in its holster!
It may be a spin-off (and an excellent one at that), but #RogueOne lives in the Star Wars universe, a vast web of history and lore expanded by comics, video games and animated series, so it shouldn't be much of a shock that Gareth Edwards's film is packed full of Easter Eggs and homages to the wider universe. Everything from iconic lines popping up in unexpected places ("It's a trap!") to a clutch of cameos from Bail Organa, R2-D2 and C-3PO, to visuals such as Jyn's arrival on Yavin 4 directly recreating scenes from the original trilogy.
In other words, we got a lot (take a deeper dive into every # Easter Egg right here), and it might seem churlish to bemoan one little Easter Egg being left out of the final cut of Rogue One — but this was a good one.
Obviously, you remember this iconic scene from The Empire Strikes Back...
"Nerf-herder" is a gloriously crap insult, partly because for a long time nobody knew what it actually meant and partly because Leia wasn't exactly in possession of her chill when she delivered it. But it's iconic, the sort of thing you might say to your brother who's too cool for #StarWars knowing it would piss him off.
So what's the Rogue One connection? Well, according to the film's co-writer Gary Whitta...
...Rogue One nearly featured genuine nerfs being herded! Nerfs, in the unlikely event that you're not totally learned about your Star Wars creatures, are buffalo-esque cattle. In a recent issue (#17) of #Marvel's new Star Wars comics line, Luke and Han take on a smuggling job, but discover that the item they're required to move is none other than an entire herd of nerfs, Han thus becoming the very thing Leia described him as in Empire.
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Presumably we might have seen the nerfs in question being herded on Galen's farm had that homage been left in the final draft of the script. But hey, there's always that young Han Solo spin-off for some cattle-based adventure time.
Which was your favorite Easter Egg in Rogue One?