We haven't got long now until Rogue One is finally released, and just as they did last year with The Force Awakens, Disney/Lucasfilm are bombarding us with trailers, clips, and TV spots to promote the Star Wars story. The latest of these — interestingly entitled "Ghost" — features a couple of sneaky cameos from some beloved #StarWars characters... from a distance.
Check out the shot of the Rebel fleet, and see if you spot any familiar ships:
Along with the prominent Nebulon-B frigate, a few X-wings, and some other Rebel vessels, we can see the distinctive shape of the Tantive IV — a.k.a. Princess Leia's ship from A New Hope.
The Star Wars: Rebels ship the Ghost seems to be flying alongside the Tantive IV, which makes sense as Leia is an old ally of the Ghost crew, after they helped her steal three Hammerhead corvettes for the Alliance in Rebels Season 2.
This is such a neat little Easter Egg for fans of both Star Wars: Rebels and the Star Wars original trilogy. The Tantive IV's presence in this battle (which presumably takes place above Scarif) isn't surprising, as the Organa family were an important part of the Rebel Alliance. At this point in time the Rebel fleet isn't that large, so they'd need all the help they could get in what seems to be the Rebellion's first large-scale assault against the Empire.
The Ghost is a little more surprising, but considering the Rebels crew were a crucial part in the fledgling Alliance when it was first being formed, it's really nice to catch a glimpse of what the animated series characters are up to during the events of the Galactic Civil War. But does this mean we'll see onscreen cameos from Leia, or the Rebels characters?
Leia Will Probably Appear
Leia has been one of the prime candidates for cameoing in Rogue One, thanks to her role in the Rebellion and the fact that Jyn's crew are stealing the very same Death Star plans that Leia hides in the opening of A New Hope.
However, recasting such an iconic character would make Rogue One feel rather jarring, and out of time with the original trilogy. So for a while we thought maybe we wouldn't see Leia, but the appearance of the Tantive IV in this TV spot makes us doubt that. There's also this leaked cast list from Reddit user tphilb — who came across the list as part of their job, and although they don't have definitive proof it seems legit — which lists Princess Leia as played by Ingvild Deila.
While Deila and Carrie Fisher don't exactly resemble each other, it's possible that we will see Leia very briefly, possibly on the decks of the Tantive IV during the Scarif battle, or in a brief sequence towards the end of the film, when she retrieves the plans from Jyn or Mon Mothma.
And we definitely know one Organa will appear: Bail Organa, Leia's adoptive father, popped up in a clip from Rogue One that was recently released.
So it seems that the Organas will play a small, but important role in Rogue One.
The Ghost Crew
As much as I would love to see Ezra, Kanan, Hera, Zeb, and Sabine in Rogue One (it would make my life, not gonna lie), this is a very remote possibility. It's fantastic that the Rogue One production crew snuck the Ghost into the Scarif battle sequence, as this stresses that Star Wars is an expansive narrative, that every story is connected and contributes to the wider saga.
However, with Kathleen Kennedy's recent comments, it's almost definite that this brief shot of the Ghost is as close as we're going to get to seeing the Rebels crew on the big screen.
When asked what other animated characters we could see in the movies, after Saw Gerrera was added to Rogue One, this is what Kennedy had to say:
"That really isn't the approach we have. We don’t sit down and start isolating a list of characters and then build stories around those. We really are starting with the stories themselves and then if some of those characters might come in to what it is we want to do or say we’ll consider it then but that’s not part of the strategy, no."
Although this is disappointing, it makes sense. Just like recasting Leia, showing the Rebels characters as anything other than animated would be a tad jarring, though not necessarily bad. If we do see them in Rogue One, it'll likely be from a distance — and possibly just from the external shot of the Ghost.
Still, these are some awesome Easter Eggs.