In the aftermath of the Rogue One trailer drop, fans are eager to learn which characters from the Star Wars original trilogy will appear in the new standalone film. Mon Mothma, the measured Rebellion leader from Return of the Jedi will clearly have a starring role. And Darth Vader is all but officially confirmed, with multiple rumors pointing towards his appearance in the film and the trailer concluding with chords from the classic Imperial Death March.
But there's another classic Star Wars character hiding in the trailer, if you're beady-eyed enough to spot them.
Yes, it looks like the beloved GNK droid, fondly referred to as "Gonk Droid" by fans, will appear in Rogue One.
Wait, What's Gonk Droid?
The GNK droid first appeared in A New Hope, as one of the broken-down robots the jawas were selling. Thanks to its box-like design (very easy to make for Halloween costumes), this walking trash can soon became a cult favorite among fans. And here it is in the Rogue One trailer! (Hat-tip to Gizmodo for pointing this out.)
Even the cast of Star Wars itself love the little Gonk Droid: Oscar Isaac has revealed in interviews that he used to dress up as the character when he was a child, and he explained why the robot is his favorite underrated character to Popsugar.
"Underrated character? Gonk Droid. The Gonk Droid is an underrated character. You know it goes like 'gonk, gonk, gonk' and it's a little box."
The inclusion of the Gonk Droid in Rogue One isn't just a cute nod to the fans, though. This also proves that director Gareth Edwards is really embracing the aesthetic of the original trilogy, perfectly replicating the Yavin Base.
Aesthetics aside though, the appearance of Gonk Droid in Rogue One also proves that Edwards really knows his stuff, as the little robot has actually had an exciting part in the Rebellion.
An Unsung Rebel Hero
Along with many other minor and minuscule canon characters, the Gonk Droid had a rich history in the Expanded Universe. All of this was of course declared non-canon when Disney deemed these stories "legends," but the Gonk Droid refused to be erased from the narrative. The droid appeared again in the Star Wars: Rebels episode "Blood Sisters," as a brave Resistance fighter. Yeah, you read that right.
In the tradition of R2-D2 and BB-8, the Gonk Droid was hiding Rebel secrets in its data banks, which Sabine and Ezra were tasked with retrieving. The Gonk Droid helped out when the gang were ambushed by the Empire, and eventually found its way back to the Rebel Alliance, along with the vital information it was carrying.
There's no way of knowing whether this GNK droid is the same one to appear in Rogue One, and even if that droid is the same one as we see in A New Hope. But that would make for an interesting little Star Wars story: The brave Rebel droid that helped the Alliance on dangerous spy missions, only to wind up on a dusty jawa market on Tatooine.
Who knows — in another version of the story, maybe it's the Gonk Droid and not R2-D2 who was chosen by Luke Skywalker, and ended up embarking on a grand adventure!
Of course, it's highly unlikely that the Gonk Droid will have a big role in Rogue One. But the inclusion of the robot really speaks to the vast history of Star Wars, proving that no matter how small and insignificant the character is, they can still make a difference to the course of galactic history.