While Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is a stunning film on the surface, any hardcore Star Wars fan knows that some of the it's most memorable moments include callbacks and references to other parts of the Star Wars saga. Fans of the animated series Star Wars Rebels were especially excited to see the Ghost, the Hammerhead Corvettes, and even Chopper himself make a cameo in the film.
In a new interview with i09, some of the creators behind Rogue One discussed what went into bringing the ships of Rebels into their film. First off, animation supervisor Hal Hickel describes the way these type of connections come about:
“You see the film and think it’s a kind of corporate synergy. But really it’s just casual and friendly contact between folks at Lucasfilm working on different aspects of the Star Wars universe and going, ‘This would be super cool. Can we put your ship in our movie?’”
Star Wars Rebels' primary ship, the Ghost, makes several appearances in Rogue One, including being parked outside the Rebel base on Yavin IV early in the film, and being among of the fleet of Rebel ships at the Battle of Scarif. Executive producer John Knolls tells how they put the Ghost on the big screen:
“I was chatting with [Rebels executive producer] Dave Filoni. [I asked] ‘How would you feel about having the Ghost show up somewhere in Rogue One?’ They were all excited about the idea.”
One of the more prominent Rebels cameos was the appearance of the Hammerhead Corvettes, one of which is used to push one Star Destroyer into another, which breaks through the Scarif shield gate during the climatic space battle. In Star Wars Rebels, which is set just a few years prior to Rogue One, the ships made their debut in the season two episode, "A Princess On Lothal". In that episode, Princess Leia works with Phoenix Squadron to help the Rebel Alliance acquire the vessels.
When work began on Rogue One's space battle, Knoll went to the Lucasfilm Story Group to ask which ships could be part of the Alliance's fleet:
"[They said] Well, they could have the Hammerhead Corvette' and they showed me some images from Rebels. So that prompted me to grab the model and make a movie version of it. And we had that underway as a background ship when we were fleshing out some of the story beats of what happens in the space battle. Suddenly I needed a ship that could act as a tugboat and I thought, 'Well, let’s use the Hammerhead for that.' So it kind of turned into a starring role."
He further explains that the Rogue One production team got their hands on the CG models of the Hammerheads and added more details to them to match the film's aesthetic. So, in other words, the Hammerhead Corvettes you see in Rebels are literally the same ships we see in Rogue One.
Be sure to head over to i09 to read the full interview!
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