If you thought that every single secret had already been squeezed out of Star Wars prequel/spin-off Rogue One, then we find your lack of faith disturbing – because we’ve discovered yet another unusual behind-the-scenes Easter Egg hidden in the blockbuster sci-fi.
Still, you shouldn’t feel too bad for missing this one, as it concerns some details that weren’t actually revealed in the film itself – the names of some of Rogue One’s brave X-Wing pilots who battled in the skies of tropical planet Scarif towards the end of the film.
Many fans noted a familiar face or two among the high-fliers (including Utopia star Geraldine James, below, and Yonderland’s Simon Farnaby), but their character names (as opposed to their callsigns of Blue Four, Gold Five etc) were left a mystery until the release of official tie-in Rogue One: The Ultimate Visual Guide.
And that’s when we noticed something odd – because the official character names of Rogue One’s Blue Squadron bear a striking resemblance to the real names of the actors playing them, making use of anagrams, rhymes and rearrangements to turn the letters into something suitably sci-fi.
For example, Geraldine James becomes the anagrammatic Jaldine Gerams (aka Blue Three) and Simon Faranaby is Farns Monsbee, with Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell’s Ariyon Bakare changed to Barion Raner.
Elsewhere Rogue One’s first assistant director Toby Hefferman has been immortalised as U-Wing pilot “Heff Tobber,” and we wouldn’t be surprised to learn that other stars of the squadron have a similar nomenclative link to their characters.
For now it’s unclear whether this was just an easy way to give names to unnamed characters from the film (in Rogue One’s credits they’re referred to by their callsigns if at all) for the book tie-in or a gag hidden by the filmmakers, but one thing is for sure – these actors will have a much easier job of remembering their weird character names than Star Wars stars of the past.