12 classic Star Wars Easter eggs hidden in the Rogue One trailer

Felicity Jones is definitely living in the past

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The first trailer for Rogue One: A Star Wars story was released last week and it was a nostalgic delight, full of brilliant references and returns from the original film trilogy sure to bring a smile of recognition to the face of any fan who held onto their collection of Star Wars figurines and toy spaceships in mint condition all these years (NBD, they’re worth like £30 more now, I don’t go on about it).

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Anyway, here are just a few of our favourite classic callbacks from the new footage – including a couple you probably didn’t spot…


1. Are you Yavin a laugh?

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One of the first things we see in the trailer is the Rebel base, which appears to be the same Yavin temple used by the organisation in first Star Wars film A New Hope (below).

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Either that or they just have a taste for retro stonework…


2. Rebel Rebel, your hat is a mess

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The distinctive headgear of these Rebel soldiers was seen in the very first Star Wars scene, as they defended Princess Leia’s ship from Imperial forces (far right).


3. Rebirth of Mothma

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Yes, that is Rebel leader Mon Mothma, last seen in Return of the Jedi played by Caroline Blakiston (far right). Fun fact: new actress Genevieve O’Reilly was actually set to play a younger version of Mothma once before in Revenge of the Sith (left), but her scene was eventually cut. Nice to see she made it in the end.


4. Gonks for the memories

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There’s a lot of returning technology in the trailer that we won’t dwell on (let’s be honest, we kinda expected to see X-Wings), but we couldn’t go without mentioning this iconic little cutie. The GNK power droid (aka a “Gonk droid” thanks to the noise they make) was a design classic from the original trilogy, and it’s great to see it back in action.


5. Computer says hello

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The setting for Jyn’s interrogation/recruitment at the beginning of the trailer seems to be the exact spot Leia and C-3PO followed the attack on the Death Star in 1977’s A New Hope, right down to the table they’re standing at.


6. Moist un-makers

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We still don’t know exactly who these scary stormtroopers are or what they’re doing, but it looks like they’ve blown up a moisture farm like the one Luke Skywalker and his family owned on Tatooine. If you look closely, the burning tower in the background closely resembles the equipment needed for the moisture extraction to take place.


7. Handy wipes

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The moment where the Death Star’s dish is lowered into place during construction seems to cause a subtle visual callback to George Lucas’ original films, with the retreating shadow closely resembling one of his iconic “wipe cuts” (see below).


8. Dressed to kill

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We may not know much about Ben Mendelsohn’s Imperial baddie yet, but Star Wars fans have spotted that his striking white uniform isn’t completely unique – it can be seen on the left-hand officer during the 1977 first film’s classic “I find your lack of faith disturbing” scene.

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This spiffy gent was unnamed in A New Hope but was later revealed as Colonel/ Deputy Director Yularen, a member of the Imperial Security Bureau (looking after Intelligence, state security and loyalty) and a former Admiral for the Galactic Republic (with the character appearing in TV animated spin-off Star Wars: The Clone Wars).

Whether this means Mendelsohn will also be a shadowy intelligence operative is unclear – it might just be that director Gareth Edwards took a shine to the uniform, or it could be worn by Imperials of certain ranks even within different departments. After all, Yularen’s rank insignia is quite different to that worn by Mendelsohn’s character. 

So yeah, maybe it wasn’t that revelatory a discovery after all. Oh well…


9. Screen of Death

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While we’re looking at Mendelsohn it’s worth noting that the plans behind him seem to be projected onto the Death Star’s viewing platform, the very same place where Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher) watched her home planet of Alderaan destroyed by the space station’s main weapon.


10. Totally tubular!

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There’s quite a lot going on in this one. The red-suited guards are the Emperor’s personal henchmen (implying he’s somewhere nearby), while the tube and general decor of the room look like a cross between Darth Vader’s chambers from The Empire Strikes back and this bacta life support tube used by Luke Skywalker in the same film (note the hanging pipes).

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We’re still not sure if that kneeling figure is Darth Vader but he sure seems to share his sense of style…


11. Betrayal over Bespin

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This final (awesome) shot of Jyn wearing badass Imperial gear seems to be inspired by Luke and Darth Vader’s iconic lightsaber duel at the end of the Empire Strikes Back, and more specifically the corridors the pair move through during their battle in Bespin’s Cloud City.

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However, we think Jyn’s corridor is probably within the Death Star itself, with the lights along the walls very much within the space station’s normal aesthetic (below).

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12. A bit TIE-d up

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Speaking of Jyn’s outfit, it’s worth pointing out that she’s wearing the gear of an Imperial TIE fighter pilot, as seen a few times throughout the original trilogy. We’ve gone into more detail about what it could all mean elsewhere, but we basically think Jyn is stealing a TIE fighter to sneak into the Death Star in the film, and yes it is EXTREMELY exciting.


So that’s what we have so far – though our hunt for secret Star Wars references goes on. In fact, we’re just gonna watch several hours more of Star Wars for even more “research”. We only have a few months to prepare, after all…

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Rogue One: A Star Wars Story will be released on 16 December