Even though we just got a brand new Star Wars movie for the first time in a decade last year with Star Wars: The Force Awakens, the wait leading up to Star Wars: Rogue One was a long one for many fans. Fear not, because the long wait is finally over! After months of countless trailers, rumors and reshoots, the first ever standalone movie taking place in the Star Wars universe is finally here. Even though the movie does stand on its own, and isn't completely void of flaws, it is absolutely jam packed with fun references, easter eggs and throwbacks to all kinds of stuff from every corner of the Star Wars galaxy far, far away.
Disney purchased all of Lucasfilm from George Lucas back in 2012 for more than $4 billion and in that time, we have now seen two new live-action Star Wars movies, with many more sure to come. The sample size may be small, but it is very clear that these new movies are going to do their best to stand on their own two feet, but they are also going to honor what came before. So far, this has been done through references, Star Wars cameos and a whole bunch of Easter eggs. Some of them are right on the surface and other ones only the most hardcore Star Wars fans will pick up on, but they are plentiful.
J.J. Abrams wasn't shy at all about paying homages to the other great Star Wars movies that came before when he directed Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Though there were a ton of hidden Easter eggs in the movie, it is pretty clear that the movie borrowed a lot from Star Wars: A New Hope in terms of character and plot structure. In a lot of ways, it could be argued that the movie was almost a remake that managed to remain part of the established continuity. Star Wars: Rogue One is very different in that it is very much its own, new story. But it is still heavily tied and rooted to the events of Star Wars: A New Hope.
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, for those who may not know, is a prequel movie that takes place in the time between the events of Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith and Star Wars: A New Hope and tells the story of how the Rebels got their hands on the plans for the Empire's planet-destroying weapon, the Death Star. This is something that was originally teased in the opening crawl of the original Star Wars back in 1977, so it is heavily tied to the events of that movie, but is a story not told previously in the Star Wars universe.
Given that the events of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story directly affect what we saw take place in Star Wars: A New Hope, there was a lot of opportunity for the creative team to make little connections that fans of the franchise will appreciate. There are a ton of Easter eggs and references in this first Star Wars standalone movie. Some you probably caught and some you might not have, but here are the most significant ones. Fair warning, this article will contain spoilers for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, so if you haven't seen the movie yet, you may want to wait on this.
The Rebel Scope Tower
When our heroes Jyn Erso and Cassian Andor leave Yavin IV for Jedha, we see a familiar site. The Scope tower, where one lone rebel soldier is stationed, always on the look out for any unmarked or unrecognizable ships. The white-helmeted security guard stands at attention at all times obviously, and he hasn't moved much since we last saw him in A New Hope, as Luke, Han, Leia and the rest of the Millennium Falcon crew first arrived on Massassi Base. The shot we see in Rogue One is almost identical to the shot in the 1977 original were the X-wings take off to fight against the Death Star.
Blue Bantha Milk in the Erso home
This little Easter egg shows up quite early in Star Wars: Rogue One and is one of those "blink and you'll miss it" kind of things. But those attune Star Wars fans who noticed the blue milk in the opening sequence of the movie likely got a kick out of it. Blue milk is another thing that has its origins in Star Wars: A New Hope. We see Luke Skywalker drinking some at the dinner table with his aunt and uncle on Tatooine. In Rogue One, we see some of it on the counter when the young version of Jyn Erso was gathering her things in order to make her way to safety when Orson Krennic was coming to recruit her father Galen Erso to help with the construction of the Death Star. As for what blue milk is exactly? Well, according to Wookiepedia, it actually comes from Banthas, but that hasn't been confirmed in the new Star Wars canon at any point.