Why isn't Wedge Antilles in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story? The movie doesn't give us an answer, but hardcore fans had a pretty good idea why the iconic X-Wing pilot wouldn't have been around for the Battle of Scarif. Now, the official explanation has been confirmed, and it's exactly what many had expected. Wedge Antilles was the only X-Wing pilot to survive both assaults on the Death Star, but he didn't even get a chance to go up against it in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. Now we know why.
The folks over at the fan site Star Wars News Net uncovered a Twitter exchange that took place between a fan named Jack Lawrence and Lucasfilm Story Group's Pablo Hidalgo. He is one of the chosen few who keep the Star Wars canon in line and he actually had a good answer when asked about why Wedge wasn't featured in the final aerial battle above Scarif. According to Pablo Hidalgo, Wedge shouldn't be there because "he's never seen the Death Star before A New Hope." But, there was also a lack of footage.
"Wedge wouldn't be there. And amount of footage was a factor too. George did not "overshoot" SW, as evidenced by the edit."
George Lucas did shoot some extra footage, which featured unused shots of Red and Gold Leader, which director Gareth Edwards did use in Rogue One. Pablo Hidalgo went on to say that when Wedge Antilles approaches the Death Star at the end of Star Wars: A New Hope, he says "Look at the size of that thing!" The line very much implies that this is the first time his character has seen the battle station. Had he been present during the battle of Scarif, he would have seen the Death Star in action and this line wouldn't make any sense. Given that it is a pretty famous and effective line, it makes sense that they wouldn't want to undercut that by having Wedge present during the Scarif battle. So where was he? Well, according to Skywalker Sound's Matthew Wood, he was on Yavin 4. Here is what he said to a fan who asked him a similar question on Twitter.
"Wedge (voice of @DavidAnkrum1 ) is on Yavin 4, announcing to flight personnel to report in & redirect to Scarif, MTFBWY. He stays on Yavin."
Wedge Antilles recently appeared in Star Wars Rebels and it was revealed that he started out as an Imperial Tie Fighter pilot who defected to the Rebellion. Given that a lot of Star Wars Rebels Easter eggs were present in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, it certainly seemed like Wedge could also make an appearance. Even though he didn't actually show up on screen, his whereabouts were accounted for. This is something hardcore Star Wars will probably find interesting, but even the more casual fan can look at something like this and appreciate just how meticulous Disney and Lucasfilm are when it comes to the new Star Wars canon. Seemingly everything is accounted for. The fact that questions like this regularly come up and Pablo Hidalgo pretty much always has a logical answer is impressive.
Wedge Antilles isn't exactly a major character in terms of screen time, but he is most definitely a very important one in the history of Star Wars, since he helped destroy both Death Stars. It is still very possible that Lucasfilm could have Wedge show up in another one of the Star Wars anthology movies they are planning, though, it isn't overly likely that he will show up in the young Han Solo movie, which just started filming. If we ever get to a point where Lucasfilm decides that a Rogue Squadron movie or something along those lines is a good idea, that would seem like a pretty logical fit. At least we know where he was when his buddies Red Leader and Gold Leader were busy getting the Death Star plans. You can check out the full Twitter exchange for yourself below.