One question Star Wars fans have been wondering, though hasn't been answered, is how Rogue One: A Star Wars Story ties into Disney XD's current animated series Star Wars Rebels. So far, we haven't been given many clues. But Rebels Executive producer Dave Filoni has now offered his take on the matter.
Rogue One is the first-ever Star Wars spin-off movie made for the big screen. Sure, there were a couple of Ewok movies and an animated Clone Wars feature film. But this is an honest to god Star Wars movie that takes place in the same universe, but isn't tied to the Skywalker bloodline saga, save for a very cool and important Darth Vader cameo. What we know about the movie is that it takes place in the days just leading up to the events seen in the original 1977 Star Wars, which was later retitled A New Hope.
Star Wars Rebels also takes place in the time prior to A New Hope, but what is the bridge between Rebels and Rogue One? How do they tie together and connect? Well, this is what Dave Filoni had to say to Empire about the subject.
"I would say that there will be things that definitely have influenced each other and have been definitely accounted for. Something that I've been interested in, is I've been aware of kind of the look of the film and the characters in the film for a while. If you look at Rogue One, it's a much more gritty and very realistic-looking world and Rebels is a much more, when it starts out, colorful world. I've been slowly adapting, because I've been in the know, so that as we get closer to each other, things are going to naturally line up. I think our show will always be a bit more colorful, but it's meant to be able to ingest the look of certain things that are happening in the film. I think that will be a lot of fun for people."
Star Wars Rebels is currently in the midst of its third season. And it has proven to be one of Disney XD's most popular original programs. Rogue One isn't bringing any of the characters from that series to the big screen, but it is bringing one charter from the previous Star Wars animated series Clone Wars. Forest Whitaker will be portraying the live-action version of Saw Gerrera.
As it stands, it sounds like there will be more of a connection or tie-in between Star Wars Rogue One and Star Wars Rebels Season 4. Dave Filoni admits that the time line of the spin-off and the animated show is very close to one another, which causes its own set of challenges.
"[Rogue One is] so close to our timeline, there have been a lot of considerations going on there to say, "Okay, what is relevant and what are you guys doing?" How do we keep what they're doing special and an exciting reveal, but then still account for it in the things we're doing on our show? Luckily we have a story group, which is kind of the fiber that connects all the things going on. I talk to the people that I need to that are on the other productions to make sure we're all in sync. We've got this great tapestry being woven now, here at Lucasfilm, in all the different Star Wars areas to make sure the fans are getting this authentic experience and when their characters show up, it's meaningful and appropriate."
Many fans are expecting that Rogue One doesn't end well for its band of rebels who have set out to retrieve plans to the dreaded Death Star. And with good reason, as none of the characters are ever heard from again in the original trilogy, though they played quite an important role in the mythology of the saga. Will characters like Jyn Erso and Cassian Andor survive? Well, we haven't heard anything about Rogue One spawning a sequel. But if they do happen to perish, it's quite likely that these characters will pop-up in Star Wars Rebels somewhere further down the road.