‘Star Wars’: ‘Rogue One’ Director Technically Saved the Original Trilogy’s Entire Rebel Alliance Because of What He Did in the Final Scene

Since its creation, Star Wars has been one of the most popular and financially successful film franchises in entertainment. The iconic franchise has one of the most memorable stories in the cinematic world, chronicling the dramatic “tragedy of Anakin Skywalker.” 

The events of episodes four through six are some of the most memorable in the film world, telling a compelling story of a war between the Galactic Empire and the Rebel Alliance. The many battles between both sides of the conflict remains provocative for diehard fans of the franchise, even today. But what would the Star Wars story be like if none of the events in episodes four through six ever occurred? 

According to Rogue One’s director, this could have been a reality if not for one major event that happened in the film’s final scene.

‘Rogue One’ answered a lot of questions about the original ‘Star Wars’ trilogy

Rogue One rebel soldiers

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Although Rogue One was released in 2016, its story actually chronicles the moments just before the events that occurred in A New Hope nearly 40 years ago. Because A New Hope takes place in the midst of the galactic war, viewers are forced to infer many details about several key plot points, namely how the Death Star plans were stolen and ended up in Princess Leia’s possession.

Rogue One addresses these questions by giving viewers an in-depth look at the earliest days of the Rebel Alliance and the massive sacrifices the brave heroes had to make in order to push things forward. Many lives were lost throughout the movie, but Rogue One tells us everything we need to know about how A New Hope came to fruition. 

The Death Star plans were essential to the Rebel Alliance’s success

The Death Star plans are a central plot device of Rogue One and all of the events that took place in the original trilogy. Without them, the Rebel Alliance would have had no idea how to destroy the Death Star and overthrow Palpatine’s Galactic Empire.

Even though fans of the original Star Wars trilogy know how important the Death Star plans are for the success of the rebels, Rogue One delves even deeper, showing the great lenghts the Rebel Alliance went to in order to obtain them. 

Specifically, Rogue One, details how Jyn Erso, Cassian Andor, and K-2S0 pivot away from the plans of the rebel leaders and steal a ship that allows them to recover the plans from Scarif. After a lengthy raid on the planet leaves all three of characters dead, the plans end up in the hands of a small rebel crew. They’re able to get the plans to Princess Leia in the nick of time, giving “hope” to the alliance. 

The ‘Rogue One’ director believes one soldier saved the Rebel Alliance

In the final scene of Rogue One, Darth Vader boards a small rebel ship that contains the Death Star plans, and subsequently wipes out nearly every soldier on board. In the midst of the melee, several rebel soldiers manage to get away with the plans, passing them off to Princess Leia. It is these soldiers who are responsible for keeping the war alive, but according to the film’s director, Edward Gareth (who also had a cameo role as one of the rebels aboard the ship), one in particular deserves the most credit.

“I knew I wanted to have a cameo in the film because I love Star Wars so much, but I was saving it for the right thing,” he told WIRED. “It felt very appropriate to play the guy who runs down the corridor and pulls the handle. I’d like to think that guy is kind of the savior of the entire rebellion, really. The whole original trilogy and the prequels all comes through that one person; if it wasn’t for him, there’d be no Star Wars.”