This Major ‘Star Wars Rebels’ Easter Egg Was In ‘The Rise of Skywalker’
The Rise of Skywalker used quite a bit of nostalgia. Which makes sense since it’s the third and final film in Star Wars’ sequel trilogy, along with the final movie in the whole nine-part Skywalker saga. A few of those references and callbacks were aimed at past films. Including a couple Easter eggs from the animated Star Wars TV show, Star Wars Rebels. Spoilers ahead for The Rise of Skywalker.
The ship ‘Ghost’ made an appearance in ‘The Rise of Skywalker’
Star Wars Rebels follows a crew of rebels, as you probably guessed. The group includes a Jedi named Kanan and his Padawan, Ezra, along with their pilot and beloved friend Hera, their “muscle” Zeb, weapons expert (and Mandalorian) Sabine, and Chopper their trusted droid pal. The show takes place five years before A New Hope (its Epilogue also ends a year after Return of the Jedi).
In The Rise of Skywalker, their ship, Ghost, is seen in the fleet Lando Calrissian brings with him to help the Resistance against Palpatine’s battalion on Exegol. It was a blink-and-you’ll miss it moment, but eagle-eyed fans might have spotted it. Creature and special make-up effects creative supervisor, Neal Scanlan, confirmed it was there to Yahoo. “J.J. was very keen on us getting some of that Star Wars history and nods to other series in there, because he loves that stuff so much,” he said.
And it wasn’t just Ghost. “The Fireball from Resistance is in there, and there are some other ships from the other animated series. You throw them in the giant fleet, and they get a lost a little bit in the mix.” Of course, Star Wars Rebels star Freddie Prinze Jr. (he voiced Kanan) spotted it, and also pointed out to Yahoo that Ghost appeared in Rogue One too.
The shows helped inspire co-writer Chris Terrio
In addition to Abrams liking that type of throw in reference, co-writer Chris Terrio also said he looked to the series Star Wars Rebels and The Clone Wars for inspiration. “If you look hard enough, so many directions in which you could take the story have already been done, and done really well, by novelists or comic book writers or [longtime Lucasfilm director/producer] Dave Filoni and his collaborators in TV shows,” Terrio told Rolling Stone in an interview on Dec. 13.
In addition to The Clone Wars and Star Wars Rebels, Terrio mentioned Timothy Zahn’s novels and Chuck Wendig’s Aftermath novels.
The big Force voices scene had a lot some cameos from the animated series, too
One of the biggest moments for cameos from past films and series is when Rey is fighting Palpatine on Exegol. He almost beats her, but she calls on the Jedi through the Force and hears them all rooting her on. In addition to Anakin Skywalker (Hayden Christensen), Obi-Wan Kenobi (Ewan McGregor and Alex Guinness), Mace Windu (Samuel L. Jackson), Qui-Gon Jinn (Liam Neeson) and Yoda (Frank Oz), characters from the shows were there as well. And of course, Mark Hamill’s Luke Skywalker made a Force ghost and voice appearance.
Ahsoka Tano (Ashley Eckstein) was a big one that Abrams teased and delivered on. Other Jedi from The Clone Wars included Luminara Unduli (Olivia d’Abo), Aayla Secura (Jennifer Hale), and Adi Gallia (Angelique Perrin). And Prinze Jr.’s Kanan is heard as well.
Fans of Star Wars that live for these sort of Easter eggs were thriving during The Rise of Skywalker. While it’s all said and done, the movie included key elements from the most important Star Wars shows.