Rogue One: A Star Wars Story featured the return of many characters from the Star Wars franchise including Bail Organa, Princess Leia, Mon Mothma, and General Dodonna. But the moment that had many fans cheering was when both Red Leader Gaven Dreis and Gold Leader Jon Vander popped up during the climactic Battle of Scarif. Director Gareth Edwards was able to seamlessly interweave unused footage from A New Hope into Rogue One to make it work, along with some additional dialogue recorded by Gold Leader himself, Angus MacInness. But there were several other pilots missing from the climactic space battle including perhaps the most popular pilot in all the Rebel fleet, Wedge Antilles (Denis Lawson) was nowhere to be found.
While we know Wedge was indeed a member of the Rebel Alliance at the time of Rogue One thanks to Star Wars Rebels filling in his backstory, a quick rewatch of A New Hope would easily make one understand Wedge’s absence from the film but instead, a fan reached out to Lucasfilm story group executive Pablo Hidalgo for clarification.
As soon as Wedge lays eyes on the Death Star he exclaims “Look at the size of that thing!”. If Wedge were to have appeared at the Battle of Scarif it would have presented a continuity error for A New Hope. The Lucasfilm story group works incredibly hard and meticulously as to not let mistakes like these from happening within canon as Lucasfilm continues to expand storytelling in the Star Wars universe across multiple mediums including, film, television, video games, comic books, and novels.
Lucasfilm sound designer and supervising sound editor of The Force Awakens, Rogue One, and The Last Jedi, Matthew Wood jumped in to add that Wedge’s voice does indeed appear in Rogue One on the intercom system of the Massasi Temple base on Yavin 4, announcing may the force be with you to the Rebel personnel.
Wedge (voice of @DavidAnkrum1 ) is on Yavin 4, announcing to flight personnel to report in & redirect to Scarif, MTFBWY. He stays on Yavin.
— Matthew Wood (@matthewood) January 28, 2017
While Lawson plays Wedge in the film, it was actor David Ankrum whose voice had to be dubbed over Lawson in A New Hope as Lawson did not master an American accent until The Empire Strikes Back. So when it came time to record the dialogue for Wedge, Wood went to Ankrum instead of Lawson. Lawson has also been very vocal about his disinterest in returning to the franchise. The actor told The Courier back in 2014 that “it would have just bored me” when he was asked to return for The Force Awakens.
So now that we have the answer to Wedge’s whereabouts cleared out of the way, it’s time to focus on the more important question that did not receive a definitive answer from Hidalgo which is just where exactly was Porkins during the Battle of Scarif? Maybe Borgullet knows the truth…