Rogue One: A Star Wars Story was a major risk for the Star Wars franchise. The film itself was an experiment that would ultimately influence Lucasfilm’s future direction as it expands the universe with standalone films outside of the Skywalker Saga. Having now crossed the billion-dollar mark at the box office, we can expect Lucasfilm will continue to take risks that push the boundaries of what we know as Star Wars for years to come.
There were plenty of incredible things about Rogue One but arguably the most incredible aspect of the film was how it expertly wove into the beginning of the original Star Wars. The end of Rogue One changes the way we experience Darth Vader’s entrance on the Tantive IV and informs Princess Leia’s introduction in A New Hope. But ever since we saw Princess Leia at the Battle of Scarif, myself and many fans have wondered just what exactly was she doing there before she made the jump to Tatooine? Thankfully, the brilliant minds of the Lucasfilm story group have thought all of this out ahead of time and have finally given us our answer.
In the latest episode of The Star Wars Show, Pablo Hidalgo explained that Leia’s adoptive father, Bail Organa, was going to have Admiral Raddus escort her on her mission to retrieve Obi-Wan Kenobi:
“The plan was always that Leia was going to go to Tatooine to pick up Obi-Wan and Raddus was going to escort her. They were all going to go together. Then the news of Scarif came in, and that was deemed more important… because it’s the one warship that they have at this point.”
Hidalgo went further to add that the novelization of the film explains that the Tantive IV was undergoing repairs inside The Profundity (Raddus’ ship), explaining why it was docked there, to begin with.
Story group member Leland Chee also revealed that Leia was originally planned to appear at the Massassi base on Yavin 4 but ultimately, her cameo was saved for the end which allowed for a much more meaningful appearance. The shift of this cameo allowed for C-3PO and R2-D2 to pop up instead.
You can check out the full video below which also includes some discussion on the brief appearance of Chopper and the canonization of The Journal of the Whills.