The Connection Between 'Star Wars: The Last Jedi' & 'Rogue One' You Definitely Missed
Warning: The following post contains major spoilers from Rogue One: A Star Wars Story and Star Wars: The Last Jedi. If you've seen neither, please avert your eyes.
Star Wars: The Last Jedi is undeniable fun. The latest blockbuster space opera in the 40-year-old series picks up shortly after The Force Awakens, with the Resistance on the run from an incoming First Order fleet. It's a chase that lasts more than two hours -- essentially the most expensive episode of Tom and Jerry you'll ever see.
For the chase to sustain that long run time, the First Order and the Resistance engage in a chess match of sorts. The Resistance pulls off a series of impressive escape gambits; the First Order surprises at almost every turn by being one step ahead. One of the more baffling instances occurs near the beginning, when it's revealed General Hux and his crew can track the Resistance through hyperspace. If you said to yourself, Wow! That seems convenient, Bad Guys! Don't be such a dick. As one eagle-eyed fan pointed out over the weekend, that fancy new tech was a pay-off planted more than a year ago in Rogue One.
Recall: Near the end of the spinoff, after infiltrating the Citadel Tower on Scarif, Jyn Erso (Felicity Jones) made a low-key but startling discovery. The databank there contained the Empire's Death Star plans and... some other secret files, one of which detailed, yep, "hyperspace tracking."
Pablo Hidalgo, one of Lucasfilm's creative execs, confirmed the connection on Twitter and elaborated with a snippet from his new book, The Last Jedi: The Visual Dictionary. "The next technological terror in Hux's arsenal is ready to be deployed -- active hyperspace tracking," read the excerpt. "Originally explored in its infancy by the secret Imperial think tank known as the Tarkin Initiative, it has now evolved from theory into reality."
If you're thinking to yourself, Wait, I feel like I've seen some sort of tracking before... like... in Rebels maybe? One sec:
He was tracking the Ghost with a tracking device. He had his eye on it. The whole thing is the tracking tech can't exist otherwise you don't have an end to The Empire Strike Back.— Pablo Hidalgo (@pablohidalgo) December 18, 2017
Jyn's find has become a crucial Easter egg that links Rogue One to the current Star Wars trilogy -- it also doubles as a good watching tip for viewers going forward.
Unsolicited pro tip: If something doesn't seem, on the surface, to move the plot forward, try looking at what it might be doing to character. (e.g.., Luke rushes off to save his friends in ESB only to need rescuing himself and thus further endangering his friends).— Pablo Hidalgo (@pablohidalgo) December 18, 2017
If only Jyn had had Twitter.