5:30am PT by Graeme McMillan
'Rogue One': A Guide to the 'Star Wars' Characters Who've Appeared Before
For a movie that is, officially, a "stand-alone" spinoff of the central Star Wars series, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story certainly has a number of faces (or, in one case, a helmet) that might make people wonder where they've seen that person before. For the less Star Wars-obsessed amongst us, here's the answer.
Debuted in…the original 1977 Star Wars.
Last seen in…Star Wars: Rebels Season 2, Episode 20: "Twilight of the Apprentice, Part 2" (2015).
The most high-profile of the borrowed characters to appear in Rogue One, this is a rare chance to see Darth Vader in his prime — with the Empire in the ascendant, and absent any concern that perhaps there's a kid out there called Skywalker who might be a threat to him. As such, it's a Darth Vader that has only been glimpsed on the big screen before (in the original Star Wars), and who is only just beginning to be explored on the small-screen Star Wars: Rebels animated series, set in a time frame just prior to that of this movie — in other words, the Darth Vader that audiences have been waiting for all along.
Debuted in…1983's Return of the Jedi.
Last seen in…2005's Star Wars: Episode III — Revenge of the Sith.
A fan-favorite background character since her debut — in large part, likely because she's one of the few other female characters in the series outside of Princess Leia or Queen Amidala — Mon Mothma was a member of the Galactic Senate who went on to work with the Rebellion as both a tactical leader and inspirational figurehead throughout the length of its war with the Empire. Appearances in the Star Wars: The Clone Wars series established that she started out seeking to prevent war, but ultimately became one of the most important members of the Rebellion. Following events of Return of the Jedi, she would become the leader of the New Republic before, according to the prose novel Star Wars: Bloodline, stepping down due to failing health.
Debuted in…Star Wars: The Clone Wars Season 5, Episode 2: "A War on Two Fronts" (2012)
Last seen in…Star Wars: The Clone Wars Season 5, Episode 5: "Tipping Points" (2012)
A resistance fighter on the planet Onderon who fought against the rule of the Confederacy of Independent Systems during the Clone Wars — a fight aided by the Jedi, who helped train him — Gerrera would later be considered an extremist by both the Empire and the Rebellion for his tactics against Emperor Palpetine's rule. (This tendency might have come from the fact that he'd lost his sister to the struggle; she was killed during an early mission against the Confederacy.) Post-Rogue One, he would be considered a terrorist by some inside the New Republic for his actions during wartime. (Again, that last fact comes from the Star Wars: Bloodline prose novel.)
Debuted in…2002's Star Wars: Episode II — Attack of the Clones.
Last seen in…The prose novel Star Wars: Ahsoka (2016).
Princess Leia's adoptive father was mentioned in the original Star Wars movie, but he wouldn't actually show up onscreen until Attack of the Clones, as a member of the Galactic Senate unconvinced by what was going on. By the end of Episode III: Revenge of the Sith, he'd taken in the infant Leia to raise as his own, but he'd play an arguably larger role in events off-screen: as shown in the Ahsoka prose novel, he was one of the founders of the Rebel Alliance as audiences would come to know it in the original trilogy. Not bad for a man killed offscreen when Alderaan was destroyed in A New Hope.