(SPOILERS FOR ROGUE ONE AHEAD)
One of the standout moments from Rogue One: A Star Wars Story that had long-time fans of Star Wars jumping in their seats and cheering was when Red Leader Garven Dreis (Drewe Henley) and Gold Leader Jon Vander (Angus MacInnes) showed up during the climactic space battle over Scarif. The footage used was from the original Star Wars and it was seamlessly integrated into the new picture.
Speaking with Radio Times, Gareth Edwards revealed how the opportunity to include Red and Gold Leader in Rogue One presented itself:
“And as we’re walking around, and doing all the cool things and looking at the Millennium Falcon and trying on Han Solo’s jacket and things like that, in the back at the bottom was all these cans of film. And we said ‘what are they?’ and they said ‘Oh, it’s Star Wars….And you go… ‘has someone gone through all this? And it’s like ‘not really, they’re not fully like digitised at all.’”
Edwards turned the footage over to the magicians and wizards at ILM to work their magic:
“We got the neg documents and found the clips from A New Hope that hadn’t been used. And there’s pilot photography and lines that were never featured in A New Hope….Through the magic of ILM [special effect studio Industrial Light and Magic] they cut round them and manipulated them and stuck them into our cockpits It’s the sort of thing you think, ‘how many people will notice?’ Do you know what I mean? It’s like, is this a lot of effort for very little reward?”
We noticed Gareth, we noticed. I basically jumped back in my seat and yelped. I had bought a Rogue One t-shirt at the concession stand before going into the auditorium and almost began spinning it around my head like a helicopter. Seeing Red and Gold leader again was something I could never have imagined and is the easter egg I appreciate the most in the film as it completely took me back to being a 7-year old again. This easter egg, along with plenty of others, shows how effective fan service can be when it is done well and Rogue One did it perfectly.
SOURCE: RADIO TIMES