While Rogue One: A Star Wars Story can comfortably be referred to as a victory for Lucasfilm- with the movie garnering not only stellar reviews but now upwards of $1 billion worldwide- there were still sticking points for some fans. I recall, even on my own accord, feeling that some of the A New Hope easter eggs were a little ham-fisted and emotionally manipulative. On that note, while many people loved the big surprise appearance at the end of a certain someone...there were a few who wondered why they were there, when there had been specific dialogue eluding to why they wouldn't be there.
Here's a minor *SPOILER* warning for the 13 of you who haven't seen Rogue One: A Star Wars Story yet...
So, remember how Bail Organa (Jimmy Smits) said that he was off to dispatch his daughter, Princess Leia, to Tattooine to go find Obi-Wan Kenobi? If you do, then you may wonder why it was that she was suddenly on that ship that was right over Scarif during Rogue One's climactic battle. After all, that earlier bit of dialogue seemed to contradict that she'd be around. Was she just thrown into the end of the film just for a bit of clumsy fan service? Perhaps they added that at the last second as part of the reshoots to give the film a more whimsical closing moment?
Turns out, there is a legitimate storyline explanation for how Leia ended up over Scarif instead of being en route to Tattooine to get Obi-Wan.
"The plan was always that Leia was going to go to Tatooine to pick up Obi-Wan and Raddus was going to escort her,” says Pablo Hidalgo, a member of the Star Wars Story group for Lucasfilm. “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."
It sure seems like something Leia would do, if she heard her fellow Rebels needed an assist.
Hidalgo and Leeland Chee, another member of the group, revealed this during an appearance on the Star Wars Show, and he even added that Leia was actually present for the big Rebel meeting on Yavin, but that they kept her off-camera for the sake of the big surprise at the end. Though they say that the appearance of C-3PO and R2-D2 was meant to tip viewers off to the fact that Leia was nearby.
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is still in theaters everywhere.