The Star Wars hype train keeps rolling, with the first trailer for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story finally released and getting fans excited for December all over again (seriously, a Star Wars movie every holiday season is a gift we’ll gladly accept). Set prior to the events of A New Hope, Rogue One will tell the story of how the Rebel Alliance came into possession of the original Death Star plans. While the trailer already confirms one familiar Star Wars character who will be making an appearance (hello Mon Mothma!), as a prequel to the original trilogy, there is the potential for a slew of cameos from fan-favorite characters. Grand ‘Moff’ Tarkin is already confirmed, and it’s been all but confirmed that Darth Vader will be making an appearance, but in addition to the Dark Lord of the Sith, the following characters also have a good chance of turning up in Rogue One.
11. Admiral Ackbar
Sadly, Erik Bauersfeld, the actor who voiced Admiral Ackbar, passed away recently, which throws a bit of a wrench into the possibility of seeing the beloved military commander in Rogue One. Still, what better way to honor Bauersfeld and the character he gave voice to than by having Ackbar make a brief appearance? Bauersfeld reprised the character for a minor role in The Force Awakens, and given Ackbar’s important position in the Rebel Alliance, he would not feel out of place in the story of Rogue One. He wouldn’t necessarily have to have any lines either; even if he’s just utilized as a background character, Admiral Ackbar would help enhance Rogue One’s world-building elements and would be a nice treat for fans of the character.
10. Wedge Antilles
When the news broke a couple of years ago that Denis Lawson, who played Rebel ace pilot Wedge Antilles in the original Star Wars trilogy, had turned down the chance to return for The Force Awakens, it was disheartening, to say the least. Still, just because Lawson has chosen to distance himself from the character doesn’t mean Wedge should be thrown aside entirely. With Rogue One focusing so heavily on the Rebel Alliance and their war with the Empire, an appearance from one of the best X-Wing pilots around would fit right in. Plus, The Force Awakens only reinforced how much of a crowdpleaser Star Wars dogfights are (although maybe that had more to do with Oscar Isaac’s delightful Poe Dameron character), so an X-Wing vs. Tie Fighter battle would not feel out of place in Rogue One. And who better to lead the Rebel ships than Wedge Antilles?
9. Lando Calrissian
One of the most disappointing character absences in Star Wars: The Force Awakens was Billy Dee William’s Lando Calrissian. Williams has expressed interest in reprising the role for Episode 8, but whether or not that happens (here’s hoping it does!), there’s no reason a younger incarnation of the character couldn’t turn up elsewhere. While it’s doubtful that Rogue One will have the time to fit in a Lando cameo, how cool would it be if the film somehow featured the legendary card playing scene between Lando and Han, in which the latter won the Millennium Falcon? You just know Disney is going to feature that scene in a Star Wars film someday and since Rogue One is set before the original trilogy, it could very well be this one.
Hey, maybe Rogue One will finally give us that Porkins origin story we’ve all been clamoring for. Wait, nobody actually wants that? Well, if J.J. Abrams can cast his portly buddy Greg Grunberg in a Porkins-like role in The Force Awakens, there’s no reason Rogue One can’t do the same with the man himself. Okay, so we don’t actually think Jek Tono Porkins will show up anywhere in Rogue One, but if the film is looking for a nice winking gag, they could always showcase the incompetent X-Wing pilot almost biting it after reporting to his fellow pilots that he’s “having a little trouble here.” Hey, it can’t be any worse than any of the numerous Jar-Jar “gags” from The Phantom Menace.
7. Princess Leia
A definite longshot, it’s highly unlikely that Disney would go to the trouble of casting a young Princess Leia just for a brief cameo. Still, that doesn’t mean that Leia couldn’t appear in some other way. With the character’s iconic hairstyle, Disney could easily have a stand-in with a similar look and build as a young Carrie Fisher. Even if it’s just a shot that shows Leia from behind, this could be a good way to bridge the gap between Rogue One and A New Hope, as Leia plays a significant role in the Rebels’ Death Star mission. If Leia turns up at all though, it would most likely be in audio form only, as anything less than a full casting of young Leia may be considered disrespectful to the character. No matter what, it’s pretty much a given that Leia’s name will come up at some point in the film, so her presence will still be felt.
6. Han Solo
Will Han Solo be in Rogue One? Probably not. Still, there’s one major reason that Rogue One could very well feature an appearance from the roguish smuggler: the young Han Solo movie. The upcoming standalone Han Solo movie is the one Star Wars film in Disney’s release schedule that feels like a big question mark, as it remains to be seen whether audiences will respond well to an actor other than Harrison Ford playing the character. A Rogue One cameo could be the perfect way for Disney to test the waters and see whether audiences like whichever young actor lands the role. True, the fact that Rogue One is set just prior to A New Hope would make it odd to see a Han Solo who doesn’t look like Harrison Ford, but it doesn’t mean it couldn’t work. Of course, whether or not it’s a good idea is another story entirely.
If Han Solo were to turn up in Rogue One, you can be sure that his hairy co-pilot Chewbacca would as well (the two are a package deal, after all). If you think about it, a Chewbacca cameo would be relatively easy to pull off. While actor Peter Mayhew might pass on reprising the role for just a cameo given his current physical limitations, there’s no reason a stunt double couldn’t don the Chewie suit for a brief amount of screen time. After all, a Star Wars movie just isn’t complete without a solid Wookie roar.
Greedo the bounty hunter is known primarily for his part in the great “Han Shot First” debacle, but even setting that aside, it’s always felt like Greedo didn’t really get a fair shake. When you think about it, Greedo may be one of the most pathetic Star Wars characters ever, and we think it’s time that he was given a chance to redeem himself. A Greedo cameo in Rogue One would be pretty easy to work in; he could be called upon by the Empire to hunt down some Rebels or even just show up as a background character in a scene or two. It would be interesting to see Greedo removed from the Mos Eisley Cantina scene, as it could be a chance for the character to prove himself to be a capable bounty hunter … or the film could always just confirm him to be as incompetent as we all thought he was. Either way, Greedo is a solid choice for a Rogue One cameo and one that wouldn’t distract much from the film’s central narrative.
3. The Empire Bounty Hunters
While it might be a bit distracting to include cameos from characters as well-known as Greedo and Boba Fett unless they’re actually going to play into the plot somehow, a good compromise may be to include another gathering of the bounty hunters from The Empire Strikes Back. Bossk, IG-88, Dengar, Zuckuss … these characters have attained cult status in the years since Empire’s release and putting the gang back together would be a great Easter Egg for Star Wars fans that also wouldn’t be as showy as some of the other cameo suggestions on this list. Besides, bounty hunters are just plain cool, so they should be utilized whenever possible.
2. Nien Nunb
With Rogue One delving deeper into the Rebel Alliance’s war with the Empire than possibly any film before it, there’s a great opportunity to expand upon the Alliance’s inner workings and dealings with other creatures and societies. Nien Nunb, Lando’s co-pilot from Return of the Jedi, could very well represent that expansion. As a member of the Sullustan species and a former arms dealer, Nien Nunb has close ties to the Rebels that could be further explored in Rogue One. Nien Nunb’s status as an arms dealer and smuggler would make him fit in organically with the film’s plot, as Jyn Erso (Felicity Jones) and her team could very well find use of his services. At this point, it’s difficult to say whether or not Rogue One will include any cameos from well-known Star Wars characters other than the ones we already know about, but in terms of cameos that would make sense, Nien Nunb is definitely near the top of the list.
1. Boba Fett
Seriously, how cool would it be if Boba Fett made a surprise appearance in Rogue One? The iconic bounty hunter is one of the most popular and beloved characters in the entire Star Wars franchise, to the point where even the briefest of cameos would cause fans to lose their collective minds. Right now, we know that Disney is planning on making a standalone Boba Fett film set between The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi, but why not give us a tease by having him turn up in Rogue One? He doesn’t even have to be part of the main story (although it would be pretty great if he was hired to hunt Jyn Erso’s team down); even a single line of dialogue would be enough to generate excitement. Boba Fett has been having his reputation tarnished by Return of the Jedi’s infamous Sarlaac pit scene for far too long and it’s time he began his comeback tour, starting with Rogue One.