Although Rogue One: A Star Wars Story went out of its way to include quite a few characters from the original trilogy — even going so far as to give a prominent role to an actor who has been dead for over 20 years through the magic of CGI — some fans have wondered why beloved X-Wing pilot Wedge Antilles was nowhere to be found.
Wedge’s absence is notable because the film arguably offers a perfect excuse for a cameo appearance, as most of the Rebel fleet is present at the Battle of Scarif, so one would assume that the character would be present. However, as Lucasfilm Story Group’s Pablo Hidalgo recently explained on Twitter, Wedge is canonically absent from the Battle of Scarif and it all has to do with a line from A New Hope.
In that film, Wedge famously says “Look at the size of that thing!” when he sees the Death Star, indicating that it’s the first time he’s seen the Empire’s gigantic space station. According to Hidalgo, Lucasfilm was trying to preserve this line with their decision to not have Wedge appear in Rogue One’s final battle.
Interestingly, Hidalgo also indicates that there simply wasn’t enough footage of Wedge (played by Denis Lawson) from the original trilogy to use in Rogue One, so it sounds like the character was off the table anyway. However, Wedge still makes an appearance in audio form, as Skywalker Sound’s Matthew Wood has revealed that the character (voiced by David Ankrum) can be heard guiding the Rebel pilots to their ships on Yavin.
In other news, Rogue One just recently crossed the $1 billion mark at the global box office and now stands as the second highest-grossing film of 2016 behind Captain America: Civil War, which was also produced by Disney.