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Princess Leia‘s appearance at the end of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story has been clarified.
(Warning: Spoiler alert) Many fans were left baffled by her appearance at the battle of Scarif at the end of the film, when in a previous scene, Bail Organa, Leia’s adoptive father, told Mon Mothma that he was sending Leia to Tatooine to try to recruit Obi-Wan Kenobi into the Rebel Alliance.
According to Pablo Hidalgo, a member of the Lucasfilm Story Group, the reason why that happened was because Leia and Admiral Raddus were heading to Tatooine when they received word of the battle taking place on Scarif.
“The plan was always that Leia was going to go to Tatooine to pick up Obi-Wan and Raddus was going to escort her,” Hidalgo told The Star Wars Show in clip you can watch below. “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.”
Hidalgo and Leeland Chee, another story group member, also confirmed that Leia was on Yavin during the Rebel Alliance meeting that included Bail, Mon Mothma, and Jyn Erso.
Leia did not appear on screen during that meeting because the filmmakers wanted to keep the reveal a secret until the film’s conclusion, but the cameo by C-3PO and R2-D2 was set up as a clue.
Director Gareth Edwards also previously addressed a plot hole featuring that scene with many quick to point out that it didn’t tally with Star Wars: Epsiode IV: A New Hope.
The pair watch the Rebel fleet departing for the final battle on Scarif from the base on Yavin IV.
But if Leia’s ship Tantive IV is with them as we see in the closing scene of the movie, it was thought that the droids should have been on board already.
“If you listen carefully to the dialogue… they say, ‘We need to contact [fleet commander] Admiral Raddus’, or something. And someone says, ‘He’s planning to fight’ or ‘he’s about to leave’, so he hasn’t left yet,” Edwards explained.
“The idea is that [the droids and Leia] would be stopped, saying, ‘You’ve got to help us’, so that includes Captain Antilles [the pilot who is killed by Darth Vader at the beginning of Episode IV] and all that stuff. So it’s technically OK.”