Star Wars fans don’t need much to launch into crazy theories. You could provide them with an out-of-context quote from an actor or actress, or a blurry photo of an upcoming toy set that has a lower resolution than the Bigfoot images, and we could craft a compelling synopsis of the entire film before it’s even started filming.
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So it’s no surprise that the rumor factory for Rogue One just went into production mode with the release of the incredible cast photo over the weekend at D23. According to this hypothesis, there’s a character on there who we’ve seen in Star Wars before — all the way back in A New Hope.
As you know, the photo shows what we assume is the Rebel team tasked with stealing the Death Star plans just before the events of Episode IV. It confirmed the presence of Felicity Jones as the lead, followed by Riz Ahmed, Donnie Yen, Jiang Wen and Diego Luna. There are also two people in the background of the photo, although it’s unclear who they are or what roles they’re playing.
Mads Mikkelsen, Ben Mendelsohn and Forest Whitaker were also confirmed as cast members.
But this theory focuses on Luna, who’s standing in the photo directly behind Jones. Some eagle-eyed fans say he bears quite a resemblance to a friend of Luke Skywalker who fought and died for the Rebel Alliance during the attack on the Death Star: Biggs Darklighter.
Biggs, played by Garrick Hagon in A New Hope, oddly shows up at the end of the film and dies soon after, in what almost feels like a tacked-on role. In fact, the character had a bigger part to play in the original cut of the film, in which he tries to convince Luke on Tatooine to join the Rebel Alliance. That scene was ultimately cut, but there’s a fascinating mini-documentary about the whole affair you can watch below.
But could we be seeing Biggs again in 2016? I wouldn’t rule it out, as Disney is gunning to build its own shared universe with Star Wars and this would be a connection that makes plenty of story sense. But using this one still of an actor is a bit of a stretch.
The interesting thing here is that although I would love to see more of Biggs’ backstory, if that deleted scene is treated as canon, the timeline might not line up. Biggs supposedly joined an Imperial training academy after he left Luke on Tatooine, and then deserted with some compatriots before deciding to join the Alliance. But when Luke encounters him on Tatooine in A New Hope, he hasn’t yet joined the Alliance; he’s only planning to.
So either this deleted scene is tossed out as non-canon, which is likely, or Gareth Edwards and crew ignore the plot hole, or this isn’t Biggs in Rogue One at all.
While the first brings up an interesting discussion about whether deleted scenes that were filmed are part of canon, I’d say the third option is most likely. We need more signs before we can verify the resurrection of Biggs.