Creators Talk About The Addition Of Two ‘Star Wars: Rebels’ Ships To ‘Rogue One’

Two ships that appeared in the second season of Disney XD’s spectacular animated series Star Wars: Rebels were back in Rogue One: Star Wars Story, and one of them plays a pivotal role. Read on for more details…


Despite losing its coveted #1 spot at the domestic box office to Hidden Figures, it’s still official: Rogue One is a huge hit. It’s managed to impress die hard old school fans of the series, film critics, and casual moviegoers alike on its way to a respectable start to the spin-off film series.


Thousand of fans have geeked out over the return of Darth Vader, the films dazzling special effects, the inspired acting, and the expert direction of Gareth Edwards. However, for thousands of others it was simply a few brief cameo appearances that made their day.


In a recent interview with i09, the creators of the film spoke about what went into bringing the ships to the big screen.

“You see the film and think it’s a kind of corporate synergy. But really it’s just casual and friendly contact between folks at Lucasfilm working on different aspects of the Star Wars universe and going, ‘This would be super cool. Can we put your ship in our movie?’” Animation supervisor Hal Hinkel said.



Of course, he is talking about a little ship called the “Ghost”, which makes a few cameo appearances in Gareth Edwards’ film. John Knoll, the Chief Creative Officer at Lucasfilm’s visual effect company ILM, briefly spoke about how the Ghost” ended up in the film.

“I was chatting with [Rebels executive producer] Dave Filoni. [I asked] ‘How would you feel about having the Ghost show up somewhere in Rogue One?’ They were all excited about the idea.”



The other ship added into the film has become sort of an unsung hero in the Rebel Alliance’s battle against the Empire above Scarif. In the film, a ship known as a “Hammerhead Corvette” rams into one of the Star Destroyers and sends it on a collision course towards the Shield Gate that protects the Empire’s planet hub. It was one of the more cool moments of the film and offered up a subtle link to its animated television counterpart.



Knoll knew they needed ships for a climatic space battle sequence in ‘Rogue One’ so he approached the Story Group for some ideas.

[They said] “Well, they could have the Hammerhead Corvette” and they showed me some images from Rebels. So that prompted me to grab the model and make a movie version of it. And we had that underway as a background ship when we were fleshing out some of the story beats of what happens in the space battle. Suddenly I needed a ship that could act as a tugboat and I thought, “Well, let’s use the Hammerhead for that.”


Knoll further explains that Model supervisor Russell Paul used CG models of the Hammerheads “to add up a level of detail that was needed for it to hold up in a feature film.”


Did you know?

The animated version of the ship is slightly different than the one that’s in the third act of the new Star Wars film? After seeing ‘Rogue One’ for the second time, I noticed that the ship has four main engines instead of the three that we see in Star Wars: Rebels.





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11 thoughts on “Creators Talk About The Addition Of Two ‘Star Wars: Rebels’ Ships To ‘Rogue One’

  • January 10, 2017 at 6:16 am

    I thought the hammerhead appeared in clone wars?
    Regardless of that, I thought it was great to tie in ships like that to the story, it made it feel like Rebels actually makes an impact on the star wars story as a whole and not just it’s own thing

    • January 10, 2017 at 4:42 pm

      I believe the Hammerheads made their first in-canon appearance in Rebels, following their original debut in Knights of the Old Republic. 🙂

  • January 10, 2017 at 12:17 pm

    Hey Dave… want your ships in Rebels to be in a major motion picture to be seen by tens of millions?

    What would have been more shocking is if he said no. Of course he’ll jump at them legitimizing his show! I know the story group and what not have said it’s all canon but saying and showing are two different things. Marvel comes to mind with it’s Netflix series and many other ties in and such that if you didn’t know they existed wouldn’t matter.

    I think it’s really neat and helps make all the Star Wars lore truly connected. I’d love for them to dig through out the whole universe and sneak them into the films. Some of the legends stuff they plan on bringing back etc. Somewhat like Thrawn.

    I mean think about it. The Ghost has now officially been apart of an absolutely epic battle of importance for the Rebellion. It’s there… cemented. How amazing would it be if we actually got to see it play out in Rebels from their point of view? (those that are alive anyway) I’m fangirling over here! 😛

    • January 10, 2017 at 3:23 pm

      He didn’t need it to legitimize his show.

    • January 10, 2017 at 4:41 pm

      It was a pretty good move indeed – really hope we get to see Scarif in the series finale!

  • January 10, 2017 at 2:58 pm

    The extra engine on the Hammerheads is not really a problem. Obviously in the years between Rebels season two and Rogue One the Rebels retrofitted the ships and added an extra engine.

    • January 10, 2017 at 7:19 pm

      Actually, the ROgue One novelization says that the HAmmerhead that broke the Shield Gate had a different name than any of the ones that the Rebels crew stole.

      • January 10, 2017 at 11:19 pm

        Re: “ROgue One novelization”
        Just curious – how’d you like the novelization?
        Just got it & thinking of reading it next (finishing Catalyst now).

        • January 11, 2017 at 2:31 am

          It was great! It complements Catalyst very well and expands on the story of the film quite well. One of the biggest differences is that it has more character moments/scenes and can get inside the characters’ heads, so here’s more character development (which was one of the biggest complaints about the film). You should definitely pick it up.

          • January 11, 2017 at 2:46 am

            Cool – thanks!
            Will definitely start it next. Was hoping to hear from SW fan(s) on the site here as I wasn’t certain about like amazon/other reviews.

            Glad there’s more in-depth with the characters. Was honestly impressed with how Rogue One, in only ~2hr with a fairly large ensemble cast, got you to feel like you knew enough about the characters to understand/care about them.

      • January 11, 2017 at 8:10 pm


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