When it comes to Star Wars iconography, few symbols are as resonant or as iconic as the Rebel Alliance logo.
In Star Wars: The Last Jedi, the logo takes on a new meaning to represent the Resistance as they struggle to stave off control from the First Order, but it has an older historical context in the galaxy, dating back to the beginning of the Jedi Order.
A few different versions of the logos and what they inspired are documented in the Star Wars: The Last Jedi: The Visual Dictionary.
We see the first iteration of this symbol when Rey and Luke Skywalker enter the tree cave, a sacred area for the Jedi Order which Luke uses to house the ancient texts. He examines the contents of one of the books, showing the logo, establishing the template for the symbol which would come to embody the Rebellion.
In the Visual Dictionary by Pablo Hidalgo, a section of the book shows sections of the ancient Jedi text, adding more references to the symbol. These references would factor heavily into the designs used on Ahch-To, affecting everything from the ancient tree to the fountain mosaic in the cliffside temple.
Production designer Rick Heinrichs spoke with story group executives Pablo Hidalgo and Leland Chee about the logo, figuring out how much leeway he had to come up with the various structures.
"Is it okay to use the rebel icon symbol if you do it obliquely, hopefully not hitting it on the head too hard? It's hard to know exactly how subtle you can be with this stuff," Heinrichs wrote. "It's an unfolding universe, and we want the audience to recognize it and be comfortable in it—for it to feel — but also to create something new that they haven't seen before."
The logos definitely harken back to symbols previously used in the Star Wars saga, but this is the most explicit in-continuity explanation we've gotten since fans have noted the similarities.
"Some of the designs were really scraping against the central iconic imagery of the Jedi, that sect and everything — deep lore territory, where angels fear to tread. But we had to go there. I think what we've ended up with does feel organic to the series. That's our hope, anyway," Heinrichs said.
Star Wars: The Last Jedi is now playing in theaters everywhere.