The worlds of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story and Star Wars Rebels were destined to cross over. Both take place when the Rebel Alliance was finding its feet - Rebels, the ongoing animated series on Disney XD, started about 5 years prior to the events of Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope, while Rogue One takes place in the literal opening credits of that original Star Wars film.
So, it was to no one's surprise that there were plenty or Rebels Easter Eggs in the movie, indicating that at least someone from the crew survives to be active participants in the Galactic Civil War. EP John Knoll went straight to Rebels showrunner Dave Filoni to make sure the Ghost, their ship on the series, would still be flying during the film.
Slightly more surprising, though, is that movie character (by way of Star Wars: The Clone Wars, by way of the never-realized live action TV show - phew) Saw Gerrera would not just be coming to Rebels, but would come to the series just a couple of weeks after Rogue One hit theaters.
The connections aren't likely to stop there, either, especially as Rebels, which has moved at relatively real-time (we've seen the youngest character, Ezra, celebrate at least one actual birthday and go through substantial physical growth along with his emotional growth), continues to catch up to Rogue One on the timeline.
In fact, if the series continues to the point that it overlaps with the first Star Wars Story film, we could even see what exactly is going on in the Ghost when they're flying into the Battle of Scarif.
"I already have some theories about the story behind it," Filoni teased to EW. "I can imatine doing that entier battle from their point of view, whoever is on the Ghost at that point."
Thanks to Easter Eggs, we know two members of that Ghost crew, but everyone else's fates on the series are still up in the air. It would be unprecedented to have that level of crossover between a film and tv series, even if they're sharing a universe, so fans need to hope (and, you know, support the show by watching it and buying toys/products associated with it) that it goes that long.
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is in theaters now. Star Wars Rebels returns to Disney XD Saturday, January 7, with a two-part arc guest starring Saw Gerrerra.
MORE Star Wars News: Where Could We See More of the Rogue One: A Star Wars Story Characters? | Star Wars Rebels Poster Reveals Rogue One Guest Star | How The Force Changed in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story | Cut Footage From Original Star Wars Used In Rogue One | Rogue One Scores One Of The Biggest Opening Box Office Weekends Ever | Who are the Characters in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story? | Why Darth Vader's Costume Changed for Rogue One