Before Lucasfilm decided to make a whole movie out of stealing the plans for the first Death Star, there was a brief moment when we could have seen that on TV.
Speaking to Comic Book, Star Wars Rebels executive producer Dave Filoni revealed that early discussions regarding Rebels included what eventually became the plot of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.
“There were some really early on conversations with Rebels about it being about them finding the Death Star plans. But as Rogue One came about and took shape, it was obvious we weren’t gonna do that story,” Filoni said.
“I didn’t wanna do that story, frankly, honestly, with Rebels because I thought I don’t want their whole existence to just serve and hand off to another part of the plot. I want it to be its own story about this kid.”
But because the stories are in the same timeframe, Rebels does famously cross over with Rogue One. Chopper the droid makes a brief cameo, Hera Syndulla gets name-dropped, and her ship, the Ghost, is in the movie too. Plus, the Rebellion’s reluctance to fight in the film was a subtle wink to events on Rebels.
So while Rebels didn’t end up telling the story we saw in Rogue One, the two stories ended up sharing a lot anyway.