April 8, 2016 – So do we finally get to meet the mysterious Bothans and witness their slaughter in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story? No, and here’s why:
Yesterday’s release of the first teaser-trailer for Rogue One showed a glimpse of Mon Mothma (portrayed by Irish actress Genevieve O’Reilly). The last time we saw Mon Mothma (portrayed by English actress Caroline Blakiston) was on the big screen in Return of the Jedi (1983), 33 years ago. At the briefing of the still-under-construction Death Star II, she solemnly proclaimed: “Many Bothans died to bring us this information.”
As the timeline graphic (pictured below) from Antoine Bandele shows, however, Rogue One and the theft of the first Death Star plans occur before Star Wars Ep. IV: A New Hope (1977) – and the Bothans are not introduced until much later, in the Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire multimedia project.
Shadows of the Empire takes place between Episodes V (The Empire Strikes Back) and VI (Return of the Jedi). Created by Lucasfilm Ltd. in 1996, Shadows includes a novel (“Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire” by Joel McNeely), comic book series, video games, trading cards, a soundtrack, role-playing games, and toy merchandise. The importance of the Shadows project is that it is the closet thing to a new movie – without incurring the actual expense and time involved in producing such a movie, which George Lucas allegedly said he would perhaps have produced had time allowed in the 1980s.
The Bothans, furry mammalian anthropoids, are also credited with furnishing the Rebel Alliance with other intelligence, such as the door code for the shield generator bunker on the forest moon of Endor.
Still not clear? Watch the following video for clarification:
Now you know.