The promise of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is to expand on the original trilogy, and more specifically A New Hope, which the film precedes. Now that Rogue One's out (and it's very good), we know just how close it gets to the events of A New Hope — the ending feels mere minutes away from A New Hope's iconic opening shot of Princess Leia's ship, Tantive IV, being attacked by an Imperial Star Destroyer.
There's a few ways now, thanks to Rogue One, that we can perceive A New Hope in a different light. Jyn Erso and her band of Rebels are, arguably, the unsung heroes of the entire franchise: Without their sacrifice, the Empire likely would've succeeded. For the rest of the galaxy, as Jyn puts it, the Imperial flag is "not a problem if you don't look up."
However, there's one particular scene in A New Hope which, thanks to Rogue One, has turned unintentionally funny on behalf of Princess Leia. It's a shining example of a horrible cover story — like a teenager telling their parents exactly why they weren't home by curfew, only half believing it themselves — and being caught on your very blatant B.S.
As one recalls in the beginning of A New Hope, Darth Vader and a band of Stormtroopers board Leia's ship, kill some of its men, and capture the princess. Then, there's this exchange between Leia and Vader, which we'll leave in full below:
Princess Leia: Darth Vader. Only you could be so bold. The Imperial Senate will not sit still for this. When they hear you've attacked a--
Darth Vader: Don't act so surprised, Your Highness. You weren't on any mercy mission after all. Several transmissions were beamed up to this ship by Rebel spies. I want to know what happened to the plans they sent you.
Princess Leia: I don't know what you're talking about. I'm a member of the Imperial Senate on a diplomatic mission to Alderaan!
Darth Vader: You are part of the Rebel Alliance and a traitor! Taker her away!
So what's the problem here? Let's go back to Rogue One's ending, and the scene in which Vader brutally massacres a bunch of Rebel soldiers. He was actually very, very close to getting the plans to the Death Star, but the Rebels stalled him long enough to get the plans safely aboard Tantive IV, which flies away as Vader looks on.
The sight of the ship at a damn battlefield in Rogue One, supposedly on a "diplomatic mission to Alderaan," isn't going to throw Vader off the scent — he literally saw the ship! Granted, there's not a lot of ways to weasel out of the obvious truth that Leia is part of the Rebel Alliance, but it's a piece of Rogue One that, whether intentional or not, gives the context of their conversation a tinge of humor.
Still, we do appreciate Rogue One changing the perception of certain moments in the Star Wars franchise. Now, the Death Star's glaring weakness is no longer a lazy plot device: It was intentional thanks to Galen Erso. That's what a good prequel should, ultimately, achieve. Even at the expense of Leia's very obvious lie.