Are There Any Continuity Errors Between Rogue One and Episode IV?


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Answer by Rob Fletcher, Star Wars geek:

Episode IV definitely suggests the Death Star was only just operational and had never been fired in anger before. Rogue One gets around this by having the first two firings use a “single reactor ignition” low-power mode, and the destruction of Jedha the subject of an Imperial coverup so that when Tarkin describes the destruction of Alderaan as an “effective demonstration,” it’s because that is the first time the Empire is publicly acknowledging the Death Star’s existence.

That initially seems to fly, but why is there an about-face on the policy of secrecy? Vader says the Death Star project is suspect because of the risk of Galen Erso having sabotaged it and tasks Krennic with disproving that. Krennic promptly dies in a major battle in which the Rebel Alliance escapes with a copy of the Death Star plans but then the Empire decides to go public with the Death Star anyway?

Mon Mothma’s presence (as well as confusing half the audience about which Death Star we’re talking about) seems odd given that she then disappears for two movies. Why wasn’t she on Yavin 4 during the battle? Why was she nowhere to be seen on Hoth? It’s possible to craft a retcon of course but I’m slightly surprised the movie didn’t try to explain her later absence.

What are Leia and the Tantive IV doing at the battle of Scarif? Earlier Bail Organa had said he was sending her to contact Obi-Wan. She wasn’t supposed to be the getaway driver for the theft of the plans. Why take a high-value undercover member of the Alliance and a diplomatic vessel used for covert operations into a fleet engagement?

Why is Vader alone when he tries to breach the Tantive IV? Where is his boarding party? Why does he then send regular troops to do the same job when they catch up with Leia’s ship over Tatooine?