Star Wars fans will know the name of Hera Syndulla quite well, as the character was an exceptionally important part of the hit animated series ‘Star Wars Rebels.’ Voiced by Vanessa Marshall, Hera Syndulla made a name for herself in the series. She became a Rebel Alliance general and has recently made her live-action debut in Disney+’s ‘Ahsoka’ series, where Mary Elizabeth Winstead portrays her. In this article, we will tell you about her past, as you will find out why she never appeared in ‘Rogue One’, although she was mentioned.
Even though she was mentioned, Hera Syndulla never personally appeared in ‘Rogue One.’ There is a scene where the name “General Syndulla” is mentioned in the series and her droid, Chopper, is also seen briefly in the series. Although fans initially were confused about this, Dave Filoni directly confirmed that the phrase was a reference to Hera Syndulla and not her father, General Cham Syndulla, who is also a notable figure in the Rebel Alliance. Despite being mentioned, the exact reason why she never made a personal appearance in the film was never directly revealed.
The rest of this article will deal with Hera Syndulla’s story in the Star Wars franchise, focusing on what happened in ‘Rogue One,’ in which a scene referenced her existence in the live-action universe. As stated, Hera Syndulla did not appear in the movie personally, but we are going to explain the whole scene and everything else you need to know about Hera Syndulla and ‘Rogue One.’ Of course, some spoilers might be present, so we advise you to carefully approach certain parts of this article if you don’t want to ruin the watching experience for yourselves.
Hera Syndulla was referenced in ‘Rogue One, but she never made a personal appearance
For those of you who are not fully acquainted with the ‘Star Wars Rebels’ series, the name Hera Syndulla might seem new, but we can actually help you with that. General Hera Syndulla is a member of the Rebel Alliance who, in animated form (voiced by Vanessa Marshall), appeared in the series ‘Star Wars Rebels,’ ‘The Freemaker Adventures,’ ‘Forces of Destiny’ and ‘The Bad Batch,’ as well as the video game ‘Star Wars: Squadrons;’ she has recently made her live-action debut, being played by Mary Elizabeth Winstead in the live-action miniseries ‘Ahsoka.’
Hera Syndulla is a Twi’lek, and is actually the daughter of the famed Rebel freedom fighter, General Ryloth Cham Syndulla, as well as a widowed partner of the legendary Jedi Knight Kanan Jarrus/Caleb Dume; the two of them have a son together, a boy named Jacen Syndulla (through this, the series significantly explored the topic of motherhood, which is not common for the Star Wars franchise, and is a great plus). Hera Syndulla joined the Rebel Alliance like her father, and she attained the rank of a general.
On top of that, she is an expert pilot, and she actually played a pivotal role in the establishment of the Rebel Alliance, as well as in their long and perilous struggle against Palpatine’s Galactic Empire. Her career started after she led a small rebel insurgency on the planet of Lothal, which would catch the attention of the anti-imperial Senator Bail Organa, who contacted her and recruited her for the cause.
Now, it is more than obvious that General Hera Syndulla truly was an icon of the Rebellion, and she has appeared in several different iterations of the franchise, but what about ‘Rogue One’? Well, if you remember the movie, there was a scene that took place in the Rebel Alliance’s Yavin IV base when someone over an intercom summons a certain “General Syndulla” to the briefing room.
Initially, fans were confused as to whether this was a reference to Hera or her father, but here’s what Dave Filoni said about that in an interview back in 2016:
“I can clarify that’s absolutely Hera being paged, not her dad,” added Filoni with regards to the General Syndulla mention. “The movie gives that away, but I would rather have all the [references] be right. Hera will eventually become a general in the Rebel Alliance.”(Source)
As you can see, Dave Filoni personally confirmed that Hera Syndulla was mentioned in the ‘Rogue One’ movie, but we can also confirm that the character never made a personal appearance in the film. Her ship, ‘Ghost,’ can also be seen in the background, as can Chopper, her droid, which confirms what Filoni said, but Hera Syndulla never appeared personally in the series.
Seeing how she was, by that time, already a General, we can conclude that she did, indeed, play a major role by the time this movie was taking place, showing how important she was for the lore. In fact, she was so important that the writers decided to reference her even though they did not want to include her in the film. Why?
Well, a proper reason why Hera Syndulla never made a personal appearance in the film was never given, but we can assume that it has to do with her importance to the franchise. Namely, ‘Rogue One’ was not about Hera – it was about Jyn Erso and her story, and while this story was related to the Rebel Alliance’s fight against the Empire, it was focused on other characters.
Bringing Hera Syndulla in such a setting would not have done justice to the character, and knowing just how important she is for the lore, the writers probably didn’t want to waste her live-action debut on a brief cameo appearance that would have gone completely unnoticed, as the focus of the film was completely different. And that is for the best, as Hera Syndulla can now shine in ‘Ahsoka’!
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