There are a plethora of ways to connect Rogue One to Episode VIII. The most glaring connection being Darth Vader. His grandson Kylo Ren, has been known to want to “complete what he started.” Perhaps, the Force-abusing upstart learns about the battles waged decades in the past, or is in search of more Kyber crystals, which will be formally introduced in the upcoming spin-off.
If you want to look deeper down the conspiracy tree, there is an outlandish theory that has been circulating the internet that surely just gained traction as well. Most people are expecting the cast of Rogue One to have heroic deaths, a la Seven Samurai, while successfully completing their mission. The theory is that Rogue One also serves as the origin story to the Knights of Ren – who are rumored to have a significant presence in Episode 8 – that were first glimpsed in last year’s The Force Awakens.
While they don’t seem to be part of the primary plot of Rogue One, also don’t undercut the aforementioned R2-D2 and now General Leia. They will be two characters who will most remember the lessons and losses of the battles in Rogue One. Regardless of how this all connects, the variety of storytelling possibilities that these upcoming Star Wars spin-offs are creating is eye-opening. Fortunately, we just have to wait a couple of weeks to find out how the Death Star crumbles.