There are a couple of homages Rogue One: A Star Wars Story director Gareth Edward has included in the new Star Wars film, but one of the most apparent is his tribute to Ridley Scott’s Alien.
Edwards told Fandango that he tried to include little nods to Thin Red Line, Blade Runner, THX 1138 and other films, but mentioned that if audiences paid close attention, they would very plainly see his tribute to Scott. In the film, there’s a planet called Eadu, which looks like it’s been ripped right out of Alien. The planet was also included in some of the trailers for the film, but you can see the comparison more clearly in the photo below.
The first photo is Rogue One’s Eadu, while the second is LV-426, the “planetoid” in Scott’s original 1979 Alien where the alien pods are discovered, and the setting for James Cameron’s 1986 sequel, Aliens. In that film, the planetoid is given a name, LV-426, and is the home to a colonist base, Hadley’s Hope. If you’re curious, the Alien wikia page has about 1500 words on the topic, like this:
Acheron, formerly known as LV-426, is one of three known moons orbiting Calpamos in the Zeta Reticuli system, 39 light years away from Earth. The moon was given its common name by the early human colonists who settled there. The main colonist base, Hadley's Hope, housed 158 people.
Edwards isn’t the first to include a tribute to the planet, either. This desert planet in Mass Effect is also called LV426 as an homage to Scott’s film.
Edwards didn’t say why he included his homage, but the director has spoken previously about just how influential the work of Scott has been on him. Prior to directing Rogue One, Edwards made a name for himself directing Godzilla in 2014 and writing, directing and doing visual effects for the 2010 film, Monsters.
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story will be in theaters worldwide on Dec. 16.