The timing of Star Wars Rebels and Rogue One made a natural fit for the healthy crossover between the pair, but might we expect any visual references to continue through Episode VIII? A new report suggests the next official chapter in the saga may feature some creatures previously limited to animation, with distinct connections to The Force.

Granted the secrecy of the still-untitled (really?) Star Wars: Episode VIII makes anything impossible to confirm, Making Star Wars issued a detailed report on some minor puffin-like creatures expected to feature on the planet of Ahch-To, the world we last saw Rey confronting Luke Skywalker in exile. Alleged sources confirm the resemblance to “convorees,” a mysterious species of bird that recurs through Star Wars: The Clone Wars and Star Wars Rebels.

We know what you’re thinking: “A bird? Who cares?!” And while the report does go a bit overboard with the potential significance of said creatures to Luke and the lost Jedi knowledge, keep in mind what animated boss Dave Filoni previously told IGN of the convorees, who have been present for a number of Force-significant events in Seasons 2 and 3:

In some ways, I could say that it’s a messenger, it’s an observer. It is definitely something. And I would suggest – I would rather have fans debate – but I would suggest to say that whatever that thing is an avatar of has actually appeared in the animated Star Wars universe before.

Producers have previously stated that the proximity of Lucasfilm’s story departments enables the movies side to draw liberally on animation when need for creatures and ships arises, so who’s to say the same won’t be true of Episode VIII that we saw with a number of cruisers in Rogue One?

Episode VIII has a great many more details to uncover before we get to any links with the animated universe, but how else might Star Wars Rebels crop-up in the live-action future?

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