The precise orientation of the ommatidia in the Drosophila eye is achieved through a specialized process of cell migration taking place in the third-instar eye imaginal disc when ommatidial clusters rotate by 90 degrees. This process is strictly coordinated with the establishment of planar cell polarity (PCP), but it relies on a specific set of genes that control its mechanism independently from PCP signaling. Recently, the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) pathway has been implicated in determining ommatidial rotation. We have isolated a new allele of echinus, a gene known to control the patterning and number of interommatidial cells. We show that echinus displays defects in the rotation of ommatidia that are not evident until mid-pupal stages, and we propose that echinus action is that of opposing EGFR by an unknown mechanism and that this can explain both its influence in ommatidial rotation and lattice programmed cell death (PCD).