The recent release of the latest trailer for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story has raised my excitement level for the upcoming film to new heights; I dare say that it most definitely goes to eleven. It feels like the Summer of 2015 all over again. Anyone remember those days? To sate my desire for more Star Wars, I decided to watch Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope to see what insights it gives about Rogue One. The first ten minutes alone provide much that I’m hoping to learn more about this December.
At the risk of stating the obvious, the opening crawl for A New Hope sets up the premise for Rogue One.
It is a period of civil war. Rebel spaceships, striking from a hidden base, have won their first victory against the evil Galactic Empire.
During the battle, Rebel spies managed to steal secret plans to the Empire’s ultimate weapon, the DEATH STAR, an armored space station with enough power to destroy an entire planet.
The hidden base, of course, is Yavin IV. We knew this from A New Hope, and it’s confirmed from the Rogue One trailers. We also know now the “Rebel Spies” are the Rogue One crew; Jyn Erso, Saw Gerrera, Chirrut Imwe, Captain Cassian Andor, Baze Malbus and K-2SO.
The story will focus on the heroics of these guardians of the galaxy far, far away, and them turning the Rebellion from an idealistic crusade into a political and military movement with the power to free the galaxy from the tyranny of the Empire.
The battle mentioned, is most likely, the one that takes place on the tropical world of Scarif. A place I think I’d very much like to live. Post battle of course, and perhaps taking a page out of Rey’s handbook and converting a downed AT-ACT into a beautiful beachside cabana.
The million credit question in my mind is when does Rogue One take place in relationship to A New Hope, or rather how close to A New Hope does Rogue One end? My thoughts are that it segues directly into A New Hope. The interrogation of Princess Leia aboard the Tantive IV yield some clues to the potential ending of Rogue One. Vader says to Leia,
“Don’t act so surprised, Your Highness. You weren’t on any mercy mission this time. Several transmissions were beamed to this ship by rebel spies. I want to know what happened to the plans they sent you.”
I can see it now, with the plans in hand, the Rogue One crew boards a ship and races off into space to deliver them to Princess Leia. They are pursued by Darth Vader aboard his Star Destroyer, The Devastator. The Star Destroyer closes in and fires a shot that hits its mark, but not before the Rogue One crew successfully transmits the plans to Princess Leia aboard the Tantive IV. The Devastator crew quickly determines the destination of the transmission and immediately dispatches to intercept the new custodians of the Death Star plans.
Not the happiest of endings, but given that there isn’t going to be a Rogue Two, at least we don’t think so, it’s an appropriate ending, and one that gives weight to high stakes of the war between the Rebellion and the Empire.
One other tidbit that caught my attention, and has me wondering if they’ll cover this in the film is, what is their intent for the plans?
During the exchange between Darth Vader and Princess Leia, she responds to his accusations by saying, “I don’t know what you’re talking about. I am a member of the Imperial Senate on a diplomatic mission to Alderaan…” Vader interjects and says, “You are part of the Rebel Alliance and a traitor! Take her away!”
So, when did Vader realize that Senator Leia Organa was actually part of the Rebellion? Was it just then when the plans were beamed to her vessel, or does he find out sooner? It’s certainly plausible that leaders of the Rebellion believed her secret safe, and that she had the perfect cover to deliver the plans to Obi-Wan Kenobi.
While it is unlikely that Obi-Wan will be in this film, I’d love to see a scene where the details of the plan are laid out; from stealing them to delivering them to him. I want to see the expression and mood when it is revealed that a famed knight of the Jedi Order still lives.
I would also like to see more of the inner-workings between the Empire and the Imperial Senate. In A New Hope, we are led to believe that the Emperor disbanded the Senate because he thought he could maintain control of the systems with the Death Star. While that may true, I wonder if learning that there were traitors in Senate, such as Leia Organa also led him to disband the body because he felt he could no longer trust it.
It’s interesting to note that the Senate was disbanded some time after the attack on the Tantive IV, and in fact, it was a concern of one of the Imperial officers involved in the attack. He says to Vader, “Holding her is dangerous, if word of this gets out, it could generate sympathy for the Rebellion in the Senate.”
Vader tells him, “I have traced the rebel spies to her. Now she is my only link to finding their secret base.” Vader then orders the officer to, “Send a distress signal and then inform the Senate that all aboard were killed.”
It is rumored that Darth Vader’s role will be more than just a cameo in Rogue One. I suspect there will be subplot revolving around Vader trying to find out who the leaders of the Rebellion are and where they are hiding. His story and that of the Rebels stealing the plans, and both coming together, in the end, will take us right into A New Hope.
The Cantina Cast
The wretched hive your Jedi Master warned you about!