Very Specific Thoughts on Rogue One

*This is what I really wanted to write about earlier today, but I couldn’t make it work alongside the general thoughts I had on the film. So these ideas get their own space. Congrats, ideas. AGAIN, SPOILERS.

1I had a theory about the rebel alliance since the end of Revenge of the Sith. *Inhales*  Obi Wan and Yoda conceded defeat at the end of Episode III. The two of them, along with Bail Organa, are the only three people with knowledge of Luke and Leia’s existence. The three decide to split the twins, with Obi Wan taking Luke and Bail taking Leia. Yoda opts for a timeshare in the middle of swamp. At this point in the story’s plot – but not chronology – we know that these kids play key roles in destroying the Death Star in Episode IV. I always thought the two jedi and Bail had some master plan. *Exhales*

What we know at the end of Episode IV:

  1. Vader and Obi Wan have some old beef and the former “kills” the latter in front of Luke.
  2. The plans for the Death Star reveal a specific weakness that is nearly impossible to exploit.
  3. Luke destroys the Death Star anyway.

What we know at the end of Episode V:

  1. Vader is Luke’s father.
  2. Lando is a traitor which foreshadowed Billy Dee Williams’ casting as Harvey Dent in 1999’s Batman.

What we know at the end of Episode VI:

  1. Vader redeemed himself.
  2. The emperor is dead.
  3. The best military equipment in the universe is no match for logs and rocks.
  4. Ewoks adore fireworks.

What we know at the end of Episode I:

  1. Anakin Skywalker is a Christ-archetype who might fulfill a very specific prophecy (which significantly impacts the way we view Palpatine’s death).
  2. It is possible to hate animated characters when they are vaguely amphibious and explicitly moronic.

What we know at the end of Episode II:

  1. Palpatine has been playing the long game for a long, long time.
  2. Why Boba Fett hates jedi.
  3. Yoda is legit.
  4. Christopher Lee had a solid ’00s renaissance.
  5. Anakin Skywalker is moving into TRAGIC HERO territory.

What we know at the end of Episode III:

  1. Vader has no knowledge of Luke and Leia.
  2. What legitimate, top tier Jedi Masters/Sith Lords are capable of.
  3. Yoda, Obi Wan, and Bail are the shadow rebel council.

My assumption was that these three characters had made some kind of loose strategy regarding future plans – Luke and Leia would be brought into the game at precisely the right moment to shift the landscape of the game. But that’s not true. In fact, the rebel alliance never, ever has a plan at all, for anything.

What we know at the end of Episode VII:

  1. The First Order has risen from the ashes of the Empire despite losing the second Death Star, Darth Vader, and Emperor Palpatine.
  2. The First Order was somehow able to construct a murder planet without the rebel intelligence community catching wind of it until it annihilates celestial bodies.
  3. The rebel alliance has no counter for this but to send a small team of hooligans to destroy an entire murder planet (and they somehow succeed!).

What we know at the end of Rogue One:

  1. That specific/impossible weakness was created by choice, answering one of the greatest “Why would anybody_______?” questions in cinema history, right up there with The Goonies’ “Why would anyone spend years of their life digging tunnels and lacing them with booby traps (that they’d never see go off) rather than trying to escape and live?
  2. The first Death Star was only used 3 times.
  3. The final battle on Scarif took place immediately before the initial events of Episode IV.
  4. Bail and Obi Wan have not been in touch since the Clone Wars (which means they NEVER had a plan).
  5. A week (maybe two, tops?) passed, and in that time: the plans for the Death Star were stolen, the droids found Obi Wan, Obi Wan got Luke, Vader killed Obi Wan, Luke became a pilot, Luke destroys the Death Star.
  6. All of the above events were precipitated by the Rogue One team’s attack on Scarif.

There was no planning. There never was any planning. The rebel alliance never had objectives. Their plan was to wait it out. When Bodhi bluffs his way through the ship’s call sign – Rogue One – it’s the perfect metaphor for the entire resistance: they’re just making stuff up as they go along.

Because now it looks like they never intended to use Luke or Leia at all. Before Rogue One, I assumed the events of Episode IV were the culmination of a long, hard-fought war. The fact that they already had the plans for the Death star made it seem like they had been doing some top-notch spy work, but I know now that’s not true. They got the plans 5 minutes ago. They weren’t loading up for one final push, they were fighting against time as much as the Empire.

So, what is the point of all of this?

The rebels don’t deserve to win. They have no foresight. This is the equivalent of Hamlet’s pirate ship. I’m pissed that they didn’t train Luke. If Yoda, Bail, and Obi Wan knew Luke and/or Leia would be the last hope(s), what was the downside to training one or both? What? That they become Sith? My co-worker pointed out that if this happened, Luke just kills Vader and takes his place, anyway. Wouldn’t have being able to deploy two Jedi – trained from birth by Obi Wan and/or Yoda have been way more advantageous to the cause? Why hide them for 30 years, if only to willfully include them at the last minute in a loser-leaves-town match? Why bring a farmer to a jedi fight? They ended up having to “train” him anyway! Ugh!

Author’s Note: I am a huge dork.


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