Note: This article contains spoilers for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.
Let's be honest here. Star Wars isn't perfect. It never was and it likely never will be. If you take a closer look at the original trilogy, the flaws are apparent. Thankfully, Disney and Lucasfilm have shown they are not afraid to address the blemishes with Rogue One. Here are some key examples of how #Disney fixed the #StarWars saga's weaknesses.
1. The Death Star's Curious Flaw
If there is one thing I always look back on when it comes to A New Hope, it's how ridiculous it is that the #DeathStar was able to be destroyed with a single shot. I always felt it was too convenient to the plot and ultimately too stupid of the Empire to allow such a flaw to exist. The amount of time and resources it must have taken to build (estimated real-life cost? $850 quadrillion) you would think it would have better protection, right? Well, what if I told you that the Death Star was designed to be destroyed and such a weakness was built within its mechanics? Thankfully, you don't have to take my word for it as this has finally been worked into the story.
In Rogue One we learn Jyn Erso's father Galen Erso was the chief engineer who designed the Death Star. He reluctantly did so knowing that if he was not the one to do it, someone else would.
Having been an old friend of the man in charge of the project Orson Krennic, director of the Advanced Weapons Research division of the Imperial Military, Galen was given full control of how the project would proceed. In doing so he secretly created the failsafe that would destroy the Death Star as part of his revenge on the Empire for killing his wife. Galen had a message sent for #JynErso to later find, revealing all and making it her mission to locate the Death Star plans. She and her team succeed and later Luke Skywalker would exploit the failsafe in A New Hope.
No longer is "one shot to the power generator" just some convenient plot device, but rather, it's fully integrated into the series lore, making the action of A New Hope feel slightly less ridiculous.
2. The Rebel Alliance Gets More Complicated
When it came to the original trilogy, I always wondered something: Why is it called the Rebel Alliance? And why would the rebels, whom I perceived as your ever-righteous good guys, allow a dirty smuggler like Han Solo into their ranks? With the release of Rogue One, I finally had my questions answered.
#RogueOne gave audiences a new take on the Rebel Alliance, as it lightly blurred the lines of the rebels and the Empire. It showed us that not all the rebels are your stereotypical knights in shining armor. Rogue One's prime example of this is Saw Gerrera, a rebel extremist who raised Jyn after her father was taken in the movie's opening. In the film, Gerrera was seen torturing anyone he was able to capture who worked for the Empire. Even the rebel leaders had difficulty dealing with him.
Another example is #CassianAndor's relationship with Rebel Command. Early in the film we see Cassian forced into joining Jyn to gain information from #SawGerrera pertaining to the whereabouts of Galen. With Jyn's father considered an enemy of the alliance, Rebel Command instructed Cassian to find and kill Galen without question.
When Cassian fails to carry out his mission, Jyn angrily confronts him, to which he responds that the rebels have carried out questionable missions for their leaders for years and that the majority of the rebels are dirty. Having members and former members like this in their ranks, it made sense that the Rebel Alliance would allow the likes of #HanSolo to join them, as he was exactly the kind of scoundrel the alliance already had.
In addition to this, new meaning was given to the word "alliance." In Rogue One we witness a rebel council made up of representatives from different planets. The council members are divided on what to do given the current circumstances, with some threatening to pull their support altogether. These smaller scenes in Rogue One give the feeling of a true, albeit uneasy alliance of worlds and species uniting in their commonality to end the Empire once and for all. The original movies failed to show us this as I believed the Rebel Alliance to have little to no troubles and be a mostly tight-knit group of brothers and sisters in arms.
3. Darth Vader Unleashed
What makes Darth Vader so menacing? Watching the original trilogy I would say the answer is his outfit and the films' sound design; the combination of his heavy breathing and the "The Imperial March" establishes Vader as a figure of great importance and power. Now, considering that the score is non-diegetic (that is, sound only the audience can hear) this leaves us with his heavy breathing and the costume. However, knowing that his outfit is part of his life support and his heavy breathing the result of such, I ask again, what about #DarthVader in the original trilogy is so menacing?
When first we saw Darth Vader on screen in #ANewHope, all he'd do is threaten or Force choke someone — which I'm sure for the time was viewed as menacing to the audience because of how unexpected it was. But in Rogue One, Vader's limited screen time helps to establish him as the most feared man in the galaxy.
After the Death Star plans are successfully transmitted to the Rebel Fleet, an enemy boarding party forces its way onto the rebel ship carrying the plans — but only one person enters. *Cue heavy breathing*: Darth Vader.
The camera pans out to provide a shot of the Sith Lord, his full body in frame. Then out comes his lightsaber — the only #lightsaber we see in the entire film — and the rebels attempt to attack Vader while one rebel is carrying the plans, running as fast as he can to the escape ship. Unlike Revenge of the Sith, where we see a lightsaber and #Jedi children, leaving the audience to piece together what happened next, in this movie we see Vader slaughter the rebels, impaling one and raising his body up before continuing to massacre the rest.
Two successive phrases ring out from the rebels as we hear their dying screams: "Help us!" followed by, "Take it!" ("it" being the Death Star plans). The dialogue was the acknowledgement from the rebels that they were not getting out alive. The entire sequence was something straight out of a #horrormovie and showed us the pure brutality of Darth Vader.
Now, imagine if the story of this massacre was to spread among the rebel soldiers; about how Darth Vader alone brutally slaughtered an entire ship. Then perhaps that would give more background into why Vader is to be feared, as this was one of many encounters told of and witnessed by the Rebellion and people throughout the galaxy regarding the terrors of Darth Vader. This gives me satisfying cause to see why he is to be feared by his enemies.
After seeing Rogue One it's difficult to view A New Hope and its subsequent movies the same way — and I'm happy about that. I enjoyed Rogue One not just because it's a great movie (my new favorite in the series), but because of how it was not afraid to expand and, in some cases, correct series lore.
What are your thoughts on Rogue One and its impact on the larger Star Wars universe? Let me know in the comments below.