WARNING: Some 'Rogue One' spoilers follow.
“It’s an energy field created by all living things. It surrounds us and penetrates us; it binds the galaxy together.” -Obi-Wan Kenobi
With its release, Rogue One answered so many questions that #StarWars fans have had for years like: Why was Luke Skywalker labeled 'Red 5' in A New Hope? What powered up the Death Star's superweapon? Why did it have such a fatal weakness built into its core and why was it overlooked by the Empire?
But the most famous question (aside from who shot first) is this: Why do Stormtroopers have such bad aim? Turns out, #RogueOne may have finally answered this question, too —we just didn't realize it.
The Original Trilogy And Stormtroopers' Bad Aim
Of course, it was the original trilogy that first established the long-running "Stormtroopers can't aim" joke.
A few of the scenes that come to mind are when Luke and Leia run away from Stormtroopers in A New Hope. Another great example that comes to mind is when our heroes have to escape the clutches of the Galactic Empire on Cloud City in The Empire Strikes Back:
It's easy to dismiss the Stormtroopers' bad aim as it simply being a convenient way for all the main characters to survive - after all, it would have been silly to kill them off. But what if the Stormtroopers' ineptitude wasn't a narrative decision at all, but actually had a real reason in the Star Wars universe: The Force?
'Rogue One' Showed It Was The Will Of The Force
Let’s start with Chirrut Imwe. While not a Jedi, Imwe is a clear believer in the Force. In fact, the first words we hear him say in the film are
“May the Force of others be with you.”
I believe the film established that the Force protects those who are true believers. There were a couple of scenes in this movie that proves that the Force actually kept these characters safe from harm. In one of the more popular scenes from the trailers, we see Chirrut Imwe taking on a bunch of Stormtroopers with his wooden staff and, of course, the Force:
“I fear nothing. All is as the Force wills it.”
Shortly after this scene takes place, his partner, Baze Malbus, shoots down the remaining Stormtroopers that come in to arrest him. After the quick skirmish, Chirrut Imwe tells him that it was the Force that protected them. How else would a blind man be able to take on all of these Stormtroopers at once? How else could the Stormtroopers miss him so badly at point-blank range? Even for Stormtroopers, it was pretty bad.
The answer is that he was protected by the Force throughout this film because his destiny had not yet been fulfilled. He even uses the power of the Force with his bowcaster to take out an incoming TIE fighter near the Imperial base on Eadu:
Here, the Force is guiding him and allowing him to make the shot precise to hit his target. While previous Star Wars films have made using the Force out to be some sort of superpower, Rogue One firmly established it as a religion and how spiritual faith in it can make impossible things possible.
Chirrut Imwe’s Destiny And Death
Toward the end of the film, the entire Rogue One crew is trapped after the Empire closes the force field around the base. The team aims to beam the Death Star plans to a Rebel ship outside the planet Scarif. However, before they do this they must notify a Rebel ship via a communication relay. This in turn would let them know that the shield must be taken down in order for the plans to be transmitted to them. Unfortunately, the only way to send out the communication, is to manually switch it on from a master switch which is located directly in the line of fire.
With nothing left to lose, Chirrut decides to be the one who will flip the master switch. As he’s walking across the battlefield, we can hear him chanting over and over again:
“I'm one with the Force and the Force is with me.”
Dozens of bullets fly right by him as he walks through the killing field, blind and unscathed. The Death Troopers do their best to kill him, but not one of their bullets hit their target. The scene clearly implies the Force protects him in his walk across the battlefield. After he flips the switch, he knows his time had come to an end — all is as the Force wills it. He was shielded by the Force during the skirmish in order to fulfill his destiny, and now that it is finished, he can go in peace.
‘Rogue One’ Made The Force Something More
We’ve always known that the Force worked in mysterious ways, but, before Rogue One, we'd only ever seen Jedi or the Sith using the Force. Rogue One established that anybody who believes in the Force can be shielded by and use the Force to guide them — it's not simply a matter of an elite few with elevated midichlorians getting to benefit from it, but anyone who has faith. Hopefully we’ll get to see this being explored more in future Star Wars films.
Did the Force actually protect all of these characters from harm? Please share your thoughts in the comment section below!