Rogue One: A Star Wars Story has been surrounded by unflattering rumors the past few weeks since it was revealed the film was undergoing a month's worth of intense re-shoots. Rumors swirled it was because the film was screening poorly, and there were a lot of things that needed to be fixed before its December release.
However, Disney squashed the naysayers by revealing a multitude of inside information on the film and plot to Entertainment Weekly as well as a closer look into the new characters with never-before-seen stills.
So what do we gather from this plethora of information and stills? That Rogue One is going to be the first Star Wars story of its kind, and might just flip everything we know about Star Wars upside down.
Forget Everything You Know About the Force
In order to really begin to speculate about Rogue One, you need to forget everything you know about the force. Rogue One is set pre-A New Hope, and follows the ever rebellious outlaw Jyn Erso (Felicity Jones) as she is recruited by the Rebellion to steal the plans for the Empire's mysterious new weapon. She is accompanied by her band of misfit toys, you could say, to get the job done:
- Chirrut (Donnie Yen): A blind warrior monk who believes in the Force.
- Baze (Wen Jiang): Chirrut's protector who doubts the Force exists.
- Bohdi Rook (Riz Ahmed): The team's pilot, whose skills are irreplaceable.
- Captain Cassian Andor (Diego Luna): A weary intelligence officer that helps keep Jyn and her plan on track.
One thing that this odd group has in common is that none of them are Jedi — none of them have the gift of the Force. We already know that at this point in Star Wars mythology that the Jedi are basically extinct and the Force is meant to be a myth — "a bunch of simple tricks and nonsense," according to Han Solo — but that doesn't mean there can't be those in the film that are Jedi and don't know it yet, right? Possibly, but Rogue One won't get into that. It is Star Wars without the Force, which means anything is fair game.
Director Gareth Edwards told EW this was a time when ordinary people were all there was to fight against the Empire; they were on their own, and unsung heroes were born from it.
"The Jedi are pretty much extinct. It’s up to normal, everyday people to take a stand to stop evil from dominating the world.”
Without the Force, these brave souls will be going head to head against the dark side — including Darth Vader — but what will a Star Wars movie be like without even an inkling of the Jedi? Also, Is it possible that Jyn and her friends are the ones truly responsible for setting in motion the resurgence of the Jedi and defeat of the Empire? You might say that's a given, but it has been long debated if Luke or Vader were really the ones to restore balance to the Force as was destined. Something tells me it may not have been the Jedi at all, but a band of misfit toys.
Jyn Erso's Sacrifice
How far will Jyn go for the Rebellion? What will she sacrifice? We know that she is an outlaw who doesn't much care for war or politics, so what is in the mission for her? It was revealed that Jyn, in fact, does have a personal stake in the mission to steal the Death Star plans. Her father Galen (Mads Mikkelsen) has scientific knowledge that is being sought by both the Empire and the Rebellion. I imagine she wants to protect him from both sides, being that she really has no investment in either and is more of a self-preserver. This will probably be what motivates her to take the job, and in turn set in motion the defeat of Vader and his Empire, which will lead to the return of the Force.
Now Jyn may be in the place to sacrifice herself to save her father or the Rebellion. This speculation is moreso proven with Forrest Whitaker's Saw Gerrera being in the film. He's very familiar with the fact that victory comes with "horrific sacrifices." In the trailer, Saw warns Jyn of her destiny: "If you continue to fight, what will you become?" While we haven't seen Jyn face off with Vader in these early peeks at Rogue One, as the movie's protagonist she will no doubt come face to face with him. Will she and her team survive it?
The Death Star plans do make it back to the Rebellion, so someone must get them there, but it won't necessarily be her. A major theme in all of the Star Wars films is sacrifice: Vader sacrificed himself for Luke, Rey's parents sacrificed knowing her for her safety, and Han seemingly sacrificed himself for Kylo Ren, knowing there was still light inside him.
Jyn's move to give up her life for rescuing her father, therein helping the Rebellion would absolutely open a portal for the Force to be reignited among the sleeping Jedi. Its not long after the Rebellion gets the Death Star plans that Luke's story begins, so it makes sense.
A New Hope
Without a doubt much more is happening than just these ordinary people stealing weapon plans. Together, unknowingly, their sacrifices will open the door to the return of the Jedi. Can they survive a showdown with the dark side without the Force? I can't say for sure, but maybe that is why the title is A Star Wars Story, because this is their one story, one blip in time where they changed the course of the galaxy forever.
I think a Star Wars movie without the Jedi and the Force is important. It will be darker than the rest, and it might not make you as giddy as watching a new Jedi discover his gifts, but it will be inspiring and important to see things from the perspective of the rest of the galaxy. The regular everyday heroes who gave it all to restore balance to the Force in a time where no Jedi could save them. They will go rogue, step up, and usher in a new hope.
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story hits theaters December 16th, 2016.