Rogue One: The Death Star

Jedi Jondee here on Scarif,

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The prequels and Rogue One invalidates much of the Expanded Universe lore on the Death Star. It was said to be designed by Bevel Lemeisk who was introduced in Kevin Anderson’s Darksaber (1995) novel. The real designer was Qwi Xux, a bird-like woman with blue skin, her race is identified as Omwati, the same one as Dihann Carroll’s singer in the Star Wars Holiday Special (1978), really. Kevin Anderson’s Jedi Academy trilogy introduced the Maw Installation, a series of black holes that hid the Empire’s secret weapons. It was said there that the Death Star was constructed above the planet Despayre, we now know that it orbited Geonosis with the Geonosians constructing it. The Death Star was moved from Geonosis which we saw in Star Wars: Rebels episode, “The Honorable Ones.” There is some confusion with the design of the Death Star, it is attributed to the Geonosians, Poggle’s translated dialogue during the battle, “The Jedi must not find our designs for the ultimate weapon.” It is really ancient plans by the Sith to form the Death Star, realized by the Geonosians.

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It is said to be moved from Geonosis to Scarif, the tropical world, for final assembly of the superlaser. The superlaser is powered by Kyber crystals, these are crystals used in the assembly of lightsabers, and of course first mentioned in Alan Dean Foster’s Legends novel, Splinter of the Mind’s Eye (1978). They were called Kaiburr crystals there and made a Jedi invincible, but they were de-powered and made canon in the Clone Wars episode, “The Gathering” (2012). The Kaiburr crystal was used in early drafts of the Lucas script (spelt Kiber crystal). The Empire is mining Jedha, a desert moon sacred to the Jedi, for Kyber crystals. The large crystals are used for Death Star’s superlaser. Forest Whitaker’s character, Saw Guerra, is leading a rebellion there. I suspect that this is the first place that the Rogues visit and possibly help Guerra sabotage Imperial operations. It is possible that Guerra may be killed during the battle or that he will bring in forces during the final battle. The operational status of the Death Star is interesting. Mon Mothma says in the trailer, “A major weapons test is imminent.  We need to know what it is and how to destroy it.” We also have Grand Moff Tarkin’s dialogue to Leia in ANH, “I would like you to be my guest at a ceremony that will makes this battle station operational.”

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A test fire is necessary for a mass weapon, it may not work, it may need modifications to fire. Later, Tarkin says, “I have chosen to test this station’s destructive power… on your home planet of Alderaan.” This is a field operation of the battle station, it may be that Tarkin is arrogant enough to use the superlaser for the first time on Alderaan, but that would make him a fool. It looks like from the trailer that the Rogues have infiltrated the base on Scarif to steal the plans. I suspect that Jyn Erso (Felicity Jones) is brought on the team because her father, Mads Mikkelsen’s character, Galen Erso is the designer of the Death Star. He has the plans under the watchful eye of Director Orson Krennic (Ben Mendelsohn). A.C. Crispin’s last book in the Han Solo trilogy, Rebel Dawn (1998), has a former love, Bria Tharen leading the Red Hand Squadron on Toprawa. They are able to send the plans from a communication tower before it is destroyed. This is interesting, in the trailer, Jyn is with the Rogues running the beach assault on Scarif against the walkers. This is the battle referred to in ANH’s crawl, “Rebel starships, striking from a hidden base, have won their first victory against the evil Galactic Empire.” The hidden base is Yavin or whatever planet is the Rebel base. What is seen in the trailer behind the walkers is a tower. I think their objective is to reach the tower and send of the transmission, something similar to Rebel Dawn. We will find out when Rogue One opens on December 16th.

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