The Heroes in Rogue One Need to Die

The highly anticipated film Rogue One, coming out in December 2016, released a 2nd trailer on August 11. The end of the trailer interestingly reflects what the film needs to adopt: a heroic rise of the Rebels being completely quieted by the Emperor’s servants. There are 3 reasons the film should conclude in a similar darkness, with Lord Vader and his warriors killing all those who oppose them:

 

  1. Sacrifice:

Baze Malbus

Rogue One could make itself unique among the rest of the Star Wars films by ending the protagonists’ stories with death at the hands of their enemies. The majority of other characters—from Leia Organa to Anakin Skywalker—finished the Original Trilogy with success and happiness, and even The Force Awakens had most of its heroes survive. If the majority of the heroes in Rogue One were murdered, however, this unique ending would fully illustrate the personal level of destruction that the Empire creates. The most vivid consequence of siding with the Rebellion in the Star Wars films so far is the destruction of Alderaan—but while this genocide is awful and enormous, it still doesn’t offer an up-close view of the gall necessary for the Rebels to do what they do.

We already have a taste of the pains some rebels undergo from the 2nd trailer of Rogue One—Baze Malbus explains to someone that “our home” was destroyed—but we could easily get a more complete view of these horrors. If Vader found Jyn Erso’s squadron at the end of the film, perhaps immediately after they transmit the plans to Princess Leia, and if he were to kill them all, the audience would finally get a disillusioning image of what it means to fight the Imperials. No longer could we hold a romanticized vision of Luke, Han and Leia being the unblemished face of the Rebellion, holding off the Empire forever. While their journeys are powerful and varied, all of their stories ended successfully with the Original Trilogy—and these victorious voyages are unfair representations of the experiences of many in the Rebellion. Getting up-close and personal with an entire squadron that is martyred will offer the audience a unique perspective on the true sacrifice required of countless Rebels.

 

2. Strength:

Star Destroyer

The Empire tends to get a bad rap on the effectiveness of its military. Whether it’s videos showing aimless stormtroopers or a blog post exploring the bad reputation the Empire’s footsoldiers have, we’ve seen the government’s mistakes be a subject of mild ridicule. And the films themselves only show the exploitation of similar weaknesses: the Empire’s overconfidence in both of its Death Stars, in Admiral Ozzel’s attack on Hoth, and in Lord Vader all lead to eventual downfalls. But because we don’t see the reasons for all of this overconfidence, because the Empire only has a few successful strikes against the Rebellion, we can’t appreciate just how strong this faction really was.

Rogue One has a perfect opportunity to show that strength. If the Empire was to decimate all the saboteurs in Rogue One, even after the Death Star plans were transmitted, we’d be able to see on a visceral level just how competent the Imperials really are. We get a glimpse of this strength when the Empire overruns the trenches on Hoth and when it starts gaining ground on the Ewoks on Endor, but the sense of awe and desperation we see in these scenes fade once the heroes escape or conquer danger. Han Solo’s carbon freeze also creates feelings of desolation and hopelessness, but even that scene’s fearmongering dissipates because the rest of the heroes—Luke, Leia, and Lando—are all able to escape Vader by the end of the film. However, Rogue One has the chance to capitalize on the terrifying reactions of doomed protagonists by having the Empire eliminate a highly trained squadron—consequently displaying the feelings of horror, pain, and ultimate defeat the heroes must undergo, so that we truly understand how the Empire has the power to utterly destroy Rebels and foster so much confidence in itself.

 

3. Skywalker:

Darth Vader Rogue One

Finally, the destruction of the protagonists in Rogue One will fulfil some of Anakin Skywalker’s expectations and beliefs. In Revenge of the Sith, he explains how he joined Palpatine and “brought peace, freedom, justice, and security to [his] new Empire.” In Return of the Jedi, he explains how Luke doesn’t “know the power of the dark side.” And while Vader undoubtedly has his own moments of strength and dominance, his reasons for staying with an Empire that’s supposed to have security and power would be more sound and sensible if we were given a moment where he is undoubtedly the ally of the greatest power in the galaxy and the master of whatever situation he steps into.

Again, if the Empire were to slay all those who oppose it, this would show the Empire’s strength—and that would resultantly bolster the explanation for Vader’s loyalty. However, it would also show how Vader himself has grown to be a true master of power. In Rogue One, if he were to learn that the Rebels transmitted the Death Star plans, and his only goal became destroying those who had sabotaged his Empire, then upon killing each and every hero that stood against him, Vader would give the audience something rarely witnessed—Vader completing a goal for the Empire. The audience has only seen his failures at the end of each film, whether it be when he attempts to eliminate all the Jedi, or remove Obi Wan Kenobi as a threat, or stop the destruction of the Death Star, or eradicate the Rebels on Hoth, or use Han Solo’s capture to convert Luke, or get Luke to join his side on Endor. If we were to finally view Vader’s successful elimination of the threats in Rogue One, and see the pride he takes in doing so, we may get an explanatory glimpse into how Anakin Skywalker was fully convinced of his authority and place in the galaxy—and we may finally see the raw, unlimited power that Darth Vader so desperately desired to wield.

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3 Reasons Everyone Should Read Death Star Before Watching Rogue One

Death Star CoverThe novel Death Star, by Michael Reaves and Steve Perry, addresses several Imperial citizens’ lives before and during the events of Star Wars: A New Hope. While some criticize pieces of the book (for the variety of characters and a careful build-up, among other things) there are 3 reasons Star Wars fans should read the novel before watching the film Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, which will focus on stealing the Death Star plans:

 

  1. Characters:RO Helmet

It’s absolutely critical for the Death Star novel to produce characters the audience cares about. Most of the audience will already understand what happens to the titular Death Star before reading the book, and as such, the novel presents several characters that the audience grows to appreciate and care for. The novel takes its time in constructing and presenting this dramatis personae, since, unlike the movie trilogies, the book only has one shot to present these people that the readers need to care about.

This is strikingly similar to how Rogue One needs to present itself—with a focus on the characters, and not so much the outcome of the plot. Whether it focuses on five characters or solely on Jyn Erso isn’t as important as the fact that the viewers of Rogue One need to be prepared for a hefty build-up of the cast as we sprint through the plot. This is more similar to a film like Saving Private Ryan, which develops and introduces characters throughout the movie, instead of the Harry Potter series, which can take its time throughout eight movies to cultivate its cast. Unlike The Force Awakens, which can also take its time in revealing Rey’s past or Kylo Ren’s motivation, Rogue One has to present a variety of people who won’t matter too much in the other films—and reading a novel that does just that, in the same time period, will help us better prepare for this focus that’s unique among Star Wars films.

 

  1. Depth:Tarkin Focus

Death Star also bears a striking resemblance to the depth we’ll see in Rogue One in exploring one side of a war—Rogue One will give us a much more thorough look into the side its characters sympathize with. Understanding Jyn Erso—along with several of her teammates—will help us better comprehend why one would join a floundering resistance, or why one might even oppose it. Rogue One will delve deep into why the low-ranking soldiers would ever join and stay, as opposed to the reasons behind high-level Rebels like Princess Leia, General Solo, and Master Skywalker. However, to get a fuller look at all of these reasons, it would be better to understand the other side of the argument—and Death Star gives just that.

Death Star offers an intriguing viewpoint on many mindsets within the Empire. While it’s not technically canon, it still presents thought-provoking perspectives from the Imperial government—ranging from Darth Vader’s innermost thoughts and pleasures to Grand Moff Tarkin’s unfiltered confidence in his own Tarkin Doctrine. The novel also explores the understandings of lower-level Imperials, just like Rogue One will do in taking a deeper look into the Rebellion’s ordinary soldiers. The explored perspectives of the novel include those of a Stormtrooper, a TIE Fighter pilot, a bartender, a political prisoner, a thief, and a doctor who all live on the Death Star. This gives the reader a wide spectrum on the opinions of those under the Empire’s rule, and this spectrum will help us more fully comprehend and analyze the reasoning behind similarly ranked characters in Rogue One.

 

  1. Legend:Admiral Motti

Admittedly, the Death Star novel doesn’t focus too much on the Death Star’s structure itself—instead, it offers views on the legend of the Death Star, much like Rogue One will do. Watching Rogue One will provide the outlook that the Rebels have over this massive superweapon, and give us a clearer look at the galaxy’s attitude towards this station. Death Star complements this by peering into the heads of the Imperials—varying from the thoughts of low-life thieves to high-up officials like Admiral Motti and Grand Moff Tarkin—to see what they think of the station. This variety of opinions—ranging just as much as their owners, from awe and reverence for the Death Star to disgust and bewilderment—helps the audience understand just how much of an impact the weapon had within its own ranks and mirrors the perspectives we’ll see in Rogue One.

Understanding this impact will also help us appreciate the gravity of the actions within Rogue One. Of course, Mon Mothma and others will describe how imperative and dangerous it is to retrieve the plans of this massive machine, but to truly recognize how crucial and suicidal the mission in Rogue One is, one should consider the Empire’s perspective. The Death Star novel offers exactly that. It contrasts the view of the Death Star that the Rebels have by expanding on the fears of those Imperial citizens who know they could suffer under the superweapon’s mercy, explaining the true motivations of Tarkin in building what he considers “a monster tamed and under [his] control,” and delving into the thoughts of Admiral Motti when he states that the station is “now the ultimate power in the universe.”

 

While it’s not canon, Death Star gives a thorough look at many characters—like Rogue One will need to—and provides a sense of depth into the ideology and rigors of normal life in the Empire (something we’ll get more of in Rogue One than with the heroes’ stories of the trilogies). Perhaps most importantly, reading this novel helps the reader understand the militaristic and cultural impact of the space station that Rogue One will concentrate so heavily on, and prepares Star Wars fans for fully comprehending and appreciating whatever they will see in theaters.

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The Death Star Destroyed the Empire

The First Death Star, or DS1, was one of the most impressive technological and logistical feats of the Empire. However, for several reasons—some of which took effect before the Death Star was even destroyed—this colossal construction helped weaken and eventually devastate the government it was built to protect. Here’s 3 reasons why:

  1. Shattered Ideology:

Tarkin & Vader

Perhaps the most important problem with the Death Star was that it implemented an ideology that was crucial to the Empire’s survival: the Tarkin Doctrine. This doctrine was summed up by Grand Moff Tarkin himself: “Fear will keep the local systems in line. Fear of this battle station.”

Essentially, the principle taught by Tarkin and exercised by the Empire was that, in building a weapon so terrifying, one would rarely have to use it. However, the counterargument is that building such a weapon would terrify citizens to the point of rebellion—that they would rather fight against this space station instead of cowering under it. Princess Leia summarizes the results of this effect when she states, “The more you tighten your grip, Tarkin, the more star systems will slip through your fingers.”

However, the Empire removes any debate on this subject by enacting its ideology. It destroys the planet Alderaan and, according to Tarkin, will then destroy the Rebellion in “one, swift stroke.” His assumption is that the demonstration of the DS1 has permanently eliminated any other faction’s resistance against the Empire.

That assumption couldn’t have been farther from the truth. Almost immediately after the Death Star’s display, it’s actually destroyed by the Rebellion—showing to the public that the Tarkin Doctrine clearly did not work. Fear brought about desperation, not conformity, in the Rebels, and this desperation backlashed horribly against the Empire, killing the very man for which the core ideology behind the Death Star was named.

  1. Wasted Resources:

Shooting Alderaan

The Death Star was built on a scale that was absolutely unnecessary, and calculations aren’t even required to understand this. The main purpose of the Death Star was to frighten enemies by destroying any opponents on a planet, but it didn’t just destroy all life on Alderaan in Episode 4—it annihilated the globe. This kind of firepower wasn’t necessary. An asteroid that destroys all major lifeforms on Earth wouldn’t need to make the entire planet explode; it would only need to send a powerful shockwave across the surface. And even if the Empire wanted a superlaser to melt everything on the surface, remove the atmosphere, and ravage the crust, it still wouldn’t need nearly any of the power it took for the Death Star to instantly disintegrate Alderaan.

Because the Death Star was ludicrously overpowered, this space station only served as a public demonstration of the Empire’s tactical redundancy; a much smaller yet equally terrifying station could have been built, yet they attempted to flaunt this gaudy overcompensation as a sign of the Empire’s brilliance—in a way that would only make the galactic population more appalled at their government’s insanity. Then, when the Death Star was destroyed in the Battle of Yavin, its loss of 2 million civilians and hundreds of thousands of pilots and Stormtroopers (along with several Admirals and of course, the highest-ranking Imperial officer, Grand Moff Tarkin) made it appear especially foolish, and showed once again how the Empire was completely misusing valuable resources in this war over the galaxy.

  1. Betrayed Supporters:

Imperial Gunner

The destruction of Alderaan also shows a betrayal against another core ideal of the Empire: the Human High Culture, an idea praising humans that (while also explicitly stated in the Legends EU) is heavily hinted at in the films through the Nazi-esque structure of the Empire’s army and the fact that all their officers are human. However, in the case of Alderaan, the Empire no longer treated humans like first-class citizens. All of them, regardless of species and Imperial status, were destroyed. This entrenched a feeling of betrayal within those humans who were once considered special under the superweapon’s grip.

The Death Star didn’t just scare off humans, however; it also shocked its own soldiers.  In the (now Legends) novel Death Star, (SPOILERS AHEAD for Death Star) it’s described that soldiers aboard the Death Star think of the destruction of Alderaan as “evil beyond comprehension” (295). The gunner of the superweapon itself loathes himself and knows that “the dead would haunt him, forever” because he took part in the destruction of this planet (326). Several Imperial soldiers and citizens defect to the Rebellion because of the destruction this space station creates. And in the canon Lost Stars novel, some wonder in bewilderment and disgust why the Empire would ever attempt to use or replicate such a device. The entirety of the galaxy, including the Imperials, see that the Empire isn’t just using fear against its enemies, but mercilessly utilizing superweapons against its own planets. This realization undoubtedly brought many sympathizers to the Rebels.

From the misuse of fear, to the waste of resources, to the betrayal of its own people, the Death Star made the Empire’s war doubtable in the eyes of the galaxy—adding to Rebel sympathizers, suppliers, and supporters. Eventually, each of these problems surfaced again when the Empire attempted to expand its flimsy façade of power in constructing the second Death Star—once again showing how the Death Star helped begin the Empire’s demise before it was even destroyed.

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Luke Skywalker Is Way More Awesome Than You Thought

In a lot of discussions and forums, the way I see people speak of Luke Skywalker is usually with some form of disdainful tolerance, or a tone of “He’s alright, but this other character is so much cooler.” There’s also a Buzzfeed article explaining why Luke’s the “absolute worst.” But the people who criticize Luke haven’t considered all the reasons he’s actually a soundly crafted character:

 

  1. He makes mistakes.

Luke Burning homestead

In A New Hope, Luke is designed to look weak. The film is a modified form of the Hero’s Journey, and that journey involves a weak character growing into a strong one.

This weakness doesn’t just fulfill a story type, however; it actually makes us understand who Luke is and care about him. The poorly thought-out Buzzfeed article points out some of his valid weaknesses (among other completely useless details) as though they make the audience hate him, but some of what Luke does actually makes us relate: he’s a just a restless kid with little to look forward to. He’s beat up, saved by an old man, and then he just complains about his mind-numbing tasks that he’ll have to do for the rest of his life.

Like a lot of people, Luke’s made some stupid mistakes and has a rather dim future, but he wants something more. His hope to join something useful, to have a purpose and an adventure, is a pretty universal desire. Seeing him play with a model of a ship shouldn’t make us scoff—it should make us realize that we’re a lot like Luke, just finding some kind of menial entertainment when we really want a powerful, useful journey to go on. Seeing this flawed farmboy helps us root for him to succeed in becoming something greater, and it sets a stark contrast against his former self when he finally does.

 

  1. He grows up.

Luke with Vader

Episode IV to Episode VI actually involves a huge transformation for Luke. Several facets of his character mature, and it’s impressive in how many ways Luke advances without the audience even recognizing it:

 

Skill:

This is perhaps the most obvious of growths, but Luke used to only be a farmboy who could shoot rats from his T-16—by the time he’s on the second Death Star, he’s destroyed the second largest space station ever constructed, helped bring down one of the greatest crime lords in the galaxy, and become the last Jedi Master to survive the Empire. Shortly after all these accomplishments, Luke single-handedly defeats Darth Vader and manages to convince this same man, the personal servant of Emperor Palpatine, to join his side.

Temperament:

In A New Hope, Luke not only whined about his own struggles—he repeatedly ridiculed Han’s personal ship, and he panicked whenever they were in trouble. By Return of the Jedi, he stops panicking and ridiculing, and actually does the opposite—he’s the one comforting a blinded Han, arguing with Darth Vader, and chuckling when they’re captured by a tribe of weapon-laden Ewoks. Even when he’s traveling in the Tydirium shuttle, just past Darth Vader, he informs the crew that Vader knows he’s on the ship—and while everyone else glances nervously to him and denies his assertion, he just stares calmly back at the approaching Star Destroyer, completely in charge of himself.

Motives:

Luke used to just seek out adventure (and possibly revenge) because of everything that happened on Tatooine. But by the Battle of Endor, he’s made sacrifices and risked himself to confirm other’s safety—he abandons his training to save Han and Leia on Bespin, returns to Tatooine to rescue Han, and even seeks out Vader himself to convince him that he’s redeemable. Luke hardly even has a plan when he turns himself in to the Imperials on Endor—all he means to do is speak to his father and convert him, knowing full well that, if he fails, he’ll undoubtedly be destroyed.

Understanding:

This is arguably the most extensive expansions of Luke’s character. Gone is the farmboy that knew the evil of the Empire and the beauty of the innocent Jedi; throughout Episode VI, we see Luke less and less pacified by broad strokes of good and evil. He’s disillusioned from Kenobi’s minced words, he chokes two Gamorrean guards without warning, and he chops off his father’s hand before regaining control of himself, all the while veering closer to the dark side. Luke’s no longer waltzing around with a clear understanding of good guys and bad guys, but actually showing inner conflict and empathy towards his enemies.

There are even cinematic clues showing this development in understanding. In Return of the Jedi, just as Vader discovers Luke has a sister, the Jedi stands at a point where light strikes half of his face and shadow covers the other half—representing the calls from both sides of the Force. Not only does the lighting in this one scene represent an inner conflict, but Luke’s costumes throughout the trilogy also represent his leaning away from a romanticized hero: in Episode 4, he generally wears white, signifying his innocence and pureness. By Episode 5, it’s darker whites and grays, showing he’s maturing and his morality possibly darkening. By Episode 6, Luke is fully clad in black, the colors of Vader and the dark side—until he’s fully resisted the Emperor and removes Vader’s mask, at which point his outer jacket has opened to reveal a white cloth just over his heart. From costume and lighting to action and dialogue, we can see that Luke grows throughout the Original Trilogy to become a man conflicted with the complex subtleties of what is morally right and wrong.

 

All of these shifts in character reflect a realistic and impressive character growth. Luke goes from an immature boy to a powerful, confident, motivated, and questionable hero. Critics can decry his mistakes or stupid actions, but they can’t deny that, by the end, he becomes an incredibly written, deeply layered character.

 

  1. He just keeps getting better. (SPOILERS to The Force Awakens ahead)

Luke Awesome Stare

Whether examining the “Legends” or the canon stories, it’s clear that Luke’s still expanding into a better character.

In the Expanded Universe, Luke undergoes a number of feats that I won’t detail here, because that would require choosing which of his many glorious moments are the most powerful. But in many of the novels, he’s an even wiser and deeper character, questioning the morality of both his own organization and his enemies with equal veracity. Take a look at the Thrawn Trilogy if you want to see what I mean.

Yet now, in the Force Awakens, the little I’ve seen of Luke is almost superior to the thousands of pages I’ve read before. That one last glimpse, that forlorn expression of his, won’t get out of my head for years. Whenever we see more of him and understand what happened, I’m confident it’ll only add to the many layers of this already incredible character.

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Rogue One Could Be the Best Star Wars Movie Ever

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is the first “Anthology” film for Star Wars, and it’s coming out this year. Let’s take a look at 3 reasons why it could be the best Star Wars film ever released:

  1. Character Focus.

What will you become

One unique aspect of Rogue One is the fact that it has to focus on characters. The end of the plot is already well known: the Rebels eventually get the plans. Therefore, the main source of tension for the story will have to be the mystery of who survives—the audience will be waiting to see what happens to the characters, not the plans. The writers of the story, then, have to focus on making the audience care for these characters.

This sets Rogue One well apart from the Original Trilogy and The Force Awakens; while those movies have great characters, they have to concentrate on setting tension for the plot’s outcome—producing scenes that don’t offer much insight on a character or increase their likeability, like the debriefings about the Death Star or Starkiller Base. But Rogue One will have much more time to focus on the characters instead of the story that we already know.

Admittedly, we already knew the outcome of the Prequel Trilogy before it started, but those movies were attempting to set up a contrast with the Darth Vader we once knew. Instead of developing a more complex character the audience would sympathize with, Anakin Skywalker was simply displayed as an innocent child so we’d be traumatized by his transformation. However, the writers for Rogue One know they can’t just set up a character for contrast—they’ll actually focus on creating a deep, complex character that the audience cares about, and they’ll have more time to do it than any other Star Wars film has ever had.

  1. Polished Nostalgia.

Spec-Ops

One of the most exciting things about this movie is that we’re returning to the same time period as the Original Trilogy. The film will be set immediately before A New Hope—not twenty years before or thirty years after. So we’re going to see a lot of things (AT-ATs, Stormtroopers, an imminent “major-weapons test”) that we loved in those old movies, resurrecting nostalgia from nearly forty years ago for some. From the gritty feel of the Rebellion to the polished armor of the classic Stormtroopers, a lot of pieces in this film will remind us of all the things we already love about this galaxy. And this film will only add to those reminders with details like new “Spec-ops” black troopers and fresh visual effects.

But it’s not just the Stormtroopers and the Empire-Rebellion conflict that are going to return. Eventually, at some point in this film, they have to bring back the most renowned character in the entire franchise—Darth Vader. He’ll make an appearance with the same motive from Episode IV—relocating the Death Star plans—but he’ll look better than ever before. His choreography and appearance will be far more elegant than in A New Hope, and his character will be far more fearsome than in Revenge of the Sith. So, in Rogue One, we can plan on hearing of his ominous reputation, fearing his ever-nearing presence, and then, finally, watching him massacre the Rebels who dare defy him—all in an up-to-date, yet true-to-form image that we’ve never seen Vader in before. It’s got to happen, and when it does, it might just be the most terrifying scene of all the Star Wars movies.

  1. Creative Freedom.

Donnie Yen

Another thing that sets Rogue One apart from the rest of the Star Wars films is its enormous creative freedom; this film can focus on any and every aspect of the incredibly rich Star Wars galaxy. All of the other films have had huge precedents to follow; they must be about the Force, they must focus on a large-scale conflict in the galaxy, and they must detail the fight between groups of clearly-defined good and evil.

Rogue One isn’t restricted in any of these ways. It can focus on a few Force-free Rebels, it can hone in on their struggles in an undercover mission, and it can completely blur the lines between good and evil. Several spinoffs in the Star Wars franchise had little to do with the fate of the entire galaxy or the Force-abilities of their characters yet succeeded anyway: the game Bounty Hunter, the novel Death Star, and the various merchandise for Republic Commando were all successful without focusing on those facets so common to the normal films. Rogue One, like them, can claim success through concentrating on a particular aspect of the Star Wars galaxy without having to pay homage to the demanded themes of the other movies.

Along with this freedom from particular themes, Rogue One has more flexibility in other aspects of film. Alexander Desplat, who composed scores for movies like The King’s Speech and The Grand Budapest Hotel, is supposedly taking over the soundtrack for this film instead of the usual John Williams. While this might disappoint some of Williams’ loyalists, it also offers opportunities for some freshly devised themes and more creativity than other films have had. And Donnie Yen (renowned martial artist and the actor for Ip Man) will be fighting in the film, but instead of a lightsaber for melee combat he’s wielding some kind of bowstaff. Instead of sticking to the lightsaber-wielding Force-user common to all other Star Wars films, Donnie is bringing about a form of combat unique to the usual array of lightsabers and blasters. We’ll have to wait and see, but even now we already know that Rogue One is going to break out of the normal barriers other Star Wars films have been restrained by.

AT-AT

This film will be completely different from all the other Star Wars movies. It has to produce amazing characters, enhance the things we love about the old films, and utilize its newfound freedom in all the facets that the other films have been restricted in. These distinctive characteristics could set apart Rogue One to become the greatest Star Wars movie ever.

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4 Reasons Boba Fett’s in Star Wars: Episode 8

SPOILERS AHEAD for Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Star Wars: Episode VIII will be coming out by the end of 2017, and at this point many fans are wondering who could star in the film. While many are excited about a wide array of characters, both new and old, there are four reasons a particularly beloved character, Boba Fett, should make a surprise appearance in the next Star Wars movie:

  1. Phasma was bad.

Phasma Base

Most of us understand that Captain Phasma was a disappointment in Star Wars: The Force Awakens. She was overhyped and over-marketed, and she failed to fulfill the role that Gwendoline Christie (the actor for Phasma) said she’d take: “She is a Boba Fett-style character, which means she makes a lot of impact but she’s not at the forefront of the action all the time.”

Certainly, Captain Phasma made a lot of impact—she lowered the shields on her Supreme Leader’s base, allowing the destruction of an entire planet because of her overconfidence. However, that doesn’t mean she’s a Boba Fett-style character. Boba Fett got the job done in Episode V, looking intimidating and intelligent, and even when he was eaten alive in Episode VI, he only hurt himself and still retained a huge fanbase that demanded he survived in the Expanded Universe. It’s pretty clear that Phasma—at best an incompetent leader and at worst labeled a complete failure in The Force Awakens—didn’t come close to playing a Boba Fett-style character. Something has to change if we want a character that gets the job done in an intimidating way.

The writers and producers of Episode VIII have two options: keep Phasma at the forefront and drastically change the role she plays (see Phasma Must be a Bounty Hunter), or reduce her to a very minimal character and replace her with someone else. And who better to replace this “Boba Fett-style character” than Boba Fett himself?

 

  1. He’ll rake in money.
Boba Movie Poster

Close enough, @FutureStarWars

Admittedly, Boba’s old, and he’s been used enough. The writers for Star Wars: Episode 8 could let him be, and create a new “Boba Fett-style” villain to root for. But, while I’m all for creating some new villains, one must keep in mind that putting Boba Fett back in the movies isn’t lazy or limiting—it’s economically brilliant. If this fan-favorite were to show up in one of the teaser trailers for Episode VIII, the resulting hype, attention, and reaction on social media would be phenomenal.

Plus, there’s no better way to increase the anticipation of the possible Boba Fett movie than by marketing Boba along with all of Episode VIII’s advertising. And, if Boba’s in the eighth film, it exposes him to all the new Star Wars fans who haven’t seen him before. So, including Boba in VIII raises excitement for the eighth film, accomplishes marketing for a Boba Fett film, and increases exposure of new fans to this awesome character.

 

  1. It’s already set up.
Boba Slave I

The New Republic Anthology could become an awesome reality.

Some fans might be concerned that Boba was eaten alive in Episode VI, and that all the once-canon novels explaining his survival have become “Star Wars Legends.” Plus, even if Boba somehow survived, one could make the case that he was older than Han Solo by the time of The Force Awakens—so he most likely wouldn’t be attempting the most exhilarating blaster fights or jetpack launches in Episode 8. But, given a bit of thought, Boba actually can easily return to an exciting, important role in the movie.

First, it’s easy for the writers of these films to reuse other stories that resurrected Boba from his death on Tatooine. It’s even emphasized in Return of the Jedi that the sarlacc that ate Boba devours its meals over a thousand years. If Boba had a thousand years of time, a fueled jetpack, and a wide assortment of weapons, it won’t be too hard for him to escape the monster that ate him. And those in charge of these stories might just have to offer an explanation for Boba’s survival anyway, if his spinoff film extends past Return of the Jedi.

Of course, even if he survived, Boba would probably be much older in Episode 8—but he doesn’t have to be. Like C-3PO said, the sarlacc devours its meals over a thousand years. It must have some way of preserving its food, of elongating a prey’s life, especially if the sarlacc is to offer the slow and painful death that Jabba promised its victims. If the sarlacc can hold onto a human’s life for a thousand years, perhaps a human escaping the creature’s gut after only thirty years will show hardly any aging at all—perhaps, if Boba escaped this monster just before Episode VIII, he could practically be the same age that he was in Episode VI.

jango-fett

When Boba fell, he was probably still younger than Jango lived to be.

Along with this, the actor for Jango Fett (and subsequently the clone template for Boba), Temuera Morrison, is only in his fifties, a much more manageable age for action sequences than Harrison Ford’s seventy-plus. Morrison’s already rumoured to be in a Boba Fett spinoff, and with a bit of makeup or explanation of the sarlacc’s effect on time, he could be the perfect age for Boba in Episode VIII. Temuera could fit the script, the sarlacc’s effect on time could keep Boba in a fit, combat-ready age, and it’ll be easy to come up with a survival story—perhaps we’d even get to see part of Patton Oswalt’s prediction come true. If the writers want Boba back, then he’s coming back.

 

  1. There’s plenty for him to do.

Slave II

Between returning, marketing, fulfilling old Legends, and replacing Phasma, Boba’s got a ton of work he can do in this film. We could see him crawl right out of the sarlacc’s mouth, venture back to Mandalore, visit the family he had in the Legends, or team up with other Mandalorians. He might show up in a teaser, he might hunt down Finn, and he might even stand alongside Kylo Ren for a scene. My guess is that his presence will be heavily hinted at in the trailers—a Mandalorian helmet here, a jetpack there—and then he’ll show up next to Phasma in the film. Possibly one of the best things he could do in Episode VIII is show Phasma how she should’ve behaved—in fact, the most satisfying thing fans disappointed in Phasma could watch is Boba Fett, contracted for hire by the Resistance, essentially disintegrating Captain Phasma like the cool, calm slayer she should have been.

 

Boba is back.

We’ll have a much clearer guess where Boba will be in the next films once trailers come out, but for now, all we need to know is this: There’s plenty of reasons for him to return. Boba Fett could easily replace Phasma, rake in cash for Disney, reuse plenty of established setup, and have a ton of awesome things to do.

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Captain Phasma Must Be a Bounty Hunter

SPOILERS AHEAD for the Star Wars: The Force Awakens

I’m not going to waste too much time explaining how bad Phasma was in Star Wars: The Force Awakens. She was an overhyped, over-marketed character attempting to take the place of a silent scene-stealer like Boba Fett—and she failed abysmally at fulfilling that role.

There’s only two things that Star Wars VIII should do with Captain Phasma—completely drop her (see the related article, 4 Reasons Boba Fett’s in VIII), or completely reassess her responsibilities. If they want to keep her, Phasma has to recover from her weaknesses in The Force Awakens. To understand how she’ll recover, however, we need to know her weaknesses by understanding the two simple fixes that the producers and writers of TFA overlooked—using roles that were already in the film:

  1. Competence: Replace Phasma with Hux

Hux

The only time Phasma had any confidence was when she expressed misplaced arrogance in her own troops: she disables the shields on Starkiller Base and then tells Han Solo her soldiers will get the shields back anyway. But this pride only allows the entire base to be completely destroyed, and Phasma’s left looking stupid and incompetent.

So, to keep the shields down for the story’s plot, but avoid making Phasma look inept,  Hux should have taken her place in that scene. Removing Phasma from the shield-disabling role would have retained more mystery and respect for her, and it would have also given us a better look at Hux. He’s already shown to be a confident but somewhat imperfect commander; this would have created ample opportunity for Hux to reprimand his enemies while further displaying his unrestrained hatred for the Resistance and undying confidence in the First Order. But it would have also removed any hint of Phasma’s incompetence from our minds, allowing us to believe she’s a villain we should actually root for.

  1. Intimidation: Replace TR-8R with Phasma

TR-8R

The Z6 baton-wielding Stormtrooper above, dubbed by the internet as TR-8R, was exactly what we’d expected when looking to Phasma: a quiet, single-line character who shows no mercy and commands respect. Boba Fett fulfilled a similar role—he had three lines in Empire Strikes Back and none in Return of the Jedi, but still managed to become a fan favorite because of how awesome he looked and how intimidating he was.

But Phasma did nothing to intimidate the characters or the audience. All she did was tell Finn to put a helmet on and gave an unfulfilled, empty threat to Han Solo about her troops. For The Force Awakens to have satisfied our expectations for her, Phasma should have taken the place of TR-8R—confronting Finn, destroying him even though he’s wielding a lightsaber, and then only momentarily being subdued by Chewbacca’s bowcaster. By absolutely decimating Finn, Phasma would have retained few lines and just as much mystery—but still become the intimidating villain we’d hoped for.

What now?

With those two changes in The Force Awakens, we would have seen a more intimidating, competent Captain Phasma. Obviously, it’s too late to change Episode VII, but that’s the point: now, to keep Phasma in the trilogy, the writers have to implement some corrections in Episode VIII.  And, unless they completely replace her, they have to make her a bounty hunter:

  1. Competence: Make Phasma Hunt Finn

Boba Hunting Falcon

By having Phasma successfully track down Finn, the writers of Star Wars will build our respect for Phasma’s intelligence without having to spell it out—much like when we see Boba trail behind the Millenium Falcon in Episode V.

Plus, Captain Phasma is one of the best-equipped characters in the galaxy to track down Finn: she trained this high-profile traitor to be the warrior he was, and much like Finn offered invaluable insights to the limitations of the Stormtroopers in TFA, Phasma should be able to accurately deduce the location or motivation of her previous subordinate by the end of Star Wars: Episode VIII. And doing so will finally make the audience respect Phasma’s ability to intelligently get a job done.

  1. Intimidation: Have Phasma Destroy Finn

Phasma Base

Once Phasma finally meets Finn, she’ll need to recover from her complete failure in their last encounter—and the best way she can do this is by beating Finn to the ground. Hopefully, this will involve some sort of cool fight scene or new weaponry, much like TR-8R’s encounter with Finn, but Phasma’s attack will also be more emotionally gripping—this is Finn and Phasma fighting, after all: master and student, captain and subordinate. Finn showed a particular dislike for Phasma in TFA, and their showdown would give us new angles on how much Phasma despises traitors and how much Finn dreads the First Order. Because of that, if Phasma destroys Finn in VIII, we’ll be both impressed and emotionally wrought, instead of surprisingly disappointed like we were from TFA.

Star Wars: Episode 8

Phasma was weak in TFA mainly because she lacked any competence and intimidation. However, if we get to watch Phasma track down Finn and absolutely annihilate him—basically becoming a bounty hunter for the new Star Wars trilogy—then she’ll at least somewhat recover from her embarrassing role in The Force Awakens. Unless the writers completely abandon Phasma, she has to transform into the hard-core villain we were all hoping for and essentially become the newest bounty hunter of the Star Wars universe.

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