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- When the rebellion learns about the Death Star, everyone absolutely freaks out, calling the alliance a suicide pact and saying they have to surrender. Even ignoring the fact that even in canon, the Empire could already effectively destroy a planet by rendering it inhospitable with bio-weapons or orbital bombardment from star destroyers, the point stands: The Empire was already so powerful if they knew what planet the rebel base was on, or even what system it was in, the rebellion would already be dead, and these experienced rebel commanders should be cool headed enough to know that.
- Being able to do x damage is not the same as being able to do x damage with one single shot. For example, the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were neither the biggest bombings by victim number nor by overall explosive energy, but they were delivered by a single vessel with a single bomb. That was the real game changer. Sure, the Empire had the capability to glass the surface of a planet with a bunch of star destroyers before the Death Star, but it would take them some time to assemble the star destroyers and cost resources to do the bombing. The Death Star can do that and more with a single shot without breaking a sweat.
- Not to mention that it's possible to at least put up a conventional fight against a fleet of Star Destroyers. They're big but not that big and far from invincible. If not for the design flaw Galen Erso engineered into it, it would be virtually impossible to fight against the Death Star with anything short of another Death Star. Which needless to say, Alliance lacked the industrial capacity to build even if they had the complete blueprints.
- Still: the Empire doesn't know what planet they're on, otherwise they'd already be dead, because yes, the rebellion has destroyed a few Star Destroyers in their time, but but that was just to buy time because the Empire just sent more. The Death Star is scary in concept, which was the in-universe point, but do these hardened rebel leaders really expect even the Empire to start blowing up planets at the slightest signs of rebellion (because wait for anymore proof, and the rebels have already done their damage and left, which is the point of being a Guerilla)?
- That is kinda the point, in Rogue One they are not all a hardened group yet. They are a mix of fence sitters, malcontents, rabble rousers, with a few hardened leaders and fighters mixed in. The steely eyed ones like Mon Mothma, Raddus and Bail Organa who have been fighting it in various ways for over a decade aren't panicking but they do acknowledge the urgency factor. The ones who were maybe disgruntled with the Empire's rule but not really fully committed yet or the ones who were there to hedge their bets on who would come out on top and have a foot in each camp; they are the ones panicking and getting ready to fold. This is really the Rebel Alliance learning just what the stakes really are and just how much commitment it is really going to take. They are much more cohesive a group going forward.
- During the Rebel attack on the planetary shield generator, a squadron of X-Wings were trying to get through the gate before the shield activated, though a few of them did not make it through and had to pull off the attempt. My question would be, why didn't the X-Wings fold their S-foils (the in-universe name of their wings) down while making that attempt, as in-universe (at least, according to video-game canon featuring X-Wings), folding down the S-foils allows them to increase their velocity and acceleration.
- The old Rogue Squadron games technically are no longer canon, so there's nothing to confirm X-Wings are any faster with their S-foils closed.
- Even if you did count it as canon, closing the S-foils also had the drawback of making the X-Wing slower to turn. Maybe the pilots chose to keep the wings open to give themselves a better chance to pull up if they ran out of time.
- Maybe it only makes you faster inside the atmosphere?
- Maybe it only makes you faster in terms of final top speed, not in short-term acceleration?
- I thought it was about giving the laser cannons a better spread of fire, since it's called attack position and is shown when flying in combat but not hyperspace. A possible explanation is that opening and closing them takes time and may not be possible at attack speeds on current models.
- I don't recall if X-Wings (at least the T-65, not sure about the newer T-70) can fire with their wings closed. Its meant to increase maneuverability and speed, and ease landing. Plus it makes FTL travel easier if the wings are closed.
- Regarding S-foils and ship speed, the Rogue Squadron series depicts it this way and allows your X-wing to fly faster when they're closed. But then this is contradicted by the X-Wing series where closing S-foils does nothing, except prevent you from using your weapons. So it hasn't been all consistent.
Size of the data
- How come the schematics were so large they needed to be stored on a huge hard drive, but then the Rebels download them onto a small diskette?
- The facility at Scarif is an archive, and as such probably designed for long term storage of information. The hard drive Jyn and Cassian pull from the archives is probably designed to preserve data for an undetermined period of time without corruption. The Rebels don't need such rugged data storage to transport the files back to Yavin 4.
- Further, we have no idea of knowing how old the Scarif facility is. If it was originally a Republic facility, it could potentially be hundreds or thousands of years old, and upgrading such a massive facility to new storage technology would be a massive (and expensive) project that probably wouldn't be done that often. The Rebel diskette, on the other hand, is presumably new-ish technology, considering the cost to upgrade the Star Wars version of a thumb drive probably wouldn't be that high. The Scarif facility could feasibly be using technology decades or centuries old, depending on how cheap the Empire was being about upgrading.
- It may also be that the plans weren't the only thing on the hard drive. We don't fully see what Jyn does, so she could have selected the file off the hard drive to queue up for transmission. A thumb drive is small and can hold a lot, but it can't hold as much as a modern disk drive. As this was a data archive facility, it is very likely that the drive contained all files related to the Death Star project, from the original Geonosian Industries design concept through all of the planning phases and development dead ends. The Rebels were not in this for historical interest. They only needed the schematics for the Death Star as it had actually been built and even if Jyn sent the whole data mass, the crew of the Rebel flagship likely only copied the production plans to the card that was handed to Leia.
- It's likely also that the trooper waiting for the diskette was compressing the file to fit, and it was simply uncompressed when it reached Yavin IV.
- So has the designer of the Death Star been retconned? Bevel Lemelisk was stated in multiple sources to be the architect of the Death Star, so has that been changed to Galen Erso? Or did Erso just do some exterior modifications?
- In current canon, the design of the station originated with the Geonosians. Galen Erso was brought in to get the main weapon to work, as the project had become stuck.
- The Death Star was already under construction. Galen was only brought in due to his knowledge about kyber crystals, which are needed to power the station.
- No, Bevel Lemelisk doesn't exist anymore.
- In summary: The Geonosians came up with the original idea (presumably together with Sidious or Tarkin), Krennic oversaw its actual construction, and Erso was brought in because they (thought they) needed a scientific expert.
- Bevel Lemelisk was old EU Canon. He was jettisoned with the rest of the EU when Disney bought Star Wars
- Given what we've seen of Palpatine's treatment of him, he was probably jettisoned in the EU at least a couple of times.
- Gotcha, shame really. Lemelisk was an interesting character.
- I don't think the others working with Galen ever got named, so theoretically one of them could actually be new-canon Lemelisk I guess.
- Alternatively, Erso could be the new version of Lemelisk in the current canon, similar to how Kylo Ren can be considered the new version of Jacen Solo. Just because the old EU isn't canon anymore doesn't mean they'll never refer back to it ever again.
- In the Rogue One visual guide, the engineers are given names and none are Lemelisk.
- However the Death Star is a massive project in every sense of the word, with no doubt many different scientific, architectural and engineering teams that worked on various aspects of it. Not to mention that presumably additional teams were surely brought in for the improved Death Star II, if nothing else to replace Galen Erso's group after they were all killed. There's plenty of room for Lemelisk to be re-canonized, either on the DS-II team or as a Separatist engineer who worked with the Geonosians, if the Story Group should see fit to do so.
Hyperspace in a gravity well
- How did the U-Wing hyperspace out of the wave of destruction caused by the Death Star's shot? They were very close to the planet and even in new canon, planet's gravity wells prevent jumping from so close.
- I don't recall the gravity well issue being brought up in any of the new canon books. It certainly was a thing in Legends, but even The Force Awakens showed the Millennium Falcon dropping out of hyperspace directly inside a planet's gravity well, so that drawback has clearly been retconned out.
- Gravity well problems are still problems in canon. The thing I remember the most is that Interdictors get recanonized in Rebels and them having artificial gravity wells is a plot point for their debut episode.
- I believe that how gravity wells affect a ship and their hyperspace jumping capabilities varies greatly from ship to ship due to a number of factors, but logically speaking, the bigger a ship, the more difficult it is for it to jump from a planet's surface, similar to the understanding of "The bigger they are, the harder they fall". The U-Wing isn't very big, plus Jedha was hit by the turbo laser from the Death Star. Granted, the laser didn't destroy the planet, but who knows how it has affected the natural gravitational forces of the planet. And the last point would be that the in-universe argument against jumping with the planet could be a guideline of safe piloting and not an established scientific understanding, like how companies selling their own products will advise against using unlicensed accessories as they could damage their products. So one can certainly try to make the jump from planetside, but it'd be a very risky move. Given the circumstances of what was happening on Jedha, I'd also recommend warping out from planetside at that moment.
- But the whole point of the Interdictor technology is to replicate planetary masses to prevent hyperspacing. The shot from the Death Star didn't destroy the planet so the gravity field of the planet should still be there.
- Given that the ground was literally being ripped apart and going what appears to be several miles into the sky, it's very possible the blast did cause a localized gravity disruption.
- Blasting a planet off, or just part of it, would amount to zero change in its gravity well. As long as all of it's mass is still there - even though it may be partially converted to energy - the net effect of gravity on nearby bodies would be exactly the same. The only way to change a planet's gravitational effect would be transporting a huge chunk of its mass elsewhere, which is clearly not what the Death Star's laser does.
- Even in the EU, the problem isn't gravity wells per se. The danger for a ship in hyperspace is smashing into an object while still in hyperspace. Because "mass shadows" (i.e., gravity wells) are detectable in hyperspace, ship designers build a safeguard into hyperdrives that causes them to automatically cut out when they get close to one. Interdictors exploit this safeguard, generating a false mass shadow in hyperspace that trips the cutout. There have been multiple instances of people in the Star Wars EU (and now, presumably, canon, as we see in Force Awakens and this film) disabling or overriding this safety feature. However, it is acknowledged as being very dangerous, sort of like if you disabled the anti-lock brakes (or automatic braking system, in newer models) on your car.
- One particular example in the old EU was a Grand Admiral who intended to commit suicide (and kill his entire crew) by having his Star Destroyer fly through a star while in hyperspace. Presumably, he achieved that by having the usual safeguards deactivated.
- Given how much interdictor cruisers were a pain in Star Wars Rebels, I can see some rebel vessels being rigged to disregard safety protocols about jumping to hyperspace in a gravity well.
- What's the thing with Chirrut? Is he a Jedi since he can sense thoughts and whatnot? And did he somehow cause all the Death Troopers to completely miss him while he's walking towards them?
- Chirrut has never claimed to be a Jedi, and most certainly wasn't an "official" one. Whether he was actually Force sensitive or not is up for debate. Also, when the Death Troopers were firing at him, the battlefield was already heavily obscured with smoke, so a possible non-Force answer would be that the Death Troopers just couldn't see him clearly at that point.
- I took this as providing an explanation for why stormtroopers seem so lousy at aiming. The first guy to run for the radio controls was shot almost immediately, but when a force sensitive steps out, the blasts are deflected or the minds of the stormtroopers are confused or something.
- I don't remember the scene being that smoky and aren't Death Troopers supposed to be better than normal troopers?
- The Force has always been about using instincts and has constantly been a shorthand for Because Destiny Says So. Even in non-Force users the Force is a form of life itself. It stands to reason having faith in it can give you the hope to achieve seemingly impossible things.
- The Force is in everyone and everything. Some people have a stronger connection to it than others, and with the proper training can become Jedi or Sith, but everyone is guided by it to a certain extent. In A New Hope, when Luke does a good job evading Vader's attacks while they're in their fighters, Vader comments, "The Force is strong with this one." Luke was not a Jedi at that point, and Vader doesn't treat the fact that someone was using the Force to guide their movements as some big revelation; it's taken as a given that there's a wide range of Force sensitivity, from random schlub to full Jedi master.
- I think it's pretty safe to say that Chirrut has some degree of Force sensitivity (rather than than being a pure example of Charles Atlas Superpower), because he senses the Kyber crystal around Jyn's neck. That's not really something that could be discerned using ordinary non visual senses.
- In all likelihood he would be a Jedi if they still existed, there's not many other explanations for his senses being that good unless he is either a decently strong force sensitive or has daredevil like echo-location powers.
- Possibly, or possibly not. Given Chirrut's age (Donnie Yen is in his 50's, after all), it seems evident he would have been born long before the fall of the Republic. One alternate possibility is that by the time his Force sensitivity was discovered he was too old to begin the Jedi training — the very complaint that Yoda holds against Luke, however improbably, in The Empire Strikes Back.
- After reading a bit, my opinion is that he's not (completely?) Force sensitive, but the Force is somewhat sentient and helps him due to his belief.
- Yup. Although Chirrut must have some level of Force-sensitivity (as he was able to sense Jyn's necklace), it does seem like the Force was actively helping him out. As he says: "All is as the Force wills it."
- Non-Jedis can use the Force (check the Bendu in Rebels for example). "Jedi" is just a specific philosophy when it comes to using the Force, as is "Sith"
- The phrase used to describe him was "There are no Jedi anymore; only dreamers." I took that to mean that he was naturally force-sensitive and he personally aspired to be a Jedi, but he never officially attained Jedi status, because there weren't any Jedi around to give him that title. (Nor was there anyone around who could teach him how to build or use a lightsaber, which are presumably requirements if you want to be a Jedi.)
- Related to the above, is he the only one on Jedah with his abilities / religion? It appeared to me when he first showed up that he was some sort of monk. In a franchise that is basically a Samurai movie Recycled In Space, would a Shaolin Monk expy be so out of place? And what happens to the rest of his order if such a thing exists? All blown up by the death star?
- All these questions and more are answered in the novelization and side materials. He's a member of a religious order called the Guardians of the Whills, and his friend Baze was a fellow member. They were protectors of the Temple of the Kyber on Jedha until the imperial occupation. He's a force-sensitive, but not a Jedi.
- Why doesn't he have cybernetic or cloned eyes? Even in the real world, we are close to being able to replace eyes with cybernetics or cloned body-parts. Star Wars tech is far more advanced, to the point where they can build entire clone armies, and create a cyborg as powerful as General Grievous. But they can't give a guy cloned or cybernetic eyes?
- The same question is brought up with regards to Star Wars Rebels when Kanan is blinded Word of God there is that among the reasons is that the rebellion does not have the funds or the tech to do so and Kanan wants use his connection with the force rather than rely on technology, something that might also fit for Chirrut. Furthermore, in a Doylist interpretation, the actor who portrays Chirrut came up with the idea of making him blind, so having technology assisted sight would make no sense. In another Watsonist explanation, it might also be (and in fact upon first viewing Chirrut I thought it was) some sort of deal: Give your eyesight for "another type of vision" / force-sensitivity (to a degree), being initiated into the order or whatever. (A similar thing happens in Nordic Mythology) It helps that we don't ever see another member of Chirrut's order thus somewhat preserving the mystery of whether they are all blind or whether just he is blind.
- I guessed he was a Miraluka, a species that was prominent in Legends, and recently been ported to Disney canon. Miraluka are almost indistinguishable from humans, aside from their ability to see through the Force. Sometimes, they have an Eyeless Face, sometimes their eyes are vestigial and non-functioning. Miraluka who left the homeworlds often got tied up with the Jedi in some fashion; the strongest ones (like Jerec and Visas Marr) becoming Jedi themselves. However, most of them who didn't have much Force ability other than their sight ended up being teachers, administrators, and other support staff. The Empire hated Miraluka, and most who could hid what they were and pretended to be blind humans as to not be shot on sight.
Shooting the shield
- Why were the X-Wings targeting the shield itself instead of targeting the the shield generator? The generator was obviously unshielded because they are shown destroying turrets on it. Plus the Star Destroyer crashing into the generator is what finally takes the shield down.
- The station itself is pretty large, so it wouldn't be easy for individual X-Wings to completely destroy. In addition, the space station may not have been generating the shield, but was instead serving as the only thing that could actually open the shield, so if only the station itself were destroyed, the shield would still be intact.
- But the shield immediately went down when the Star Destroyer crashed into the station. Wouldn't that mean it is generating it? Plus those Y wings disabled a Star Destroyer, something that was much larger and had its own shields. They could have easily damaged or destroyed the ironically unshielded shield generator.
- Wouldn't the kinetic energy of two Star Destroyers impacting the shield simply overwhelm the shield and fry it?
- At one point, a Rebel pilot shoots the shield itself and shouts something like "How much more can this thing take?" That would indicate that it is possible to overload the shield itself. Crashing two Star Destroyers would certainly be enough to do so.
- It didn't look to me like the Star Destroyers crashed into the gate station or that the shield was destroyed. Rather, it looked to me like they crashed into the shield and that it was merely weakened or partially opened while they were crashing into it. Also, I think the shield generator is located within the shield, as it would be pretty dumb to do otherwise.
- Indeed it would. Which begs the question of why the Rebels even bothered to shoot at the gate station instead of boarding it and opening the gate from it. Weren't they denying themselves the only way to open it?
- The shield gate, even if it isn't producing the shield, appeared to be reasonably well armed and was serving as a base for quite a few TIE fighters. Presumably they wanted to disable it to cut down on the space-based defenses they had to deal with.
- Why did Tarkin and Krennic destroy one of the few places in the galaxy where they could harvest Kyber crystals?
- They didn't destroy the planet, only the city.
- Also, they presumably already mined all of the kyber they needed.
- And nothing would have stopped them from taking the others just floating around in space.
- That's pretty much what the Empire did in Rebel Assault II, harvesting a different crystal after having detonated the planet.
- Why did Saw Gerrera voluntarily stay behind? I could see why he needed to die there for dramatic purposes, but why not trapped beneath rubble or something?
- I got the feeling that seeing Jyn made him realize how far he had fallen from what he used to be and wanting to die as he used to be. At the very least, it seems clear that the audience is supposed to see him as having become very similar to Darth Vader after many years of fighting the Empire.
- It's pretty clear he was barely holding on to life as it was and they had seconds to get out. Being incapable of running with two poorly made cybernetic legs and a cane, he pretty much felt I Will Only Slow You Down.
- I think it's been hinted that Saw was getting tired of the constant fighting (and the toll it has taken on his life) against the Empire and that he really feels like it's a matter of time before he goes. He's both a physical and mental wreck and the Rebel Alliance don't see him as an ally (to the point he's convinced they probably want him dead) but he kept the fight until he saw Jyn again. Convinced she will continue his fight...Saw just decided to die, finally at peace that he doesn't need to fight anymore.
- He stated outright that he wasn't going to make it, and the heroes needed to flee. Saw clanks as he walks, everyone else had to sprint to escape.
Mon Mothma's age
- How did Mon Mothma age 20 years in a few days? edited: before Return of the Jedi?
- Stress of running the Rebel Alliance? And it's only been three years from the events of Rogue One to her appearance in Return of the Jedi.
- Three years? I thought it was six.
- According to Wookiepedia, the Battle of Endor takes place 4 year after the Battle of Yavin.
- Being President of the United States has been shown to age those holding the office significantly, presumably being the leader the Alliance does the same thing.
- According to Wookieepedia Mon Mothma was 48 at the time of this film, Genevieve O'Reilly is 39. So not that an unreasonable age difference.
- The only real answer here is that it's a slight retcon. Disney had to find someone who looks like Mon Mothma, and possibly fits their view of the character (depending on how much screen time she'll get in the future); one side effect is that there is an age difference.
- If it was a retcon, it was Lucas who retconned it. Genevieve O'Reilly is the same actress who played Mon Mothma in the prequels. most of her scenes got cut and you can only find them in the special features, but she's been in Star Wars since Episode III.
- But the problem is, the time between Episode III an Rogue One releases is far shorter than what passed in universe. They should have aged her with makeup.
- Don't forget that when Ep 3 was being made the idea of Rogue One wasn't even on anybody's mind chances are that since all her original scenes were cut they had no idea we'd been seeing the character on screen again.
Communicating through the shield
- Why did the rebels need to destroy Scarif's planetary shield in order for the Death Star data to be transmitted, even though the security complex had one of the most powerful communications satellites in the galaxy? And how could Bodhi's jerry-rigged communication system (the one that required connecting that giant cable) send a signal through the shield to the Alliance flagship, but the massive communications satellite could not?
- Bodhi only needed to communicate with the Alliance flagship. Jyn and Cassian, on the other hand, had to send plans for an entire battle station, which would certainly require a stronger and unbroken connection. Presumably under normal operations, the Imperials would open the shield gate when transferring data back and forth or would just physically upload it on site.
- Since this was the repository of all the Empire's most secret data, it would make sense that the planetary shield was blocking communications in order to both prevent spies from doing exactly what the Rebels did here, and probably to prevent outside hackers from remotely accessing the facility. The gate provides the only way through the shield, preventing data theft by anyone lacking a fleet to punch through it.
- The sheer size and complexity of the Death Star plans would also be important. They don't know what part of the station Galen actually sabotaged, at least on an engineering level, or how to reach it. If any of the files were corrupted, it would damage their chances of actually finding his flaw or a means to reach it. They needed a clear and unbroken connection to get the whole set of files up to the fleet without anything getting corrupted, which considering the battle raging at that moment, was a serious concern.
- Think of it as the difference between sending a text and downloading a game, you don't need that long term or secure connection for the former but you want a secure and stable connection for the latter.
- Vader would obviously have intense issues with anyone seeing the true nature of his injuries. That is what makes me curious about who that robed figure was who enters his Bacta Tank chamber is. Does anyone know who that guy is that Vader would trust him enough to see the full extent of his injuries?
- It's totally Snoke, you guys! Can't you see it!?! But probably a darksider acolyte. Somebody has to be the one to drag Vader's crippled ass out of the tub and put him in his prosthetics.
- But even with that in mind it still requires a great deal of trust on Vader's part for him to not only allow this man to see him but to physically move him onto an operating table for his armor to be put back on. I was just curious who Vader and the Emperor would both trust to do this.
- I thought that particular process was all done by machines, like the Borg Queen from Star Trek: First Contact and Star Trek: Voyager.
- Wookieepedia identifies him as Vaneé, a human male attendant who served as an aide to Darth Vader in his castle on Mustafar. As for the history behind his association with Vader and why he seemingly enjoys so much trust from Vader, that will probably be explored in subsequent Expanded Universe material.
- Vaneé sounds like a Nabooian name, so he may have been one of Emperor Palpatine's associates.
- There is precedent for Vader not totally minding folks seeing him unmasked. Recall in The Empire Strikes Back Vader must know Piett is seeing him when his helmet is being attached but doesn't raise the issue. It might well be that Vader knows how terrifying his form can be and uses that fear to fuel himself.
- In addition, there were two armed guards in the room; Vader clearly lets some people know of the full extent of his injuries for purely practical reasons; his personal guards and servants among them.
Transmission of the Plans
- Why did Vader say to Leia in A New Hope that "several transmissions were beamed to this ship" and he demands to know about the transmissions intercepted to Captain Antilles — when this movie reveals that they were beamed to the ALLIANCE, then they were given to the crew-members of Tantive IV on a data card? And he had JUST seen them leaving with this card and tried to stop them?
- Brevity. He already knows Antilles knows what he's talking about and isn't going to give the man a play-by-play of the battle both of them just flew away from. The man has shit to do.
- Technically, the plans were beamed to the Alliance flagship, which had Tantive IV inside one of its hangar bays. As noted above, Vader didn't feel the need to get into the specifics with somebody who was there.
- He doesn't know the plans are on a data card. There was a transmission from the ground, and the Tantive IV broke away from its flagship and bolted. That's all Vader knew. This explains why Vader didn't take the card away from the Rebel soldier trying to get through the door; all he saw was a panicked man trying to escape. Also explains why the Imperial boarding party were searching the computer of the Tantive IV for the received files, rather than physically searching for a data card.
- There is a possibility that while being chased by Vader they where communicating with Rebel command confirming that they had the plans as well as asking for advice on what to do with Vader on their tail.
- Bohdi was sending messages instructing them to take down the shield gate. Odds are, the Empire registered several small transmissions, one HUGE one, and decided it was all important, like an email history where the last one has a file attached.
Hyperspace and Scarif's shield
- Why didn't the rebels try dropping from Hyperspace within Scarif's shield as shown in The Force Awakens?
- That was acknowledged as something that only Han Solo would be able to do only with the Millennium Falcon, and even then Leia told him it was a very dumb and risky idea.
- Also, pretty much everyone but Leia was surprised or confused by the idea. It probably isn't a well-known exploit. It might even be a closely-held smuggler secret, for bypassing planetary security. If they let it become widely known, someone would find a way to defend against it.
- Adding to the above, had they bypassed Scarif's shields via hyperspace (especially in a ship that wasn't even scheduled to be there) they would have been found out almost immediately, making it impossible to enter the base covertly.
- There's also the fact that such a tactic is extremely dangerous. In TFA, the Falcon actually crash landed as a result of that maneuver. Given the extreme speed they'd have to decelerate from, just the difference of a fraction of a second would have had them either slamming into the shield or the planet's surface.
- There's a multi-decade gap between Rogue One and The Force Awakens. It could be that the shield-skip maneuver was invented sometime during that gap, and thus it simply wasn't an option during the events of Rogue One.
- In TFA Han says, "Their shields have a fractional refresh rate; keeps anything traveling slower than lightspeed from getting through." His saying the first part implies it's non-obvious and "their" implies that it's not true of all shields, so it may be a (A) new technology or (B) technology only used on mobile installations or (C) something completely bespoke. In any event, it's entirely possible that the base on Scarif doesn't use a "fractional refresh rate" for its shield, and simply doesn't have this vulnerability at all.
VIPs flying into combat
- Other than getting the plans out entirely by sheer luck and coincidence (and to provide a neat tie into ANH's opening scene, natch), what was Leia doing at the Battle of Scarif? Last we saw Senator Organa, he was summoning Captain Antilles to ferry Leia to Obi Wan's location; even Threepio says "'They' are going to Scarif?" rather than "We". Why would Bail put his daughter at risk by sending her to an emergency engagement with high chance of failure when she already has a very sensitive mission? Or, if it was Leia's own initiative to join the attack, what did she mean to accomplish?
- Because the Death Star plans were the highest priority thing going on. Without them, Leia could run errands around the galaxy to no effect. Even picking up Obi-Wan from Tatooine would accomplish little. So she goes along on the mission to Scarif, but Tantive IV does not fight in the battle with the rest of the Rebel fleet because its only there to get the plans and then get the heck out. As a side benefit, Leia probably helped other Rebel ships escape by luring Vader into pursuing her as a matter of priority.
- Also, the fleet going to Scarif wasn't the original plan. Rogue One snuck off to begin the attack, and only informed the Alliance when it was in progress. When the fleet showed up, it was a scrambled, emergency deployment. It's possible that Tantive IV just happened to be docked with the flagship at the time, and didn't have time to get prepped and undocked before they flew into battle. Once they WERE in combat, it may have been safest to stay safely docked underneath the flagship's shields and armor: even prolonged fire from a small fleet of Star Destroyers only brought the flagship's shields down to 50% before they tried to escape. Compare that to how that same Corellian Cruiser fared against a single Star Destroyer at the start of A New Hope.
- The film makes it very clear that the Alliance is divided, with a large number (possibly a majority) supporting action; it was really only that one man who didn't want to attack. Considering that they absolutely needed the Death Star plans, and (as said above) a Rebel flagship is the safest place for Leia, he likely just told Raddus Leia needed to go with the fleet to accomplish an important mission.
- As for Artoo and Threepio, we don't know how long the Rebels took to get to Scarif. A full fleet isn't something you can just prep for battle in five minutes, and we don't know how long Rogue One was on Scarif before the Rebels showed up. There would have been plenty of time for Organa and Leia to organize Leia's mission (including the droids) and get Tantive IV on Raddus' ship before the fleet left for Scarif.
- Given what we've seen of Leia's personality, it's totally believable she decided completely on her own to head directly into a battle to aid the Rebellion. Plus, she would be using her diplomatic status as a cover, thinking the Senate would still be a ban against the Emperor, not knowing he would be getting rid of it soon anyway.
- Also Leia is an Imperial Senator and the Tantive IV is a consular ship, not a war ship. The rebels are banking on her diplomatic immunity to buy her enough time to contact Obi-Wan and transfer the plans back to Yavin IV. Unfortunately this sort of blatant political manipulation is the sort of thing that pisses Vader off the most.
- Per the supplementary materials, Leia's mission to go to Tatooine and recruit Obi-wan was supposed to occur with Raddus's fleet flying escort most of the way, and they just diverted to Scarif instead. Given the secretive nature of the mission, going by Bail Organa's and Mon Mothma's dialog, it is likely that only Leia and a few on the Tantive IV were given the full details, and the fleet (including possibly Raddus) just thought it was part of some mission to hide the Rebellions warships in a remote area. as far as C 3 PO and R 2 D 2, keep in mind that the CR 90 corvettes can land on planets, as we've seen in Rebels. it is totally possible that the Tantive IV was on the ground when the scene happened, getting ready to take off itself, with the droids boarding just before it lifts off. then the ship follows the fighters up to the capital ships and docks with the Profundity before the fleet takes off, with Leia's mission either being overruled by Raddus's orders (he's an Admiral, she's just a senator, not in the chain of command) or with Leia agreeing with the diversion to Scarif to help rescue the Rogue One group. (it would be in character for her.) Presumably they had expected their show of strength to let the fleet get away, after which the Tantive IV could have split off while the fleet scattered to avoid pursuit, and headed off to Tatooine. it is also worth noting that Tatooine and Scarif are only a few dozen lightyears apart, so the Fleet was already going to be headed in that direction anyway. which may have played a role in the decision to divert.
Darth Vader in combat
- So, we all know the real reason why Vader gets to throw down a bit in the film's final minutes, but it nonetheless raises some questions of continuity. Specifically, why, if he was entirely willing to slaughter his way onto a Rebel ship initially, does he instead send a bunch of storm troopers to breach and clear the entryway in A New Hope? Keep in mind, the two scenes apparently take place only a few days (or even hours) apart, meaning Vader's mindset has likely not changed much. He also wasn't wounded, or did anything which would exhaust him or otherwise prevent him from engaging any foes again after such a short span of time. Why, aside from the obvious, does he send his underlings to take the Tantive IV when he could get the job done himself with zero casualties, and probably more quickly?
- It's possible that stormtroopers did lead the charge onto the first ship, and that we only got to see Vader specifically (he did order a boarding party after all). Chances are Vader ran into that particular gaggle of rebels first while other stormtroopers were clearing other parts of the ship offscreen.
- Powerful as he is, Lord Vader has a disadvantage: as a Dark Lord on Life Support, he can not run or move fast. That's why the stormtroopers come first, clearing the way.
- Vader's actually still incredibly fast and can run at unbelievably fast speeds. In the Lords of the Sith novel (Which is new Canon by the way), he's described by onlookers as little more than a blur of motion, and was able to traverse the interior of a Star Destroyer to intercept escaping Rebels in a matter of moments. Personally this troper favors the suggestion that Vader let the Stormtroopers handle the majority of the action and just struck out on his own to cut off any attempts at escape.
- When he boarded the Rebel flagship at Scarif, they had only just received the transmission of the plans. At that point, Vader didn't care if the entire crew died as long as the plans never left that ship, but he did need to board personally to ensure that the plans hadn't left. Once Leia gets away on her own ship, he has to determine whether she had been able to hide or send the plans onward to some other recipient, so he needed survivors to interrogate.
- Vader couldn't search Tantive IV on his own since he didn't know where the plans were kept. He had already lost them once because he decided to melodramatically go after them by himself. Rather than repeat that loss, he opted to send in his troops to take the whole ship and crew first, and then start digging through it for the plans.
- One could say, especially since we first saw him in a bacta tank, that Vader was probably eager to shake off the rust of his combat ability since this is perhaps the first in a long time he's been in a major battle engagement.
- The above fits best with Anakin Skywalker's personality. Remember, he's still Anakin underneath those burns and the armor. He was always an eager fighter who liked to show off, and that attribute becomes magnified with how much more EVIL! he becomes.
- Considering that his attempt to solo the Rebel ship resulted in the plans slipping through his fingers, Vader may well have decided that when he caught up with the Tantive IV again, he'd do it "by the book" this time.
- This scene, while admittedly terrifying and awesome, also makes Vader look like a complete idiot. The plans were right there in his sight and he could've easily used the Force to pull it from the rebel soldier. Why didn't he do that, outside of the obvious reason?
- For a simple reason: too many crowed soldiers in a limited space, blocking his view.
- He may not have realized at that moment that the plans were right in front of him. Vader's eyesight in that helmet is not great and he only knew that the plans had been uploaded to the Rebel flagship, not that they had been copied to a data card.
- Even a Jedi's ability to multi-task isn't perfect. When you are fighting 10 guys with guns, your attention has to be focused entirely on them, and not what one guy at the very back row is doing. Vader had to kill or incapacitate all the guys shooting at him before anything else. And as others have stated, he didn't know the rebels had the plans on a disk.
- There's no indication that Vader knew the plans had been loaded onto a data card. In A New Hope he specifically says that transmissions were sent to Leia's ship. Because the plans were transmitted and uploaded 8to the Rebel Alliance ships, specifically the Flagship, in orbit around Scarif; the ship that Leia's ship was docked with. Vader wasn't going for the data card when he started his massacre down that hallway, he was just taking control of the Flagship that the plans had been transmitted to.
Did they just teleport there?
- If R2-D2 and C-3PO's cameo made it pretty clear that they were left behind on Yavin during the final battle, how the heck did they end up on the Tantive IV come the events of A New Hope?
- Threepio makes that comment while the starfighters are launching. Presumably the VIPs would lift off shortly after in shuttles, and Leia would have brought the droids with her.
- During the battle, several ships drop out of hyperspace during the battle (like the Hammerhead cruiser). Most likely the Rebel ships arrived in waves.
- It's a little bit of a plot hole, since the Tantive IV is shown in the Admiral ship's hold during the assault, but Threepio and Artoo are shown on Yavin after the admiral himself has already left. You could say the they docked with the command ship sometime during the battle but that almost seems too risky, since the Rebels plan relies on the Imperials not knowing a consular ship is even there and Leia's diplomatic immunity.
- Actually not a plot hole, though the misunderstanding is understandable, because the group leaving on the raid at first was a group that had gone Rogue not following orders and stealing an impounded ship. That was followed by a group of fighters leaving for orbit to join up with the main fleet, which then would have been followed by an VIPS or ground forces that would need longer preparation time such as diplomats and their aids.
- In A New Hope, C-3PO states that his and R2-D2's last master was Captain Antilles (who is killed by Vader at the start of the movie). Antilles is seen handing the transmitted Death Star plans to Leia at the end — it's perfectly plausible that he set off with Artoo and Threepio from Yavin IV during the battle and boarded the Admiral ship holding the Tantive IV.
Team Killing Tarkin
- Not that Tarkin is above a bit of mass murder, but how does destroying the Scarif base make any sense whatsoever? His and Vader's arrival ended the battle in the Empire's favor already, with just a little mopping-up left. Unleashing a WMD on hundreds or thousands of Imperial personnel would surely be terrible for morale when word got out, not to mention that the base was full of valuable equipment and possibly irreplaceable scientific data. Not to mention he could have interrogated any Rebel prisoners and discovered the purpose of the raid, or the location of the Rebel base. And if Tarkin just wanted to kill Krennic, he didn't even have confirmation that Krennic had survived the battle in the first place before ordering fire. How did Tarkin keep his job after filing that after action report?
- Tarkin explicitly states why he's doing it—earlier in the movie, when he orders Krennic to examine the plans for the Death Star—the ORIGINAL plans, not just the ones in the Death Star computers—and Erso's communication logs to ensure he didn't compromise the station's security. Krennic and Rogue One were on the planet for the same reason, aiming for the same thing; the original, hard-copy, unaltered plans for the Death Star. When it became clear that the rebels were going for the plans and that stopping them was likely not an option, Tarkin did the logical thing—he destroyed them. The transmission, you will recall, got out at the last possible moment. If anything, Tarkin's tactical mistake was not destroying Scarif base sooner.
- He likely blamed the whole thing on the Rebels. This was the first major direct attack by the Alliance and Tarkin could easily inflate his claims as to its severity. Which is probably a very good thing to his mind, because the Empire will need to justify having such a ridiculous superweapon like the Death Star. If he can argue that the Rebel Alliance is a repeat of the threat of the Separatists then such overwhelming firepower seems more reasonable. Note that Tarkin is not perfect in his reasoning. His subsequent destruction of Alderaan (ironically, the "manifesto" he was talking about) served to increase support for the Rebellion, as many people and worlds simply decided that the Empire was just plain crazy and all talk of "peace" and "order" nothing but a sick joke.
- On a more pragmatic level, Tarkin didn't know what was going on planetside, because nobody knew what was going on planetside (the Rebels' plan only worked because it was pants-on-head crazy and relied on a great degree of very dynamic misdirection). All he could be sure of was that the base was seemingly compromised, under air and ground attack, that the fleet in orbit protecting it had just been destroyed, and that the Rebels were beaming information from the archives. It's entirely possible that the Empire (and Tarkin) had a lot of secrets that at the moment, he felt was safer to leave buried. Plus, Tarkin is a bit of a bastard, and seems to find any excuse to use the superweapon once he has it in his control.
- More on Tarkin's pragmatism, he's not afraid of destroying Imperial assets to deny the rebels from possessing them. In Star Wars Rebels, he shoots down an Imperial communications tower and shuts down a local Imperial network the moment he realizes either of them are compromised, without hesitation. Tarkin's MO here could be paralleled to ripping a bandage off. And if you think about it, if Tarkin had managed to show up before the plans could be transmitted and made the same call, it would've worked.
- Also, note the angle at which the DS fired on the installation. It shot off the primary transmission dish, THEN hit the planet dozens of miles away. Tarkin was definitely up for destroying the archives and any living thing near them, but, by firing at an angle, not only did he make sure he could stop the transmission as soon as the superlaser was over the horizon, he also made it so that the vault, and other physical objects that survived the fireball, could conceivably be salvaged from the wreckage.
- Why was Rebel Intelligence so focused on assassinating Galen with no possibility of extraction? Obviously his scientific knowledge was a threat and up until the movie he seemed like nothing but a collaborator but at the same time the only reason they had a lead on him in the first place is because be sent that defecting Bodhi with what he claimed was important info. Shouldn't that indicate his potential willingness to defect and bring that "dangerous knowledge" to the Rebellion? They didn't even seem interested in confirming it.
- Considering what Galen knew, he would be a very high-value target and the Empire would not just let him get away. At this point in time, the Rebels were very insecure, not yet having won any significant victories against the Empire. They would be very worried about taking a defector who would draw a massive amount of Imperial attention. Plus, they had not seen the hologram, nor did they have any way of knowing for sure that his defection would be genuine or if he would betray them to the Empire. That being the case, they figured that eliminating such a valuable weapons designer would do more harm to the Empire and would be safer for the Alliance.
- The impression I got was that Bail and Mon DID want him alive so he could testify before the Senate and the Alliance, it was only the General who wanted to go straight for assassination assuming that it was a trap. A better tactic/order would be "Attempt extraction but assassinate the moment things go pear shaped"
"New" old Tech
- I know that the movie visits some more obscure parts of the galaxy than what we've seen in the main series, but why is it that a movie that's supposed to lead straight into Episode IV prominently uses a whole bunch of new starships and other technology that doesn't even look like it should be in the same era? Wouldn't the TIE Striker, U-Wing, etc. have been more appropriate for the Sequel Trilogy? It seems like Disney and Lucasfilm are doing things backwards: Use mostly familiar stuff for a new story (Episode VII), but mostly new stuff for a side-story that ties into an older story.
- It could all be conveniently explained away that the U-Wings and TIE Strikers were uncommon craft, and were all destroyed during the Battle of Scarif.
- Not to mention that there actually aren't any major battles in the original trilogy where the role that the U-Wing is designed to fill in combat would really work. The Battle of Yavin didn't involve deploying any infantry forces and the Battle of Hoth was an evacuation, so any U-Wings that might have been at Echo Base were likely busy getting the hell out of dodge. The Battle of Endor is the only one where the U-Wing would have been at it's most effective, except that the Rebels needed the ground forces to get there covertly and without arousing suspicion, which is why they used a captured Imperial shuttle instead. Using a U-Wing would have instantly alerted the Imperials in orbit to the presence of the Rebels and would have ruined the whole thing. As for the other films, presumably it wasn't developed before the Clone Wars, and it was probably made obsolete by the time TFA rolls around.
- Also, the TIE striker is pretty obviously an atmospheric air-superiority fighter (and might be considered a cheaper alternative for locations like Scarif where the ground-based defense force won't need to pursue invaders back into space), and none of the main-storyline films have anything like a proper air-to-air dogfight until Force Awakens, and by then the spacegoing TIE has been developed into a two-seat fighter that probably makes up for any deficiencies the TIE suffers when fighting in atmosphere.
- If all else fails, it's a big galaxy (far far away), with a wide variety of hardware being used by many folks. It's possible that the U-Wings are in use elsewhere, and we just don't see them because the heroes don't happen to be using them. Compare to how Every Helicopter Is a Huey in films, even if a wide variety of helicopters have always been in use for as long as practical helicopters have been around, even in the Huey's heyday. Alternately, the U-Wings will be digitally added in to a later re-issue of the previous films.
- Weirdly enough, the entry for the A-Wing on the Star Wars wiki sort of explains why ships like the A-Wing and U-Wing, despite existing before and during the Battle of Yavin were not present for such: the Rebel Alliance has different operating cells, all of which operate different craft. One cell may operate A-Wings and B-Wings, another may only have a handful of U-Wings and some X-Wings, and even another may have Y-Wings and Snowspeeders. It is only by the Battle of Endor, when the entire Rebel Alliance is united in one offensive, that we see all these different craft together. The Yavin cell had X-Wings and Y-Wings, which is what they could scramble for the impending attack. As to why vehicles like the AT-ACT don't appear elsewhere, the AT-ACT is a less-armored, more specially built variant of the AT-AT meant for cargo transport, not combat. The Empire would never deploy it in actual combat situations, such as the Hoth offensive.
- Plus, the Rebels did not have unlimited resources. So they deployed what they had on-hand for any given engagement. If they had lost most or all of their U-wings in other battles, then they would not have any to deploy at Endor. The Empire had more resources and could specialize. For examples, the TIE Strikers seemed better suited for an atmospheric fight. At Endor they used both regular TIE's and the faster TIE Interceptors instead.
- The "Visual Guide" for the movie explains that the U-Wing was the last fighter designed by Incom before they were taken over by the Empire. Bail Organa donated the few fighters produced to the Alliance so they only had a handful in the first place and pretty much all destroyed.
Galen's message to Jyn
- Why didn't Galen say what the Death Star's weakness was in his message to Jyn? He wouldn't have needed to include the Death Star plans, just explain what the weakness was and how to take advantage of it, which would have only taken a few minutes of dialogue. The only explanation for this I can think of is that he was concerned the Empire might intercept the message, but that doesn't really hold up because he mentioned the weakness in it. So if the Empire intercepted his message, they would still foil his plans even without an explanation of what the weakness was. They would torture him until he revealed it, or if that failed they would simply find it and fix it by studying the Death Star plans. The Rebels were able to find the weakness very fast by studying the Death Star plans, so we have to assume the Empire would find it just as easily by doing the same thing.
- My guess is that Galen thought the Rebels would need the actual plans to know stuff like where the exhaust port was located, how it was defended, and which kind of ammo would be able to do the job.
- Basically, he's an engineer, not a tactician. He knows what weakness he designed into it, but he doesn't necessarily know what resources the Rebels have or how they'd be best able to get at it (keep in mind that he keeps mentioning it's the reactor itself that's weak as per his sabotage, not any exhaust port). As it happens, they went for an Airstrike Impossible using small starfighters, but they could have tried bombarding it with a fleet of starships, sending in a commando team on a potential Suicide Mission, use infiltrators to plant a bomb or something, or who knows what else. Also, he might have included a copy of the plans or more detailed information with the message, but that particular Plot Coupon and anything else on it got left in Saw's hideout during the confusion of their escape from Jedha and the Death Star.
- The reactor isn't really "weak" though, it's just a reactor. The reactor is automatically a weak point - see Return of the Jedi. What Galen did was make it so that there is one particular thermal exhaust port that is built such that a weapon fired at it just right will get to the reactor. Presumably firing at any other exhaust port would just cause a minor explosion just under the surface and not get very far into the interior of the station.
- Actually, the reactor is weak. Normally there are failsafes and redundancies so that even a critical failure in multiple reactors won't destroy the entire system. Galen designed it so that any failure in one would cause a catastrophic chain reaction in all of them. The second Death Star wasn't complete when it was destroyed, so it's not a good example of anything. Not all the safeties were in place, and Rebel ships were flying around inside it blasting things.
- Also keep in mind that the Death Star is big. Big enough to be mistaken for a moon. Saying "look for a thermal exhaust port" would have been useless, as it would have taken days to manually scour the surface for such a thing. Even giving exact coordinates would have been hard, since the Rebels would have no way of knowing what coordinate system the Death Star used, what the zero point was, etc. Telling the Rebels that the flaw would cause a chain reaction in the reactor core, however, was enough detail that once they had the plans they could reverse-engineer what he did and find the exhaust port.
- Actually, the Death Star has a very clear equator and poles structure, and a very obvious reference point in the main laser dish. Coordinates could be given as latitude and longitude, and it would be easy to explain if not obvious that the "northern" hemisphere is the one where the laser is, and the zero meridian is the one that runs through the center of the dish.
- There is also the fact that Galen would not have wanted to risk having the secret become known if the Empire captured Bodhi before the Rebels did. Had they found out, they could at least have set up better deflector shields around the exhaust port before anyone could attack. He was taking a huge risk trying to contact Saw as it was, and he didn't have any other contacts among the Rebels who could have brought the information directly to Mon Mothma and the rest of the leadership.
- I already addressed this. If the Empire had intercepted the message, it wouldn't matter whether Galen said what the flaw in the Death Star was or not. The fact that he mentioned there was a flaw would have been all the information the Empire needed to find it. All they would have to do to find it was study the Death Star plans and they would find the flaw. We know this because that's all the rebels did to find it in A New Hope. The only reason the Empire never found the flaw is because they didn't know there was one, and thus did not know to look for it. So if Galen was going to take the risk of mentioning the flaw on the message, then there wasn't any reason not to explain what the flaw was.
- Or perhaps Galen didn't actually build in the thermal exhaust port. He made the reactors flawed, but didn't have an actual plan on how to exploit that. Maybe he was assuming the Rebels would sneak someone on the station and trigger a meltdown by tossing a grenade down a reactor shaft. The Rebels discovered the thermal exhaust port on their own and realized it would do the job.
- The flaw was apparently very well-hidden. In A New Hope, General Tagge points out early on that the Rebels might identify a weakness in the station now that they have the plans. However, the Imperial crew does not recognize what exactly the weakness is until they analyze the Rebel fighter attack towards the end of the film. This would seem to indicate that the flaw was not obvious, at least not using the schematics available in the Death Star's computers. It is very likely that Galen tampered with the designs that were distributed, and only the archive copy on Scarif was accurate. After all, he wasn't the only scientist or engineer working on the project. He would have had to go to some lengths to make the flaw hard enough to spot that any other expert looking over the schematics would not catch it while the station was under construction.
- I saw the message as the Cypher to unlock the Death Star Flaw. You could look at the plans all darn day and wouldn't see it, if you have the plans AND the message plus Jyn's own knowledge of her father its clear as day. Note he told Jyn that the flaw was in the reactor and one shot could cause the whole thing to blow, he coded the plans that showed the flaw "Star Dust" knowing that Jyn would note her own nickname and grab THOSE SPECIFIC PLANS, which ironically were blown up as they were on the top of the tower when the Death Star fired so now the Empire doesn't have that exact copy anymore, anything else in the archive (if it survived) may not have the flaw shown. And neatly solves the headscratcher for ANH, the Rebels only had the plans for a few hours before the final fight, How'd they find the flaw so fast and exploit it? The thing is as big as a moon! Easy...they knew EXACTLY were to look thanks to Jyn telling them about her Father's message earlier.
- But why make it a cypher? Why not indeed just tell them the coordinates of the exhaust pipe? As the chief engineer in charge of the construction and with access to those very plans, there's no way he didn't know it existed or where it was. And while he might not have known the exact capabilities of the Alliance, he had to surmise they have starfighters, so an airstrike would be among their chief options. Instead he sends them on a suicide mission they should've in all honesty failed. And even if he felt that the complete plans were necessary, why didn't he at the very least include their code name in his message? Was he 100%-sure that Jynn specifically would manage to get to the archive to recognize it?
- Keep in mind that even with the Death Star plans, hitting the exhaust port was a near-impossible shot in Episode 4. There was probably no way for Galen to verbally convey all of the intricate details required for a targeting computer to even have a slight chance of hitting it, so instead he told them to find the original plans that had all of the information they needed.
- It's hole. Going straight down. What intricate details could there possibly be aside from its coordinates and size/shape?
- The first death star had a surface area of almost 8,000 square Kilometers. It would be like finding a needle in a haystack.
- Additionally, a lot of small factors could affect the torpedo's path- things like the Death Star's rotation speed, its propulsion rate, its gravity well, etc. Given how incredibly precise the shot needed to be, there were likely a myriad of tiny details that a computer would need to have in order to make the right calculations.
- Note that he didn't engineer the exhaust port. What he did was to design the reactor to explode if damaged while it was active. His message specifically says that they need the Death Star plans to figure out how to find a way to attack the reactor. there is no evidence that he even had visited the Death Star itself, it is highly probable that all he saw were the designs for the reactor itself, and he didn't know how it was laid out within the Death Star relative to the surface. It is also likely that the reactor had many exhaust ports, fuel line,s and so on that could have served as attack points. But without knowing what assets the rebellion had to work with, and where all the guns and defenses the Death Star had were placed, he wouldn't be able to tell them a specific attack plan. the rebellion needed the plans so they could figure all that stuff out. The key point of his message is that he'd basically rigged a really big bomb inside the battle station, and that they needed to figure out how to set if off. So he suggested they grab a copy of the complete plans so they could search for a way to get at the reactor.
Chirrut's vision of death redundant?
- At one point Chirrut claims that he can see a "dark cloud" swirling Cassian, which means he's soon going to kill someone. Jyn takes this at face value, is visibly unsettled by this. Yet the team was just about to infiltrate an imperial facility, and hostile encounters with the guards was practically a certainty. Sure enough, Jyn kills a trooper less than five minutes later, and Chirrut himself downs a fighter during the ensuing battle, yet he makes no mention of any dark aura surrounding to two of them. Are imperial troops truly so disposable that the Force itself wont even consider their deaths worthy of note?
- The "cloud" Chirrut referred to was how Cassian was going to kill Galen, a straight up murder far different than the stormtroopers. He had to sense how important Galen was to things and to remove him under such a black mark would be far different than killing a random soldier.
- Chirrut says Cassian is going to kill someone Cassian set out ready and willing to kill Galen. Jyn, Chirrut, and the rest are willing to kill, but they don't have a plan already to hunt someone down. The real question is why does the Force seem to operate on Black and White Morality in this particular instance, when it clearly doesn't at other times?
- Presumably it's not necessarily dark in the sense of 'evil' (though an assassination attempt is a little shady) as much as it that the Dark Side is expressly fueled by emotions like fear, anger and so on - given Cassian's emotional and mental state at that point he must have been ticking most of those boxes, which Chirrut picked up on.
- The Force flows through *all* life, not just Force-sensitives. When anybody does anything that would normally be associated with the Dark Side it may be visible to those who can perceive the Force. If Cassian were a Jedi, there would be little question that intent to commit murder would see him drifting towards the Dark Side. This is why the Jedi, who are conscious of the Force, tend to avoid assassination work as much as they can.
- There is a major difference between a soldier or even a guerrilla going out to kill enemy soldiers as part of their duty, and possessing a murderous intent to kill a specific person. The former allows the soldier to distance themselves from their own actions, to dehumanize their targets and feel less remorse over it. They kill in the execution of a greater objective. The latter is a conscious act of taking someone's life as the central objective, and it needs a more particular frame of mind. Hence the difference between "manslaughter" and "murder". So, when Cassian and Jyn went up to the pad, they didn't go there with the intent to kill any Stormies specifically; they only did it for self-defense. Cassian definitely went up to kill Galen and THAT was the dark intent that Chirrut detected.
- A soldier sniping a high-ranking enemy officer still does it because he was ordered to or because he knows that it will facilitate the cause he's fighting for. Just as Cassian was ordered to liquidate Galen. Whether or not he felt any personal animosity towards the man is irrelevant and why should he?
- Because snipers usually don't see things that way.
- Chirrut specifically hints that Cassian did NOT feel like a killer, he isn't an assassin or sniper by nature and isn't going to be able to pull it off. Chirrut foreshadows that Cassian won't be able to take the shot.
- Chirrut isn't seeing or predicting the future; he's perceiving Cassian's current intentions and state of mind, through the effect they have on the Force. While the circumstances make it likely that any of the group may end up killing someone soon, no one other than Cassian is specifically planning to do so.
- We see for ourselves that Cassian is conflicted about his orders, having learned that keeping Galen alive may be the better strategic option, plus having met the man's daughter and come to like her. Possibly if he'd never had any reason to doubt his objective, he wouldn't have had a detectable level of emotion about killing Galen. But since he's so uneasy about the task, his feelings are stronger and more conspicuous, enough so as to betray his state of mind to Chirrut.
Lyra's "brilliant" rescue attempt
- What exactly did Lyra think she would accomplish, marching across an open field, loudly announcing her arrival and intentions, and then targeting the only imperial who wasn't armed? Even if her shot had killed Krennic, his troops would have just gunned her down anyway and finished the mission without him. The smarter thing to do would have been to stick to cover, snipe troopers from a defensible position with an escape route, or at least engage them on her own terms. If it was so important to deal with the imperials near her husband first and foremost, she still could have saved him if she was a crack shot, if she had the element of surprise, and if she had prioritized those men who were actually capable of fighting back. Yet she squandered every last one of those advantages in a futile and pointless sacrifice, leaving her daughter to be raised by a fanatic guerrilla.
- It's like she's a desperate mother trying a last ditch effort to defend her family rather than a badass troper in his bedroom with meta knowledge and perfect combat training.
- I know she's not a trained soldier, but still, she had enough time to come up with at least a halfway-decent plan, seeing as how long it was between the time they found out the Empire was coming and the time the Empire landed on their farm. Saw even said "You know what to do", which seemed to imply they had a plan for what to do if the Empire ever came to their home, but the ensuing events seemed to completely contradict this.
- The plan was presumably "hide in the cave until they leave". Lyra just had no intentions of following the plan.
- With or without combat training, common sense would dictate that brazenly threatening to shoot a high-ranking imperial officer within sight and earshot of his elite bodyguards would be Suicide by Cop.
- The novelization provides some insight from Lyra's perspective; she and her husband had a past history with Krennic, and she remembered him as an "egomaniacal coward". She targeted him first because she believed she could intimidate him into ordering his troopers to stand down. Fair enough; capturing an enemy's leadership and forcing a surrender is a proven and valid strategy. She chose to march across an open field with no cover because four of the six troopers had departed, and she couldn't afford to give them time to return. Her fatal mistake was that Krennic had undergone some villainous character growth since last they met, and he wasn't the craven fool she used to know. Her plan to initiate a Mexican Standoff was thwarted by Krennic deciding to gambol his life to take her down.
- What do you mean "stand down"? Those were not some back-alley thugs you can hope to intimidate into seeking an easier prey. They needed Galen. They literally couldn't have left without him. If Krennic wasn't such a blithering moron, he could've very easily indeed told his troops to stand down and retreat to the ship - it's not like Ersos would've gotten far away. Heck, if this was some kind of grittier and nastier version of Star Wars, I would've half-expected her to shoot Galen to spare him the enslavement and ensure that the planet-destroying weapon will not be finished. "four of the six troopers had departed" - uhm, why?
- Shooting a loved family member is a lot easier said than done. And while Galen may be crucial to the Empire as a whole, Krennic's life is far more valuable to Krennic himself. Throughout the franchise, it's not odd or out of place for an imperial officer to put their own selfish interests ahead of their duties (we even see such petty power-plays between Krennic and Tarkin, which arguably allows the rebels to succeed in the first place). Since the death troopers are apparently subservient, they would have obeyed any order without question. As for why four of the six troopers had departed, they were combing a large farmstead with rugged terrain for a pair of natives familiar with the landscape who didn't want to be found. Krennic was prudent enough to keep a few troops around him for defense, but if he was serious about finding Lyra and the child, he couldn't keep them all clustered in one spot.
- I didn't say he wouldn't step down - I was asking about what was she planning on doing after he does. Krenniс couldn't have just left completely and told his masters some woman scared him away, could he? He also had witnesses, so it's not like he could say they didn't find Galen or faced serious resistance - I don't think the stormtroopers would've obeyed an order to lie for his sake. They know where Ersos are, they have a ship, just where was she going with this?
- Presumably, they would take the opportunity to rendezvous with Saw. He had to have some way of reaching Jyn and then getting her offworld afterall. Presumably, after getting Krennic to back down, Lyra and Galen would have then jumped at the opportunity to escape alongside their daughter.
- Is Vader's suit still a hindrance to his ability in the new canon? It was mentioned in the old canon that upgrades to the suit would be dangerous because the life support system would have to be disabled, but here we see Vader floating in a bacta tank without his suit on. Why couldn't he have somebody give his suit some well-needed upgrades during one of his baths?
- There is a canon explanation for this, and it's a variety of factors. Palpatine was motivated somewhat by fear, not wanting Vader to become strong enough to overthrow him and thus made the suit a hindrance intentionally. Even Vader's vulnerability to electrical shock was intentional, because on the off chance Vader became strong enough to kill Palpatine then he'd have a way to disable his apprentice. Though ironically the pain caused by Vader's suit fuels his connection to the Dark Side, and has made him a more focused and lethal warrior. So in Palpatine's eyes he's managed to get the best of both worlds, he has someone strong enough to destroy his enemies but not strong enough to kill him. Though it is noted that Palpatine did give in for a moment and consider making Vader's suit more comfortable, since it's ultimately more important that Vader surpass him and advance the Dark Side. The old logic of the armor disconnect being lethal has been discarded, and has become an issue of Vader learning to accept his punishment and just live with the suit as it is.
- Also, it's been a piece of trivia floating around for years that Vader routinely leaves his suit. And since movie canon trumps all canon then Vader inside a Bacta Tank proves that trivia wasn't non-canon. Vader leaves his suit in order to have the armor's fuel cells recharged, to have necessary repairs done, and to have the necrotic (dead crusty skin) flesh scrubbed off through Bacta Tank treatments. Plus if you go by the Legends canon, Vader did routine maintenance and upgrades on his armor when it suited him. In particular in The Force Unleashed 2 he upgrades the cybernetics so they're more resistant to electrical surges since Starkiller's use of it was a factor in his defeat at the Death Star.
- Finally, I find it questionable that Vader lacks anything along the lines of mobility or precise swordsmanship as a result of the suit. Even if you don't consider them canon, his antics in the Force Unleashed games alone show him as quite capable of gigantic leaps and bounds using the Force. And in certain EU stories he's shown to have the capacity to still run if need be. And it's noted several times that he's arguably still the best swordsman alive, despite the horrible injuries he has suffered. Or if you want a more solid canon example, just look at his fights during the Rebels cartoon show and tell me if he looks like an "old man fighting in a clunky suit". People are too hung up on how shoddy the choreography of the original saga was and are trying to find canon justifications for that, when the EU has shown Vader as being far more mobile than what happens in the movies.
- There's also the psychological aspect. Vader knows full well the impact his appearance makes and doesn't want to mess with that by "streamlining" his look. See the utter terror of the Rebels when he faces them in the hallway, that fuels Vader more. Whatever discomfort the suit may have, Vader knows its worth adding to his reputation is worth the pain.
Master Switch Console?
- The switch that Chirrut had to reach looked like it was on a random freestanding console that was just sitting on the beach — it didn't look like it was near Bohdi's cable or anything. How did that console relate to the connection Bohdi was trying to say up? Also, what could that console possibly be used for during normal base operations?
- It's well established the Empire loves to have redundancies in their design work. Witness how Obi-Wan could shut down the Death Star's tractor beam at one of several different locations. It's possible this was built in when the installation was created and they never got around to getting rid of it when they had more consoles set up.
- The cable and the master switch were separate systems. Bodhi needed the cable to directly hook his shuttle into the base's communication network. However, they couldn't actually transmit a message to fleet in orbit until the actual communication network was activated, which is what the master switch was for.
- Where is The Emperor during the time of the Rogue One events and what he has been doing?
- Probably on Coruscant, doing what an Emperor does; rule and delegate governing tasks to system governors, like Tarkin.
- I dunno, maybe governing? Doing Emperor things? Tending a Shrub Garden? Learning how to play pingpong? He's busy.
- The man runs a Galactic Empire filled with officers who are either incompetent or ready to stab each other in the back. He's got a hell of a lot more on his plate than worrying about one project. Plus, it shows how the Emperor completely underestimated the Rebellion until they became a real threat.
- If anything, it's more of Tarkin's responsibility than the Emperor's to handle the Rebellion at the time. Rebels invade Scarif? Tarkin blew them up, file that report, and done. The Emperor probably said thanks and went about his own business.
- Being both The Emperor and a Sorcerous Overlord is very time consuming. Various sources paint Palpatine as a part-time Mad Scientist as well. Even if he opted to forego sleep, there are only so many hours in the day during which he can get all of his evil deeds done. Notice that in the original trilogy he does not step in as the Big Bad until late in Return of the Jedi.
- Plus, if he micromanages, he'll never give his subordinates a chance to develop and grow as leaders. What kind of leader and mentor could he be if he just set them up to fail? I mean, granted, he'd be a pretty typcal Sith Lord. All the same, leaving his subordinates to fight it out with each other for power and favor probably suits him well enough as far as leadership styles. Better than effectively managing them so they could potentially work together on deposing him.
- Since this movie just precedes A New Hope, the Emperor is busy dissolving the Imperial Senate at the time. Even if it was a move he'd prepared for years, it still probably requires his full attention. Having some of his most trusted subordinates, like Vader and Tarkin, oversee the Death Star project is certainly considered enough.
- Why did the Empire think it was a good idea to take troops out of the archives when the rebels attacked? Krennic knew the rebellion had knowledge of the Death Star's existence, and the only logical reason they would attack Scarif at that moment would be to get the plans and see if they can find a weakness. Why would Krennic take his troops away from the one place on the planet they could possibly be trying to get to?
- At that point, Krennic has no reason to suspect that the Rebels have troops on the inside of the facility and that the explosions are a diversion, so it seems to him like the attackers on the outside are the attempt to get the plans. We, the viewer, also know that the attacking force is about thirty troops, but with the carnage they've caused, Krennic could be forgiven for thinking it was larger and sending more troops than were actually needed. He also clearly doesn't send the entire garrison out, since a bunch of Stormtroopers still intrude on Kaytoo and he keeps the Death Troopers with him until later in the battle.
- Recall also the clever bit of Bodhi and other Rebels getting on the Imperial coms to report attacks that make it sound like the Rebel force is much larger and more spread out. The Imperials are getting way too much information at once and thus impossible to tell how small the Rebel forces attacking them really are. They basically lived up to Cassian's talk of "make ten men seem like a hundred."
- But the space battle hasn't started yet and the shield gate is still up. How would the rebels get hundreds of troops on the ground if there was only one unauthorized ship to land recently?
- The team's stolen cargo shuttle wasn't unauthorized; it had the right access codes to get through the shield gate, just like all the dozens of ships that must have passed through there every day. The Imperials had no idea the rebels had arrived on a single ship, least of all which ship that was.
- But it was the only one they weren't able to inspect.
- As far as the Imperials were concerned, that shuttle was inspected. It was the inspection team that Jyn and Cassian Mugged for Disguise, and the guards severely Failed a Spot Check so presumably reported that everything checked out. So the Imperials don't have any indication that that particular shuttle was anything other than an unscheduled arrival diverted from another assignment, and once the explosions start happening the priority is less 'how did they get here?' and more 'kill Rebels first, ask questions later'. The Empire basically has no idea how the Rebels got to Scarif at that moment and without that knowledge, the Rebels can indeed make ten men seem like a hundred.
- The inspector never reported back, no cargo was being unloaded from it, not to mention the ship was unscheduled.
- The whole reason Krennic is there is because he knows Galen has been supplying the Rebellion with some secret information. When the attack starts, Krennic could be thinking Galen gave the Rebels a way to get through the shield undetected and this is a full scale assault. As noted above, the priority is to stop the Rebels, not worry about how they got on the planet.
- Also, Krennic's job within the Empire is really to act as a glorified engineer. He is not a battle tactician or strategist.
- This film alone already depicts several Imperial defectors or saboteurs friendly to the Rebel cause. From there it's only a small step to assume there might be other such defectors and saboteurs, potentially stationed on Scarif. For all anyone knows, the Rebels have been discretely seeding forces from multiple ships while being aided by disloyal Imperial personnel. Plus, the Empire's forces on Scarif likely don't have much practical experience. It's an out-of-the-way archive installation guarded by a forcefield and a pair of star destroyers, with scenic beaches. It'd be like expecting an enemy raid on Pearl Harbor. Once the explosions started going off, the Imperials were playing catch-up and scrambling to react.
- Ok, Krennic might not have realized the exact way the Rebels were going to get to the archive, but he had to realize that that was what they were there for - there was literally nothing else of value on the entire planet. And knowing that he still didn't order the archive disabled/isolated/destroyed. Even after they'd found an enemy droid in the control center. Even after Krennic had personally witnessed two Rebels stealing the plans and heading to the communicator, he still doesn't order the fighters to take it down?
- Krennic apparently isn't ruthless enough to order a facility full of loyal imperial troops destroyed in order to protect its secrets. Tarkin is, and does exactly that as soon as he arrives.
- Darth Vader saw Tantive IV being present in the final battle. Why did Leia even think of the blatant lie that she's on a "diplomatic mission" when Darth Vader finally caught her in A New Hope? Was she really that desperate?
- Does she know that Vader saw them himself? Perhaps she thought that he was merely sent afterwards, and hoped to confuse him.
- Leia still thinks the Senate is going to be a block to the Emperor and by maintaining the official line of "diplomatic mission," she can get their support. Too bad by the time she's at the Death Star, the Emperor has disbanded the Senate.
- Ships in hyperspace are nearly impossible to track unless they had a homing beacon planted beforehand, so Leia may have been trying to bluff Vader with the argument that he can't prove this CR90 corvette is the same CR90 corvette he saw leaving Scarif. Perhaps the Tantive could also have changed its IFF codes before dropping to sublight over Tatooine.
- What else could she say to Vader? "Yes, that was totally me at that battle and I totally have the plans"? It's better to try some sort of lie, and the best lie she's got is that she's on a diplomatic mission. She is a senator, after all. If there's even a small chance it'll work, it's a chance worth taking. Yes, of course, it's still an obvious lie. But that's exactly why Vader dismisses it so quickly.
- Add to all of this that the Alderaanians are officially considered pacifist and being on a diplomatic mission to try to talk down the rebels makes a fair amount of sense to a casual observer and a passable cover story. Being at the scene of a major battle not so much but hey, maybe the rebels didn't bother to tell her when she showed up for negotiating their return to their lives at home or reintegration into the empire. If they can shut the whole rebellion thing down peacefully then Alderaan maintains it's official neutrality while preventing more deaths.
- It is never stated as to how much time passes between the Tantive fleeing the battle and being caught in A New Hope. It could have spent weeks trying to shake Vader off their tail and in an attempt to do this could have visited other systems to give the impression of being a diplomatic mission as well as trying to get help or transfer the plans to someone else as a last resort.
- Let us not forget that it almost worked, Vader's outspoken underling does say that taking Leia prisoner was dangerous and liable to cause more trouble for the Empire. It is conceivable that Leia or other members of the Alderaanian diplomatic corp had pulled this before and it had worked previously.
- Why does Krennic park his shuttle so far away from Galen's home? He's just forcing himself to take a long walk, and in the meantime he gives Galen more time to escape.
- Probably for the same reason why Airplanes need to land on runways. If they had landed on rugged terrain, the whole thing would probably tipped over.
- Mostly likely to stay clear of any potential booby traps or defenses that Galen may have set up near his home.
- Landing far away also gives them a good line of sight on the farm as they approach, so they could spot anyone who ran away. Krennic didn't seem to appreciate that Galen would already have an evacuation plan in place, of course...
- In addition, Krennic seems to be rather fond of making an appearance. He might have chosen the option that would give him the most dramatic entrance, even if it wasn't the most practical one.
- Also while he is fully prepared to, if it comes to it, Krennic would prefer not to have to threaten Galen. He's telegraphing his moves and intentions to give Galen a chance to come quietly.
Remote tech support
- Why are Galen and the other Death Star engineers all stationed on Eadu? Shouldn't they be stationed on the Death Star? Who's gonna fix the dang thing if something breaks?
- Precisely because the dang thing could break while they're on board. A device that can channel enough power to pulverize a planet is just as dangerous towards the crew as it is toward it's targets until the means of directing that energy is perfected. If something went wrong and the highly experimental, untested doomsday device didn't work exactly as intended, then at least the team essential towards it's creation could pick up the pieces and try again from a safe location. With that in mind, kudos for Krennic and Tarkin for having the chops to be aboard the damn thing during it's first-ever live test.
- That's not how engineering works. Galen and his men designed the Death Star, run some tests to prove it and then you get the labour to build the thing to their specs. You do not get the Phd level super genius' to do routine maintenance. That's what they get the regular engineers and droids to do. You get the super genius' working on designing other things.
- Apparently they weren't that important since they were mercilessly gunned down even after their innocence was noted.
- It's likely they were planning on doing that eventually anyway. The Death Star was finished and operational, the researchers are now loose ends of debatable loyalty.
- The base was noted on screen as a kyber refinement facility which to me indicates unless you need more giant weaponized crystals you need another tech department.
Not killing Krennic
- During the mission where they fail to extract Jyn's father, a lot of fuzz is made about whether they should kill him, but the question of killing Krennic is never so much as mentioned. Granted, they could not know he'd be there, but his face (and if not that, his uniform) should be recognizable enough for the rebels to know who he is, which to them must still be "the guy in charge of the Death Star" as Tarkin's takeover has probably not yet been announced publicly. So he should be an eminently important target and there is ample reason (and opportunity) to kill him.
- The Rebels recognize how Krennic is nothing more than a cog in the machine (which Krennic himself didn't) and that if they took him out, it'd just mean another director steps into his place. Galen was the brains of the Death Star's weapons and thus far more important to the Empire for his work than some bureaucrat could ever be.
- Krennic was a small fish compared to Tarkin and Vader. Killing him wouldn't really disrupt the Empire in any way, which is part of why Tarkin was willing to obliterate him without a second thought. Rebel intelligence would have likely seen him as basically middle-management, being in charge of a weapons project but not actually crucial to either R&D or to the Imperial military. Killing him would not set back the Death Star project so much as a single day, much less hinder any other Imperial operations.
Why did Cassian kill Saw's men?
- Seriously, why provoke an already known ruthless and paranoid crackpot even more? There would have been safer ways to gain his attention.
- The guy Cassian shot was about to throw a grenade at Jyn. Cassian was protecting her, not trying to get Saw's attention.
How was the Death Star kept a secret?
- Yes, space is BIG, to the point where a 160 Kilometer object could easily get lost in the void, but it would still need to stay in contact with the greater galaxy to sustain it's crew and functionality, let alone be built from the ground up. A station that size would require hundreds of tons of metal, tools and complex components every single day just for the mundane maintenance, and millions of sapient beings would need to be involved in it's construction note . Although there was eventually a whistleblower (in the form of Bodhi Rook)there should have been thousands more before him, as it's impossible to maintain an airtight conspiracy with that many people involved. The most successful scandals and conspiracies (that we know of) typically involved less than a dozen people precisely because each participant was another vector for exposure, whether deliberate or unintentional. Since all of the Death Star's supplies seem to have been imported rather than locally produced, it's safe to say at least tens of thousands of eyewitnesses were passing by it's construction every single day, for almost twenty years. Really, the imperial senate must be staffed by total idiots if they were ignorant of the station by then.
- First of all, there is a real-world (approximate) equivalent for this in the Manhattan Project. Obviously a few bombs are easier to hide than a space station, but that also brings us to the other point: a galaxy is a really damn big place. It probably wasn't that hard to get a few thousand ultra-loyalists or people with extreme discretion to build the Death Star, especially considering the Empire wouldn't be overly hesitant to just have people disappeared.
- From what little we know from Rebels, the bulk of the Death Star's construction was done by Geonosians, who were then killed by the Empire once construction was nearly complete. As to why no one noticed that, considering the Geonosians seemed to be pretty isolationist, it's no surprise that no one noticed their loss, especially since they were part of the Separatists, and therefore few people want anything to do with them. As for hiding the construction, it's an entire galaxy full of trillions upon trillions of beings. A million or so people and ships being lost in the shuffle wouldn't be that surprising.
- The Empire appeared to be doing all of the construction itself, rather than using private companies as was the case in the old EU. We see star destroyers clustered around the station during the final phases of the construction. As the Empire is a totalitarian state, it is a fairly safe bet that Imperial military personnel do not get to have unrestricted contact with anyone outside of their immediate installation or ship. Command could rig the schedules so that ships working on a top secret project simply do not get routed into civilized systems and that their crews get no leave time. Those who were building various pieces of the Death Star may not have had any idea what they were for. Only that they were to hand them over to Imperial fleet ships tasked with delivering them. This would greatly limit the information leakage to just a trickle.
- In addition, it's heavily implied in both Legends and current canon that a great deal of slave labor was used to build the Death Star, and the convenient things about slaves is that nobody knows that they exist and they can be easily eliminated when their job is done.
- In regards to shipping supplies, the Empire could have easily just routed civilian supply shipments to offsite depots, and then carried out the final leg of the trip with trusted crews. Nobody would have asked questions.
- The majority of the Death Star construction would've been standard battlestation components, just on a major scale. It's likely that people could be aware the empire was building a battlestation the size of a moon, they wouldn't necessarily know it had a planet killing laser in it. Only a relatively small number of people worked on the main weapon.
- In Legends, and even some early semi-canon supplements, the Death Star was originally proposed as the so-called "Expeditionary Battle Planetoid" by the Sienar Fleet Systems corporation. Another old sample art book written from character perspective referred to "Habitation Spheres". It is very likely that the Death Star project was not positioned openly as a Planet Killer, even to Imperial Senate budget committees. Rather, it was positioned as a mobile battle station for allegedly defensive purposes.
- Even though the Emperor had the resources of the entire civilized galaxy to draw from, it still took almost twenty years. The painstaking secrecy and compartmentalization is probably why construction took so long.
- Even if someone managed to fly by the zone and see the Death Star, they would probably think it's just a moon...
- In addition, the Empire also has lots of droids who can be programmed for construction, won't talk to anyone about their jobs, and can work 24/7, which would cut down on the number of organic people needed.
Galen a "Collaborator"?
- When trying to justify Galen Erso's assassination, the accusation that he was an "Imperial Collaborator" was used as justification. Yet wasn't Galen an imperial citizen? A collaborator is "a person who cooperates traitorously with an enemy; a defector". Galen was actually working for his lawful government, oppression and atrocities notwithstanding. This begs the question; was the Rebel Alliance a legitimate political entity at this point in the Star Wars timeline? It would need to be, for Galen to be defined as such.
- You're way overthinking this. The Rebels were never their own nation, they just mean he's willingly working for the Empire, who in their minds are an evil power that should never be supported.
- He was an Imperial Weapon Designer, who defected with his family and ran off to start a farm on a distant world and was in contact with some branches of the Rebel Alliance in essence a Defector from the Empire, note the "They Found Us." Message. In the Rebel's POV Galen should have given himself a fatal case of lead poisoning once they came for him and his family and his family was...as far as anybody knew...dead so no hostage situation to force his compliance. Instead he appeared to go back and willingly work for the Empire to design the Death Star, so now he's a former Rebel now collaborating with the Empire.
- There is a tip-off in the film in that Mon Mothma and Bail Organa still use the title "Senator". One of the key premises of the Alliance to Restore the Republic (the Rebellion's official name) was that Palpatine illegally overthrew the constitutional Republic and that the Imperial government was basically just a military junta. The implicit statement being that the Empire was not a legitimate successor to the Republic and therefore anyone who supported the Empire was effectively a "collaborator".
- Mon Mothma and Bail Organa were still senators in the the Imperial Senate, the reformed Galactic Senate that served to rubberstamp the Emperor's decrees and maintain the illusion that the citizens had some control of their government. It's not until Leia is captured in A New Hope that the Imperial Senate is dissolved - "The Imperial Senate will no longer be of any concern to us" bit.
- According to the Rogue One visual guide, the rebellion has something of a civil government, possessing minsters of Finance, Industry, and Education, although what that entails is still left pretty vague.
About those two Imperial Star Destroyers
- Excuse me if this is mentioned, but I lost/forgotten the part where that happens. Anyway, why those two Star Destroyers protecting the shield's entrance did not open fire against the Rebel ships?. Unless new canon has changed it, they seem to have more than enough firepower to wipe out the enemy fleet and while I understand that: 1) the Imperial ships did not wanted to risk the defeated rebel ships, especially the flagship, falling and destroying the shield, 2) the ISDs could not fire to ships too close because of some safeguard on their weapon systems -even if in Return of the Jedi we've a Rebel frigate exchanging fire at point-blank with the Executor- it's odd they did not attempt to stop the Hammerhead. Also, having two Mile Long Ships falling from orbit would not cause a lot of damage on the planet below?
- Small ships broke up on the shields area of affect presumably so would a larger craft leaving large but smaller than original chunks impacting.
- The Star Destroyers were firing on the Rebel ships, but they'd been caught off-guard by the sudden attack. Combined enemy pressure plus ion bombardment and combat damage kept them from firing more heavily than they did, and the ion bombing completely disabled one and allowed the Hammerhead to circle around and use it as a shield from the other destroyer to make its move.
- Wouldn't the battle on the ground alert them to the possible arrival of reinforcements?
- The bigger question seems to be, why was the Rebel fleet able to make relatively short work of that pair of ISDs but they were completely helpless against Vader's single identical ISD? Particularly, why was Admiral Raddus' flagship not shooting back at Vader's ship? Sure, it was mentioned that the flagship was taking damage and the shields were below 50% before the first 2 ISDs were destroyed, but the scene would've worked better if the MC-75 had been visibly beat up by the time Vader arrived and fought back ineffectively against him due to most of the turbolasers already being destroyed.
- Three possibilities: 1) perhaps all ion torpedoes were required to take out one Star Destroyer, and the only reason the other one was taken out of commission soon after was that it had the misfortune to be adjacent to the other, and that the rebels were willing to sacrifice one of their corvettes to push one of the Star Destroyers into the other, 2) the Raddus' shields might have been weakened during the battle by constant enemy fire, and Vader's ship might have been able to bring down enough hurt to disable the flagship before it could adequately respond, and 3) it's Vader's Star Destroyer. For all we know, it might have superior firepower or defenses.
- I know Scifi Writers Have No Sense Of Scale, but this is ridiculous. How could two huge starships be hanging so close to each other that a slight push made one instantly career into the the other? And why would a slowly moving ship slice through an equally armored ship like knife through butter?
- Those "slowly moving ships" are in orbit. When you're in orbit, you're actually moving at truly stunning speeds. Shifting one object's orbit so it intersects with another object's orbit results in a massively destructive impact.
- More to the point, those equally armored ships are both massive. Even in real life, battleships have been sunk due to accidental collisions with similarly-sized ships because that is simply profundly more force than the designers could engineer for. Force equals Mass times Acceleration, so even for small amounts of Acceleration, if you have enough Mass, you're gonna get hit hard.
Shouldn't the Empire inspect the Death Star after all this?
- Even though the only Empire officer who learns the full truth about the Death Star's built-in weakness dies before sharing that information with anyone, after the events of this movie the Empire still knows that, A) the main engineer of the Death Star was a traitor who sent a message to the Rebel Alliance, and B) immediately after the message was sent they attacked the Empire's archive, where the Death Star plans were kept, and possibly managed to transfer said plans away from the archive. Now, it doesn't take a genius to deduce from this that the Death Star might have some kind of weakness that Galen told the Rebellion about, and the plans might help them to exploit that weakness. Since the Empire has no pressing deadline to put the Death Star into use, why don't they just put it on dock and comb over all its systems to see if there's any weak point? It's been under construction for 20 years, surely they can wait a few months more?
- Maybe they did and found nothing (remember, the thing is huge), maybe they did and found something else (which never shows up, because, well, why would it?). Remember that while the Death Star was (mostly) kept a secret until the events of Rogue One, it is not anymore after it and the Empire knows that the Rebels know. So having it mothballed until a flaw that might or might not exist is detected has considerable costs (not being able to use your best weapon) with little potential benefit. Besides, the Death Star nearly did win the Battle of Yavin, if it weren't for a smuggler, an ancient religion and "sheer damn luck". Notice the discussion early on in A New Hope about the Death Star and the Rebellion - the only one in the room believing the Rebellion to be a threat to the Death Star is some low level grunt (compared to Vader and Tarkin) who is quickly ignored. Vader knows the Force is stronger than the Death Star, but it is unclear whether he even knows Obi Wan is still alive at that point and he surely knows of no other living Force-user (unless there is something in canon I missed).
- It seems pretty obvious no inspection was done to the Death Star, because there's only days between the Battle of Scarif and the destruction of Alderaan, and the Battle of Yavin 4 is soon after that. No way could they have properly inspected the entire station in such a short time.
- You can absolutely walk and chew gum; most likely the Empire is doing a search for some (possible) flaws in the Death Star - remember, Alderaan was a "test" of the Superlaser at top capacity - it's just because of the short amount of time, because they have other things to worry about (e.g. destroying Alderaan) and because the station is frickin huge they just miss the "obvious" flaw.
- Galen is the only one who truly understood the Death Star technology, enough to know the exhaust port is unnecessary. The Imperials presumably think its a mandatory flaw. Also, its not a "glaring weakness" as we see in A New Hope; its covered in AA guns, only accessible down a long trench filled with turrets, is ray-shielded, and its so small and hard to hit even the Rebels' targeting computers can't hit it, only Luke could using the Force. Only one other guy got close to hitting hit, and then he missed and died.
- It wasn't just Galen who was essential toward finding the flaw; Krennic was obsessively proud of his creation and took personal control of every aspect on its construction, refusing to delegate or trust any of his underlings unless absolutely necessary. The novelization explicitly points out that he didn't even need the Death Star plans on Scarif anymore since he had already memorized every last detail himself... which is why he never made any notes. In matter of fact, knowing he was about to die, he actually did analyze and realize Galen's fatal flaw in his final moments without even glancing at the plans. With his profound memory allowing him to internalize the plans, and his paranoia minimizing the number of people familiar with the project, the Empire lost almost all in-depth knowledge of its own superweapon on Scarif. Which in turn make's Taken's demise in A New Hope all the more deliciously poetic; he foolishly alienated and then murdered the man most familiar with the station he had confiscated, and in doing so lost his best chance at finding the weakness which ultimately killed him.
- Krennic's mass execution of the R&D team probably didn't help matters either.
- "We've analyzed their attack, sir, and there is a danger. Should I have your ship standing by?". Maybe they did find it. They just did not find it in time to do anything about it.
- Right, they found it *then*, only when they saw where the Rebel ships were headed. So yeah, too late to do anything about it.
- Presumably because it just took the Imperials that long to find the flaw. Lost Stars shows that it was Jude Edivon who figured out what the design flaw was, and she's implied to be a scientific genius on the same level as Galen Erso. Apparently it wasn't until after she was assigned to the Death Star crew that the Empire made any progress in that regard. And remember that the Rebels had the advantage of being told what type of design flaw to look for. Imperial analysts were having to scour every detail of quite possibly the most massive and complex artificial structure in galactic history, while Rebel analysts they were looking for "what can cause a catastrophic chain reaction in the main reactor core?" Odds are that's not one of the first things Imperial analysts would've looked for, because such a chain reaction is supposed to be impossible due to the extensive failsafes any reactor will have. They'd probably be looking first for things like a flaw that would induce failure of the superlaser, or catastrophic overload of it. We saw in an episode of Rebels that Kyber crystals can be caused to explode catastrophically, and Kyber crystals seem to have been the specific aspect of the Death Star design that Galen Erso was in charge of. It probably took a lot of very clever and subtle manipulation on his part to even influence the reactor design, let alone induce a catastrophic flaw in it.
Very slow destructions
- So when the Death Star destroyed Alderaan it just took less than a second to blow all the planet in thousands of pieces and it happened just immediately after the beam touched the planet, but when it destroyed Jedha it took several minutes, probably hours for the characters, so much that they had enough time to escape, how is this possible?
- Because it was openly stated that the blast on Jedha was the Death Star on its lowest power setting. Tarkin states he wants to just make an example and it's clear by the reactions of the Imperials that even they're stunned the "low-level" blast caused such epic destruction. For Alderaan, Tarkin had the Death Star on full power for instant destruction.
- That doesn't change the fact that the shockwave should travel at the speed of sound.
- The speed of sound is not a constant. It's determined by atmospheric conditions. Jedha is not Earth, and there's no reason to assume its atmospheric composition, density and average temperature are the same as Earth. We know that it's got a significant oxygen content and the majority would be an inert gas like nitrogen, since the air is breathable to humans and not overly flammable, so it's not that dissimilar to Earth. But there's plenty of variety in atmospheric conditions that are survivable to human life.
- Why should it travel at the speed of sound? It's clearly not just a simple explosion.
- Are you suggesting that the Empire somehow changed the very nature of the way things explode when the Death Star causes the explosion? Are they somehow projecting some kind of energy field altering space-time so that molecules bounce into each other along the shock wave at a different rate than they would when the shock wave was caused by anything else? Do you think there was a meeting where the guys designing the weapon decided that utter destruction at the speed of sound, like every other explosion, just wasn't right for low-powered Death Star hits so they need to alter the state of matter in the area so that the shock wave moves super duper slowly? That seems like a lot of work that is not really necessary - it would just increase the chances for intended victims to escape and anyone who didn't escape, and was appropriately impressed with the slowed down shock wave before it hit them, would end up dead anyways.
- I'm suggesting that the Death Star superlaser doesn't cause an explosion, but rather some sort of geological... destabilizing... reaction... thing... Basically, it hits a planet with its crazy space magic beam and the planet tears itself apart. I'm not ready to write a Databank article on the process, but I think it's a suitable answer to the "slow explosion" thing. As to how that meeting went, I imagine the guys in charge were happy with whatever would make the planets go boom.
- Ok, first off: in regards to physics, this is Star Wars we're talking about. This is not a franchise known for scientific accuracy. Secondly, if they're firing it at low power, presumably that means they would actually like to have survivors. Otherwise, they could just go to full power and atomize the planet. As for allowing intended victims to escape; their target was the city, which was destroyed immediately, so no one escaped that, and the only other known ship that escaped did so by the skin of their teeth. Thirdly, they didn't have hours between the initial blast and the wave reaching them, maybe minutes at most.
- So you are saying that yes, they did alter the physics of explosions for a more impressive shock wave. I certainly would not normally be a stickler for scientific accuracy in a Star Wars movie, after all, we must allow for faster than light travel, light sabers, and mystical energy fields that bind all life together, but rock is rock. The shock wave traveling through the ground should have been moving at around 13,000 miles per hour (that's 1/3 the circumference of the Earth, or twice the distance from New York to Tokyo per hour), not the slow crawl that was shown and that allowed the heroes to escape.
- So basically 'I certainly would not normally be a stickler for scientific accuracy in a Star Wars movie' but right now you're being a stickler for scientific accuracy in a Star Wars movie? There's no reason for rock to be any more scientifically valid than plasma or the theory of relativity in this setting, especially not when it impacts the plot
- Only the atmosphere displaced by an explosion will necessarily move at the speed of sound. If you watch footage of explosive volcanic eruptions (the closest analogy to what we see in the movie) you'll see that the rock displaced by the explosion still moves at subsonic speeds. Also, during Krennic's moment of Dissonant Serenity, you can clearly see the explosions accoustic shockwave as it expands outwards as a ring of dust. In other words, this explosion was still following the laws of physics that all explosions follow.
- Why does Galen's farm look so much like the Lars farm on Tatooine, complete with moisture condensers and bantha milk, even though you shouldn't expect to find either of those in an Iceland-like climate?
- Farms do tend to look a lot alike no matter the setting. The Visual Guide explains more of the planet and the focus on minerals but it makes sense it would have much the same equipment as other farms across the galaxy.
- That's not the point. It's kind of the opposite; Tatooine farms need moisture condensers because moisture is extremely valuable and rare, since it's in the middle of a desert. Normal farms shouldn't need anything like that.
- It's not like farms on Earth don't still need wells for irrigation. You don't just plant and wait for harvest. Or maybe Krennic happened to find them during the rainy season and it's pretty dry in the summer. I believe the area outside the farm was shown to be rocky and not covered in vegetation.
- Moisture condensers would be required if the environment didn't have an easily-accessible source of water.
- The official explanation is that due to the above-average geological events on that planet, the groundwater is saturated with minerals and chemicals that need additional purification. They're essentially a utilitarian, heavy duty aquifer.
- As for the bantha milk, real-world cattle come in many breeds. No reason why there can't be breeds of bantha that are able to tolerate wetter, colder climates than the ones on Tatooine.
Necklace in the Labor Camp
- How did Jyn keep her valuable Kyber crystal necklace in the Imperial labor camp? Say she smuggled it past initial searches somehow, wouldn't they still search prisoners regularly, or at least at random so it'd be a risk wearing it? Even if she was hiding it gold watch style, presumably they have scanners.
- Maybe refined kyber crystals look different? Most people are unable to recognize unpolished gemstones in real life.
- It looks like a piece of glass, or maybe rough cut but polished quartz. Even in real life, some stones are similar if not identical to the naked eye (like diamond vs. white sapphire or moissanite) and need to be professionally appraised. It's possible that kyber resembles a worthless rock, especially if uncut and unpolished, so that any guards would assume the necklace was cheap.
- Kyber crystals have a connection with the Living Force. Perhaps this one hid itself by convincing the weak-minded stormtroopers that it wasn't worth their time to remove it, that it was a harmless keepsake rather than a potential improvised weapon or a valued commodity.
Chirrut unable to fight Saw's Guerrillas
- Chirrut picks a fight with several dozen stormtroopers on a whim and takes them down with ease. Yet when he's violently accosted by a throng of angry thugs a moment later, he surrenders without a fight. In-universe, Saw's Guerrillas are almost as infamous as the empire, and locals like Chirrut and Baze would have seen many of their atrocities and civilian collateral first-hand. Why not give them the same treatment as the stormtroopers?
- Because Chirrut is very much in tune with the Force, even though he is not a Jedi. At an instinctive level he probably senses that they need to go with Saw's insurgents.
- That, and, after killing a bunch of Stormtroopers to save some rebels, or at least criminals, they were in an Enemy Mine situtation: Chirrut and Bade might not particularly like the Partisans, but understand that they're both technically on the same side now, and the Partisans clearly don't want them dead, just to talk (albeit in their own terrorist-kidnapper way).
- You don't just go around killing everybody...
Why didn't Jyn and Cassian try to steal Krennic's shuttle to escape Scarif?
- Seems like just an excuse to have everyone die.
- Cassian is seriously injuredhe's visibly limpingand Jyn clearly isn't going to abandon him. Cassian's injuries mean that, unlike on Jedha, they're not going to be able to get to a shuttle before the blast hits, and that's even assuming they can find one that is unattended, fueled, and ready to go. The beach scene is them Facing Death With Dignity because they know that there's no escape.
- It's also a safe bet that any flight-worthy craft would have already been commandeered by evacuating imperials; they would have been much closer to the ships when the explosion first began, would have had a far easier time accessing them, and wouldn't need to fight their way aboard. No matter how subservient a stormtrooper may be, he's not going to wait around when the mother of all explosions come racing towards him.
- For that matter, Jyn was injured, too; remember, she was limping towards the transmitter array after the walkway partially collapsed and almost threw her off. It's unlikely either of them had too much left in the tank by that point, nor the physical capability to run for a shuttle.
- It was obvious that the Imperials had won the battle by that point, and trying to escape on an Imperial shuttle would just get them killed anyway.
Cassian not killing Galen
- Why? It's a high-ranking Imperial collaborator, and he has his orders. What sympathy could he possibly have felt for the man that stopped him from pulling the trigger? He was committed to it just a moment ago, was that just a sudden pang of consciousness?
- It was probably Jyn's influence that got to him as they worked together to find Galen. While he did express his doubts that Galen is actually helping the Rebellion with the Death Star weakness, there was a good chance he gain some second thoughts. Also, seeing Galen himself defending the other engineers from Krennic while Cassian had him on his sights may have given the former more seconds to live before the bombing run simply did the job for him.
- He's not an assassin. He's a spy. It becomes clear later, from his speech to Jyn before the raid to Scarif, that he's been more and more conflicted by the dirty deeds he's had to do in the name of the Alliance, and an outright assassination of a non-combatant is one step too far. If it had been an Imperial commander, perhaps he would have been able to stomach it, but Galen is a scientist. It's also far from clear that Cassian was ever "committed" to the assassination, his anger and general attitude before shows reluctance. He also clearly feels shame as evidenced by how he sends Bodhi away so there won't be any witnesses when he takes his shot.
Disobeying an order
- Consequently, why doesn't Casian suffer any punishment for disobeying the order? It's a capital offense, and Galen only died accidentally, so it shouldn't matter in his favor.
- Given the situation with the Death Star, I think it's safe to say punishment is the least of the Rebellion's issues in terms of priority.
- Do the Rebels even know that he refused to shoot Galen? It would be rather foolish of him to tell the Rebel command that he didn't shoot him, especially as it wouldn't get him anything beyond a court-martial.
- If General Draven was working behind Mon Mothma and Bail Organa's back, he's not exactly going to bring up the issue of whether Cassian shot Galen in front of them and Jyn Erso. The initial plan was probably to tell them, "Well, we tried to get him, but the Empire shot him trying to escape." If Galen was accidentally killed by rebel bombs, its a happy accident, and General Draven could say "Well, we jumped to conclusions when we lost contact with the ship, and Galen was a casualty. We had no way of knowing." Draven is happy enough that the mission's objective had been met. Besides, Draven has no way to verify whether Cassian hesitated or not; for all he knows, Cassian was able and willing, but the Alliance bombers got there first.
- When looking into the situation in a certain way, Cassian still did his mission. Sure he didn't do it personally but he still made the call for the air strike that ultimately killed Galen anyway.
- Actually, Galen had nothing to do with that call. Communications were lost when his ship crashed, and General Draven assumed the team had been lost, sending in Blue Squadron as a fallback. As soon as they reestablished contact and learned about the incoming air strike, Cassian tried to call it off. Either way, it could be written off as the mission failing due to the confusion caused by the communication loss, something not in anyone's control.
Showdown at the satellite dish
- By this moment Krennic has know pretty much for sure what the Rebels' plan is. Why doesn't he order the fighters to fire on the satellite dish?
- Because he doesn't want to kill the communication between the base and the surrounding fleet, and because he's confident/arrogant enough to believe that the planetary shield will prevent large messages, like the plans, going through.
- Krennic's not the commander at the archive. He has no direct command authority; he's only there as an investigator.
- Ok, call the one who was in charge and ask him. They probably wouldn't have even needed to destroy the dish. Don't tell me they couldn't have simply depower it from the HQ.
- Assuming Krennic could get through to the commander in the chaos, would the commander listen to him? If the TIE fighters are Imperial Navy craft, then they'd also need to get through to the TIE fighters' commander in orbit. Going through the proper channels to redirect air support across multiple commands is actually a petty difficult process in real life, as well.
Jyn operating the satellite dish
- How the hell does Jyn know how to operate and align a no doubt complex piece of equipment she sees for the first time in her life?
- She was trained as a guerrilla fighter since young age, and has been living as a career criminal. She probably knows a fair bit about engineering that relates to those fields, and the Imperial equipment seems pretty standardized.
- Why was a console for aligning the dish and connecting the hard drive there at all, instead of in the safety of the command center?
- Those are emergency controls, for when you absolutely have to access the device directly, rather than through the network.
- Like when? I'm not being deliberately obtuse here, I would honestly like to hear a single scenario where that would've been necessary.
- Maintenance, testing, and emergencies in case of a faulty connection. You always want to have on-site manual controls.
- Consider the modern smart home. You could use the app to control your thermostat, or you can just go to it and adjust it manually. The closest analogy to Rogue One would be if you had a home with crappy wireless signal. You can browse the web over wi-fi, but to download or upload anything large, it's better to go the PC that has the wired connection to the router and use that.
Krennic and Jyn
- What was up with Krennic? He sees some random girl attempting to transmit the plans, and instead of shooting her he... asks who she is. Uhm, he already knows who she is - she's a Rebel Scum, what more is there to him? Actually, would've been awesome if she'd answered just that.
- Krennic had already glimpsed Jyn on Eadu, cradling the dying Galen Erso. He was already half-guessing who she was and wanted a confirmation.
- Why? Ok, if he saw her there, he could've assumed it was his daughter. What did he care?
- Krennic's an arrogant shit and Jyn got away from him years ago. He'd want to confirm his fuck up and resolve it personally. It's been established already in the movie that Krennic is a very hands-on leader who handles things personally.
- Galen pretty much ruined Krennic's reputation with the security leak. I'd say not being to kill Galen himself probably made this very personal with him when the daughter who continues to sabotage him is the only person left to target.
Accessing an impounded shuttle
- So despite the fact that the shuttle stolen from Eadu was impounded and no one was supposed to be on it, the entry ramp was left open, no one was guarding it, and once it took off, no craft were sent after it to try and stop it from leaving?
- To be fair, it is parked in a secret base with only rebels around.
- Bohdi is the one who brought it in in the first place, so maybe only he had the keys, and anyone else would have found it much harder to steal?
All loyal imperials dehumanized?
- It's not hard to understand why Palpatine and the high ranking imperials are villainous monsters, as a High Lord of the Sith has direct oversight over who is running his empire. Yet even the rank-and-file imperials are almost entirely lacking in humanity, to the point where they became a metaphor toward blind obedience, and the only exceptions are those dead-set on defection. The obvious "meta-complaining" answer would be that we, the audience, cannot be allowed to sympathize too much with the protagonist's opposition, but has there ever been an in-universe attempt to explain this? note
- The Imperials we see in the movies are working directly for either Tarkin, Krennic, or Vader. Either you give them instant obedience at all times or you die. It's actually deconstructed in one of the Star Wars Legends novels, where an Imperial commander keeps losing ships cause the captains start to realize they have nothing to look forward to except either You Have Outlived Your Usefulness or You Have Failed Me.
- First of all, Real Life Nazi Germany had a similar high rate of "common grunts" carrying out clearly unlawful orders - just read up on what the Wehrmacht did on the Eastern Front - and there is little to no evidence that e.g. refusing to participate in executions would net the average soldier anything worse than pay cut or being put to a less pleasant part of the front. As bad as it may sound, but this is not so unlikely to happen in real life. And if you are looking for individual sympathetic imperials with believable motivations and a conscience look no further than the "children's program" Star Wars Rebels where we have Minister Maketh Tua and ISB agent Kallus who are both given credible reasons for supporting the empire and later growing disillusioned. There's just not enough time in this movie to introduce a bunch of characters Doomed by Canon whom you'll have to kill of in short order, have some Cameos to throw various groups of fans a bone, introduce credible villains and then illuminate the grays of the Empire when your overall theme is one of "The Empire is just too powerful to resist" until the very end, when at incredible costs and against all odds the Red Shirts do succeed.
- A salient point, and very well said. Yet in regards to the first half of your argument, please bear in mind that many Germans (mistakenly) believed that defeat in the war would equal extermination at the hands of Stalin, or that the vindictive Allies would inflict another generation of poverty and squalor on their nation in a repeat of The Treaty of Versailles. The initial success of the Blitzkrieg notwithstanding, their forces were stretched thin and severely undermanned, and many of the atrocities were fueled by a desperate fear of failure as much as hatred (not that this was any excuse). The Empire in Rouge One by comparison is working from a clear position of strength, are fighting insurgents rather than hostile invaders, and are faced with an enemy with a track record of upholding their integrity (Saw's rebels notwithstanding). The Empire's brutality is more indicative of a regime that's afraid of falling apart at any moment. Granted, that tends to be the norm for most regimes...
- Bodhi Rook was a formerly loyal Imperial pilot whose disillusionment happened off-screen, so there's that. Rogue One simply takes place over such a short timeframe that there wasn't any room to show what he was like before realizing he couldn't support the Empire anymore.
- The movies tend to focus on locations where Imperial military control is super-strict. You just know that highly sensitive locations such as the Death Star, Eadu, Scarif, etc... have the benefit of being prestigious assignments. But the vetting process to even get assigned to such installations is bound to be ridiculously strict and the discipline enforced in such places stricter still. The Empire already had a We Have Reserves mentality, so summarily executing personnel with dissident opinions would not be beyond the pale for them. Note that this is hinted at in The Force Awakens and its expanded universe materials, where the First Order puts more effort into brainwashing their troops because they do not have the numbers to support attrition of unreliable personnel like the Empire did. However, it has also been stated in various sources that many members of the Rebel Alliance were disaffected ex-Imperials.
- This seems to be a problem with the newer films. In the original trilogy we have Admiral Piett. He rises through the ranks based on guile and is never shown to be overtly cruel (He dislikes bounty hunters though). He might have been able to win the Battle of Endor if the emperor had not decided to show off the second Death Star. Cases can probably also be for Moff Jerjerrod (Beleaguered Bureaucrat), General Tagge (Commander Contrarian), General Veers, Captain Needa, and Chief Bast. Those officers are competent and sympathetic, they are shown to be struggling with the knowledge that Vader and the emperor do not tolerate failure.
- Not to mention that in flashbacks, the Ersos seem to be loyal Imperials (they at least fake it well enough while playing host to Krennic as they sip wine together). Presumably their viewpoints towards the Empire and Krennic changed over time, or due to Galen's work on the Death Star. And at least in the old Legends canon, more than a few notable Rebels are Imperial defectors (even Han Solo was previously a proud Imperial officer before he was ordered to execute a Wookie slave...).
Ship Full of Prisoners and Nobody Knows Where Their Home Base Is?
- At the end of the battle of Scarif Darth Vader has captured the flagship of the Rebel fleet. So why does he say in A New Hope that Leia is his only link to the location of the Rebel base? Did they kill every rebel on the ship who knew that the base was on Yavin IV? What about navigational charts or logs that would show where the Profundity had been? Did Admiral Raddus not survive to be interrogated?
- We don't know that anyone was captured from Profundity. Raddus might have triggered a self-destruct, or committed suicide, or perhaps Vader was so pissed off that he went on a killing spree. The Profundity probably didn't track where it went in its logs because it was a Rebel ship, which could be captured at any time.
- The ship is adrift, disabled, and being boarded. The only reason she wasn't immediately scuttled is that Tantive IV is docked in the hangar and still has a chance to fly the Death Star plans out of there. Since Admiral Raddus isn't an idiot, he's definitely taking whatever measures are necessary to destroy their navigation data (wipe the computer, chuck a grenade into the mainframe, burn any paper charts they might have) as well as purging any other intel that might contain a reference to Yavin. He also knows that he and anyone else who know where their base is must not be taken alive, and is likely taking appropriate measures to that end as well. Since Vader doesn't know about Yavin in A New Hope, he was evidently successful on all counts. All of this follows real-life military guidelines for similar situations.
- Adding onto that, it's possible that many of the Rebels don't actually know where their main base is, and a number of those who've been there don't know the name of the world. "Oh, our base is on a moon with a jungle and temples that orbits a gas giant." That really doesn't narrow it down all that much, considering how many single and multiple biome worlds and moons exist in the Star Wars galaxy, many of which were probably inhabited by someone at some point.
- When looking at schematics of the Profundity, I saw that The Bridge is that part that hangs way down from the hull. Whose bright idea was that? Shouldn't the bridge be on the hull itself and not on some extension that can be easily shot off?
- It certainly wouldn't be the first starship with that feature. Star Destroyers have their command center on top of a tower, for instance, rather than buried deep in the hull. So did General Greivous' ship The Invisible Hand. For that matter, all Star Trek ships have their command centers positioned like a hood ornament. I guess the designers of these ships figure that force fields are what are protecting them, and that once the shields go down it doesn't really matter where your control room is.
Why didn't they just blow it up?
- When the empire was reasonably sure that the disabled rebel flagship had the death star plans, and that there were no other copies in the hands of the rebels, why did they try to board it — giving the rebels the time they needed to put it on a smaller ship they were carrying and then send it away — instead of just blowing it up? It wouldn't be the first time the Empire made a boneheaded error in judgment, but I find it hard to believe that even they, in that situation, would be imprudent enough to not just blast it with maximum firepower until there was nothing left.
- While that's a fair point, they also didn't know if any of the Rebels had already taken the plans and hyperspaced out. Therefore, they need to find out, and thus need prisoners to interrogate, or at the very least, scour the computers. Blowing the ship up may have taken out the only copy the Rebels had, but if that didn't work, then the Empire has lost their only lead to actually find the plans at all.
- Also consider this: The Death Star is a big military project. There had to have been other places they could have gotten plans. A single set that has to be retrieved from the archives every single time someone has a question about this reactor vent or that garbage chute really isn't feasible for an Empire or a project this big. The Rebellion went to an awful lot of trouble to get those specific plans and the Empire needed to retrieve them as: A) The originals had recently been destroyed, and B) They needed to retrieve them so they could go back over them and know what the Rebels know. It's not until the final minutes of A New Hope that the Empire realizes the Rebels attack indeed poses a threat to the station.
Was the Hammerhead's destruction necessary?
- It's implied in the film, and confirmed by the expanded universe, that the Hammerhead Corvette used to push the Star Destroyers into the shield didn't survive. It pushes them all the way down and is engulfed in the ensuing explosion. But why didn't it pull up before the impact? The first Star Destroyer's engines were disabled and the other had been sliced practically in half, so I can't imagine either one would have been capable of course correction. Was the Hammerhead a Senseless Sacrifice?
- If those Star Destroyers got back into the fray then they'd have made a significant difference to the fight, given the stakes they had to be absolutely sure they were out of commission. Yes, it was a kamikaze run and maybe it was or maybe it wasn't necessary but the only way to tell would be with hindsight and the rebel force didn't have the luxury of waiting for that.
- By the time the ship had pushed the Destroyer long enough to ensure its neighbor's destruction, Corvette 5 was wedged into the Destroyer's hull. I doubt it could pull up at that point, assuming the bridge crew was even still alive at that point.
The Death Star Can Light Speed
- This is the thing that bothers me the most about the film. If the Death Star can travel at the speed of light, why is it never shown doing this in ANH? Wouldn't it be easier to just do a hyperspace jump around Yavin to destroy the Rebel Base, as HISHE suggests in their own ANH video, than to "orbit at maximum velocity" and give the Rebels time to counterattack now that they have the plans and can potentially "find a weakness and exploit it"?
- Maybe it can't start charging the laser until after it's dropped out of hyperspace.
- Star Wars has established hyperlanes where it's deemed safe to travel through; it's the reason why blockades are possible. Maybe the best route the Imperials knew about to the Yavin system emerged on the far side of Yavin. Jumping around Yavin would be a risky maneuver for the Empire's prized battlestation.
- When you see the Millenium Falcon arrive at Yavin, it flies past the gas giant to get to the moon, as well. Now, the Falcon is almost certainly faster sublight than the massive Death Star, so it was just a cool shot of the cool ship flying past a cool planet. Later, you realize that apparently, with the way the system's orbits are at this point in time, if you want to get to the forth moon the gas giant Yavin is in your way. And the Death Star is certainly shown traveling in hyperspace in ANH. . . how else does it get from wherever it was at the start of the film, to Alderaan, and then to Yavin? The Falcon had to enter hyperspace to get to those place, ergo the Death Star did, too. It'd be a pretty lousy terror weapon if it could only terrorize planets in the system in which it was built.
- The Death Star can most certainly travel through hyperspace, it's part of what makes it such a terrifying weapon. Hyperspace travel is also not like FTL jumps; they're not precise and there's set hyperspace lanes and it's not possible to do short hyperspace "hops" to get around Yavin. Doing so risks the Death Star hyperspacing right into Yavin's gravity well.
Crashed X-Wing on Jedha
- On Jedha, when Chirrut and Baze meet Jin and Cassian (just before they are all rounded up by Saw's crew) there is a crashed X-Wing in the background. Where did it come from and what was it doing there? Was it part of a previous rebel attack on the Imperials? Did Saw or other 'terrorists' have X-Wings?
- In the first trailer there's a shot of Rebel pilots being held prisoner and escorted through Jedha. Presumably, the context of the X-Wing would have been explained with them before the reshoots took it out. Considering Saw's Partisans managed to escape (Inferno Squad confirms it) and that we see a fair few of them using standard Rebel gear, it's reasonable to assume they had access to starfighters.
- There's a quick shot of an X-wing being prepped for flight outside the partisan base (we just see the nose and wing guns) as the shockwave from Jedha's destruction approaches. Saw's group did have at least some Rebel fighters, probably acquired at a time when he was still on good terms with the Alliance. Or possibly just stolen from them because he felt he was going to put them to better use, which would be completely in keeping with his character.
Devastator chasing the Tantive IV
- The last we see of Darth Vader is him standing there, watching the Tantive IV fly away. He would first have to trek through the capital ship to his shuttle, then fly back to the Devastator and then start chasing the Tantive IV. That's a huge leap for the rebels. How could they catch them, especially when they had already entered hyperspace?
- They can't go to hyperspace instantly, it'll take a bit of time before the Tantive IV is ready to jump. Also, Vader could just call the shuttle right to his location, considering the docking bay holding the corvette is now empty. And even if he couldn't do all that, it's been established that it's possible to calculate locations depending on hyperspace vectors, which combined with Vader's power in the Force, would allow them to track the ship's destination.
- Except the Tantive IV is shown going to lightspeed as the credits roll. My theory is Vader immediately called a shuttle, had the Devastator jump to lightspeed the moment his shuttle was on board, and roll the opening of A New Hope.
Upside-Down Death Star
- What are the logistics of the Death Star turning upside down near Jedha while the people inside are upright? Are they anchored due to artificial gravity and the shots inside the control room are how the Imperials see it, but would look upside-down from outside? (See also the joke about Australians.) Does the Death Star even need to invert to aim properly? If so, the placement of the dish seems rather impractical.
- There is no up or down in space. The Death Star's inversion ultimately makes no difference in the grand scheme of things. And yes, the artificial gravity means the crew inside don't notice any difference.
- When the Death Star hits Jeddha, the explosion peels back the planet's crust and hurls debris into high orbit. On Scarif, there is only a huge fireball and a planar shockwave, but no debris to reach escape velocity.
- Scarif seems to be way bigger than Jeddha. If that is true, Scarif should have a lot more mass, ergo more gravitational pull, than Jedha and, consequentially, a much higher escape velocity for the debris.
Scarif's Planetary Shield
- Scarif's planetary shield is really baffling. How is a shield able to encompass an entire planet without drawing immense amounts of power or being impenetrable? Why isn't this technology more common and important planets like Coruscant, Naboo, Corellia, etc have something similar?
- Probably it does draw immense amounts of power. And as we see, it isn't really impenetrable, as two star destroyers crashing into it is enough to overload it.
- Why isn't a planetary shield more common? Well, shields covering large areas are fairly common - the Gungans had shields mounted on carrier beasts that prevented them being bombarded from orbit, the rebels had one protecting Hoth, the second Death Star was protected by one, and later Starkiller base has a similar shield. Probably the immense power costs and the fact that you have small gates to go through limit the use of planetary-size shields like the one on Scarif. Coruscant, for instance, has so much traffic that having to have it all go through gateways might strangle the planet's economy. A secure data vault like Scarif where you don't have a lot of traffic going in and out is an area where a shield makes better sense.
"I want Galen and his family alive. Set your weapons to stun."
- Why didn't Krennic tell his soldiers this before going to get Galen? He wants Galen and his family alive. He knows Galen doesn't want to go back to the Empire. As such, he has to know there is a chance Galen or his family might resist. So why not just order his troops to set all weapons to stun so they can shoot them without killing if necessary?
- It is an early indication that Krennic is not as smart as he thinks he is.
- Also, stun apparently has some practical drawbacks. It has far less stopping power than a lethal bolt and a shorter effective range, so a desperate and motivated target could take several glancing hits before being subdued. Considering that said target was gunning for Krennic himself, it would be in character for him to value his life above the mission.
Giving up the search for Jyn too easily
- Anyone else wondering why Krennic and his men gave up the search for Jyn so quickly after she hid from them? She's a little girl with no vehicle or ship for transportation in a wide open area that is otherwise devoid of human life. She couldn't have gotten far. Why didn't they just call for another ship carrying scanning equipment that can scan the area for human life forms? With Galen's wife dead, Jyn would be their only leverage they could use against him. So you'd think they would put more effort into finding her, especially since it really wouldn't be that hard.