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Tear Jerker / Rogue One

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This page contains unmarked spoilers. You Have Been Warned!

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"Rogue One... May the force be with you."
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It's not a war movie without moments of tragedy. And considering that this is Star Wars we're talking about, it makes this entire page worse.


  • The galaxy in this movie is only in the state it's in because one young, but very powerful and mentally unstable Jedi Knight was mistreated by the Jedi Order and turned Sith. Yes, we've seen the situation of the galaxy in the earlier days of the Empire in Star Wars Rebels and they don't look very pretty, either, but Rebels is still pretty lighthearted by comparison and the heroes are still protected by Plot Armor, to the point that some of those can be quite ridiculous considering many Red Shirts are killed throughout the series. It's only in Rogue One you actually get to see how bleak the galaxy has become and the worst of all, the heroes die by the end of the film, outright showing you that they don't have Plot Armor at all.
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  • Lyra Erso stands up to Krennic and his death troopers, and gets shot doing so.
  • As Jyn flees from Galen's hideout, one death trooper finds her stormtrooper doll left behind, a reminder that the stormtroopers and the clone troopers were once regarded as heroes of the Republic.
  • Galen is killed by a Rebel attack, dying in Jyn's arms. And Cassian was almost going to kill him before too, because he knows the Empire will fight full force for him if the Rebels take him back alive, but he can't chalk up the courage to do it.
    Galen: I have so much to tell you...
    • Jyn already had Tears of Joy from finally seeing her father again, and you get the feeling that just MAYBE he'll pull through... But then he suddenly just dies. Jyn's expression changes from joy to concern, then she starts shaking him and frantically yelling "NO!" and hopelessly trying to get him to come to, then Cassian drags her away to get them both back to the ship. It's clear that she's in shock and doesn't know how to process this.
      Jyn: I can't leave him...
    • An understated moment comes when Krennic arrives on Eadu to confront Galen over the leak. He drags out Galen's team of engineers and threatens to kill them all unless someone admits to leaking the intel about the Death Star. Galen steps up and admits what he did to save them. Krennic has them all gunned down anyway. Keep in mind, these were people who Galen had likely been supervising and working with for years.
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  • Bail telling Mon Mothma that he needs to return to Alderaan and that he trusts Leia with his life can be pretty sad when you know that shortly, he and the majority of the Alderaanian people will all be dead because Tarkin wanted to hurt Leia.
  • Jyn's obvious heartbreak over Saw's abandonment of her years before.
    Jyn: You left me behind!
  • Doubling as Heartwarming is when Saw asks Jyn if she was sent to kill him, he can barely get it out and is holding back tears. He's become so paranoid that he can't even trust someone who's as close as a daughter to him. Though he is quick to believe her when she says no.
    Saw: Not a day goes by that I don't think of you.
  • Saw Gerrera's last words, which we hear in the trailer — "Save the Rebellion! Save the dream!" Considering he's far, far away from his home on Onderon now, and all he's clearly gone through over the course of the war (not the least of which includes losing his sister Steela during the Clone Wars), and that he undoubtedly knows that he's never going to live long enough to see this through to the end, it's clear that Jyn is truly his last, best hope for restoration of the Republic and for freedom.
  • After Chirrut rescues Jyn and Cassian from Stormtroopers, Cassian asks Baze if Chirrut is a Jedi. Baze quickly corrects him:
    "There are no Jedi here anymore!"
  • Jyn rescues a crying little girl in the middle of firefight between the Empire and Partisans. Then you realize she's killed when Death Star fired at Jedha City. Talk about Shoot the Shaggy Dog and averting Infant Immortality!
  • A low key one, but depressing nonetheless, is the meeting of the Rebel Alliance council. After realizing the power of the Death Star and what happened to Jedha, the council and military leaders argue whether or not to just surrender to the Empire despite the option to steal the Death Star plans on Scarif being available yet suicidal. The majority of the council refuse to commit their forces and one cannot blame them as the odds are terribly bleak. Jyn then steps up and gives a Rousing Speech. Being a Star Wars movie, you'd expect the council to be moved and put all their hopes in this clearly dangerous plan that can easily go wrong... But instead, Reality Ensues as one young woman's passionate words to continue the fight doesn't go through as the council majority vote for surrender. The Rebel Alliance in the original trilogy would take any insane odds if it meant a small chance of hope for the galaxy, but their early days show how weary they are of fighting a supposedly invincible enemy and the Death Star is what nearly destroyed them on the inside.
  • By the end of the movie, all the original major characters are dead. You did good, Rogue One. You did good. They all die just as a red shirt would in any other film. No big speeches, no dying moments of awesome, no drawn out death sequences. Instant and sudden.
    • Kaytoo holds off Stormtroopers while Jyn and Cassian have to manually search for the plans in the console, but more and more hostiles keep pouring in, and in the end he gets shot down immediately after sealing the entrance to the vault. Right before he smashes the console, he utters a single "Goodbye".
      • His cry of "Climb!" sounds so tortured and sorrowful; he knows he and Cassian will never see each other again.
      • The novelization makes it worse.
      With one second left until total shutdown, K-2SO chose to mentally simulate an impossible scenario in which Cassian Andor escaped alive. The simulation pleased him.
      • If you're not already upset, consider also that when Cassian realizes what K-2SO's about to do, he starts yelling his name and actually turns around and starts running for the door, like he's going to try to save him.
    • Bodhi stays behind on the Rogue One and is killed by a grenade that gets inside — only moments after making successful contact with the Alliance fleet. Baze sees the explosion (after Chirrut has just died) and realizes Bodhi is gone, too. Bodhi's last words show that it's clear that Galen Erso left a huge impression on the ex-Imperial.
      Bodhi: This is for you, Galen.
    • Chirrut and Baze die within minutes of each other. Chirrut is killed by an explosion after he turns on a switch that allows the plans to be transmitted, giving an emotional speech about how he can always be found within the Force while Baze begs him not to go. As Baze goes through his Last Stand, he recites Chirrut's mantra about how the Force is with all of them. When a live grenade rolls toward him, he takes one last look at Chirrut's dead body.
    • Baze begging Chirrut to come back when the latter ventures out to turn off the switch.
    • With the Death Star shooting down on Scarif, Jyn and Cassian are helpless on the shores, but can rest with the hope that the Rebel Alliance will destroy the superweapon.The last thing they do is hug each other as they are swallowed by the light of the incoming blast wave. No tears, no panic, just an instinctive need to be held by someone in the face of fast-approaching death.
      Cassian: Your father would have been proud of you, Jyn.
  • The elevator scene. If you have no family and nothing to live for, then in many ways it's simple enough to sacrifice your life for a cause — but when Jyn and Cassian maintain a deeply Held Gaze for the duration of the elevator's descent, you can tell from their anguished expressions that they've just realized they're not only giving up their lives, but the chance of a future together. Their love story ends as soon as it begins.
  • After the Death Star has fired at Scarif, we get this line from Admiral Raddus when he realises that this was a suicide mission and that each member of Rogue One is doomed.
    Admiral Raddus: Rogue One... May the Force be with you. [closes his eyes in grief]
  • Something just feels off when the movie keeps rolling past Jyn and Cassian's deaths, because again, all of the original main characters of the movie are dead but really just heroes of another story. The last few minutes are carried on by minor characters who are actually the main heroes we've all known in the stories we've already heard before.
  • While the audience knows that the Rebels will succeed in destroying the Death Star and ensure Rogue One's sacrifice was not in vain, none of the members of Rogue One will ever know if their efforts paid off in the end.
  • The entire story of the Erso family is an utter tragedy worthy of the Skywalkers. Through no fault of their own they get dragged into Krennic's schemes, and when they try to opt out and escape he hunts them down, causing Lyra's death and violently ripping Galen and Jyn apart. Jyn essentially loses both her parents, although at least she has Saw Gerrera as a father figure, while Galen is imprisoned and threatened into good behaviour with his daughter's life, if and when she's found. After working for years on a project he now despises in the hope of keeping her safe and seeing her again, he realises he can't continue like this and undermines the design of the weapon, but is fatally wounded by the Rebellion — the people he was trying to help — and only sees Jyn once more when he dies in her arms. Finally, although she's instrumental in saving the Rebel Alliance and the galaxy by stealing the plans and getting them off Scarif, Jyn is vaporised by the very weapon her father was forced to create. Everything Galen did was to try and protect Jyn, and that part at least was all for nothing.
    • "Stardust" is Galen's nickname for Jyn and the code name for the Death Star project. And it's all that's left of her now.
  • Also counts as Heartwarming in Hindsight, but remember Rogue Squadron from The Empire Strikes Back (as well as the game of the same name)? There is a very good chance that Luke Skywalker heard just how much it cost to steal the Death Star plans, and so decided to name Rogue Squadron after Rogue One in their memory.
  • The movie is about the metaphorical chain of bodies that get the Death Star plans into the heroes' hands at the start of A New Hope, but at the very end, that becomes an almost literal chain of bodies, as obviously terrified and desperate rebels pass the plans from hand to hand as Darth Vader himself follows behind, mercilessly slaughtering them.
  • If you have pity for the character of Anakin Skywalker, then the brief glimpse we get into Vader’s private citadel on Mustafar is rather sad. Beyond looking intimidating, the structure inside is completely stark and utilitarian. There are no hints of comfort or decorations anywhere and nothing to suggest that Vader ever receives guests. He’s attended to by a few nameless servants and doesn’t seem to do much with his downtime beyond sitting in his Bacta tank and waiting for orders. Add in the physical agony he must constantly be in and the regret he’s had to feel for what happened to Padme for the last nineteen years. The entire setup gives off the impression that, before he found out about Luke, Vader truly had nothing to live for beyond serving as Palpatine’s attack dog. The simple fact that Vader chose to make his home on Mustafar of all planets further speaks to the tragedy of his character. Vader must have nothing but bad feelings about the place; it's where Obi-Wan defeated him, maimed him, and left him for dead, and it's where he assaulted Padme, which led to her death (and, Vader believes, the death of their child). Despite suffering through what is likely the worst day of his life on Mustafar, Vader can't bring himself to leave the place behind. He is forever bound by his past, and he never stops suffering for it. The hellish appearance of the planet only adds to the symbolism: Mustafar is Darth Vader's personal hell.
  • The Arc Word of "Hope" can start the waterworks, especially when Princess Leia says it right at the end. The slow shot of the Princess from behind, dressed in white, becomes much more heartwarming and sad, as shortly after the film's release, Carrie Fisher, the original Leia, passed away. Afterward, showings of Rogue One had a single new image before the credits: a picture of Carrie Fisher with the words "The Force will always be with you", and the years of Carrie's birth and death. None of the home video versions have this.
  • Towards the end of Galen's message to Jyn, he tells her how much she means to him and how much he misses her. Both his words and the way he's almost breaking down while saying them are incredibly heartbreaking. Not helped by Jyn's reaction — her face is crumbling while she's struggling not to cry as she hears her father's voice for the first time in fifteen years. Also not helped by the Lonely Piano Piece being played in the background during the scene.
  • After the death of Galen, an intense argument between Jyn and Cassian involves the latter vaguely referring to his Dark and Troubled Past. Cassian has known nothing but war in his life, having joined the Rebellion at the age of six. Adult Fear is certainly in mind when you think off all the things he must have done in his childhood and what this did to his mental state. The film certainly delivered when it showed what the Rebels were capable of doing.
  • Cassian Andor shoots his informant in the back because he's drawing too much attention. Knowing that the original trilogy only painted the Rebel Alliance in a positive light, it shows how the Empire has worn them down to this level—they had a higher moral ground that drew many to their cause, but won't even hold that now.
  • A minor one, but during the assault on Scarif, one of the rebels on foot is shot down. The rebel next to him shouts a pained "No!" and stops shooting to help his downed friend. It serves as a sorrowing reminder that these nameless rebels are people who are fighting and dying and have others who care about them, too.
  • Watching that single rebel trooper barely escape with his life from Darth Vader hurts for those who've seen A New Hope, as the rebels on the Tantive IV would end up either dead, or captured and presumably executed moments later.
  • The moment the audience hears about Blue Squadron is fine. Then comes the moment the audience realizes they don't hear from them again.

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