How Rogue One: A Star Wars Story Will Expand Our Knowledge of The Force

Monday, 08 August 2016 - 5:08PM
Star Wars
Star Wars: Rogue One
Monday, 08 August 2016 - 5:08PM
How Rogue One: A Star Wars Story Will Expand Our Knowledge of The Force
At Star Wars Celebration last month, we were introduced to the planet Jedha. A new addition to Star Wars canon, Jedha was first mentioned in the context of Riz Ahmed's character, Bodhi Rook. The planet, which is Rook's homeworld, has been seen plenty of times in various snippets of Rogue One footage so far, perhaps most memorably when Donnie Yen's character takes on a bunch of Stormtroopers while armed with naught but a stick. Given the amount Jedha has been featured so far, it's not unreasonable to suggest that the planet is going to be a major factor throughout the movie. In a new interview, Gareth Edwards has provided details on what Jedha means to Rogue One's characters and the Star Wars Universe as a whole, and it sounds as though the planet could be far more important than we'd ever imagined.

While Jedi and Sith aren't expected to play a major role in Rogue One, Edwards hints that we'll still be getting a deep dive into the mystical side of Star Wars lore, namely The Force. 

Opening quote
"The Force is basically in Star Wars like a religion, and they're losing their faith in the period that we start the movie,"  Edwards told EW.
 
"We were trying to find a physical location we could go to that would speak to the themes of losing your faith and the choice between letting the Empire win, or evil win, and good prevailing," he says. "It got embodied in this place we called Jedha."
Closing quote

Edwards goes on to confirm that Jedha is an important planet to all those who believe in, or are able to wield the Force. The reasons for this are not yet known, but it's why the Empire is so interested in the planet that's the real mystery here.

Opening quote
"It's a place where people who believe in the Force would go on a pilgrimage," Edwards says. "It was essentially taken over by the Empire. It's an occupied territory… for reasons we probably can't reveal. There's something very important in Jedha that serves both the Jedi and the Empire. It felt very much like something we could relate to in the real world."
Closing quote

As EW suggest, it's likely that this 'something' is a significant deposit of Kyber crystals. The Death Star and the technology behind it is a key factor in the Rogue One plot, and while Kyber crystals are best known for powering a Jedi's lightsaber, Star Wars canon – or at least the old Legends universe– also tells us that the Death Star's destructive weaponry is made possible through the use of rare Kyber crystals that were far, far larger than those used in a lightsaber hilt.

Remaining with Jedha, but on a slightly different note, Edwards also hinted that Rogue One might give us a better idea of how other people in the Galaxy think about the Force. In the Original Trilogy movies, many characters treat the Force with a great deal of skepticism, while in The Force Awakens the exploits of the Jedi seem confined to folklore. But, as Edwards suggests, The Force is a powerful factor in the Galaxy, so this lack of belief can't sure exist everywhere.

Opening quote
"In a wider level, there must be loads of people who just believe in the Jedi and believe in the Force and have been affected by it," Edwards says. "If it's a really ancient religion, as Obi-Wan Kenobi said, it's got to exist in thousands or millions of people in the galaxy."
Closing quote

So, while Jedi will be distinctly lacking in Rogue One, it would seem that the Force will still be with the movie in a very important way.

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is released on December 16th
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