Movies are built on hope.
Despite the many tragedies and shortcomings of 2016, any year in which a new Star Wars movie is released is a good year… right?
If you haven’t seen Rogue One yet, this is your friendly warning that there are most definitely spoilers ahead. Although, in actuality, most of the newest film’s plot merely serves as a precursor to the details of the first Star Wars movie, which we’re going to assume you’re familiar with as it turns 40 this May.
Aside from widening the scope of the Star Wars universe without being part of an official trilogy, Rogue One serves an extremely important role in completing what the main films leave out. And it might just be one of the smartest things a movie franchise has ever done.
Every work of fiction has plot holes.
No matter how well thought-out and no matter the detail (or lack thereof), it’s nearly impossible for an author or screenwriter to cover all their tracks when developing new and captivating plots.
While these details can be left purposefully vague, or whether later commented on by writers and producers, the plot holes can still drive fans mad. In fact, you’ve probably heard people complain that one of the worst features of the Internet is that people use it merely to overanalyze and over-theorize book and movie plots.
Of course, Star Wars is no different than other great works of fiction when it comes to plot holes. But of the many faults or unanswered questions of the Star Wars universe, perhaps none is so great as why the Death Star—the most feared weapon in the galaxy—was so easy to destroy.
Thankfully, Rogue One afforded Lucasfilm and Disney the opportunity to make an origin story that could change the doubt surrounding the topic.
That’s no moon.
Mommy, where do Death Stars come from?
Early on in the first Star Wars film, we are made familiar with the Death Star, a dwarf-planet-sized battle station capable of destroying entire worlds with a single blast. One of the most impressive weapons in cinematic history, the Death Star—and how to destroy it—is central to the plot of not only the original film but integral to Episodes II and III, as well as a reference point for the Starkiller Base in Episode VII.
Since A New Hope‘s debut in 1977, fans have been bothered by one question: Why build the Death Star with an exhaust pipe providing an entryway to the station’s one weak point, its reactors?
It’s too convenient. Too unnecessary. Too obvious. Too… purposeful?
Enter anthology movie Rogue One, and the genius save-face it provided the franchise. Keep reading.