Hey friends, welcome back to Ranked! Now, what would Rogue One release week be without the proper inaugural Star Wars themed Top 10? Still really awesome.
**MAJOR ROGUE ONE: A STAR WARS STORY SPOILERS**
Now, as the Commander in Chief of Ranked!, sometimes I have to make the tough decisions. I already had to make one today (for those who care, I chose Cinnamon Toast Crunch over Strawberry Mini Wheats. Nailed it.) Along with that, came this conclusion: while I am a huge Star Wars fan, I feel that someone with even more invested in the greater Star Wars Universe should take first crack at the premiere Star Wars Ranked! Without further ado, I give you my friend Josiah, whose opinions on all things Star Wars should not be taken lightly…
JL: Why hello, my fellow Geeks! I was honored that Lou asked me to guest star on this week’s Ranked. His passion and enthusiasm are exactly what The Geekiverse is all about. It’s not easy to whittle down a list of epic moments from a Star Wars film, but I shall do my best. If you have not seen Rogue One: A Star Wars story, do not continue reading. May the Force be with you!
10. Bail Organa Refers To Obi-Wan Kenobi & Princess Leia
It was a welcomed sight to see Jimmy Smits reprise his role as Bail Organa, as this was one of many ways in which Rogue One is tied back to Star Wars Episode I-III. In his conversation with Rebel Council leader Mon Mothma, the two discuss Bail’s Jedi friend, referring to Obi-Wan Kenobi on Tatooine. I was actually somewhat surprised that we didn’t see an Obi-Wan (or “Ben”) cameo at this point. I also theorized that this might be the first Star Wars film to feature an after or mid-credits scene, because it is not a numbered episodic film and that Disney would want to differentiate it from those movies (much like they do with the Marvel Cinematic Universe).
I envisioned an “aged” Ewan McGregor sitting in his hut on Tatooine (or even a CGI Alec Guiness, given what went on with the rest of the movie). Speaking of reprising roles: Genevieve O’Reilly played the part of Mon Mothma. She had been cast for the part in Episode III: Revenge of the Sith, but ultimately the scene was cut. That scene can be witnessed in the extra features of the Blu-ray/DVD version of ROTS.
9. Galen Erso Admits He Planted The Death Star’s Fatal Flaw
This is something The Geekiverse crew had long theorized and I am proud to say we nailed it! In Hologram form, Galen Erso (Mads Mikkelsen) tells Jyn that he planted a design flaw in the Death Star’s reactor core. If a significant blast were to hit this core, the entire station’s system would go down. I like that Galen chose this point in particular and not specifically the exhaust port, because I would imagine an exhaust port necessary on a weapon of this scale and design. Not to mention, Mikkelsen looks totally BA in Hologram form! It couldn’t be a Star Wars movie without one.
This is a departure from the former Star Wars Expanded Universe, as the original designer of the Death Star had overlooked this aspect and accidentally built the battle station with this vulnerability. That architect was later tortured by the Emperor and forced to work on the second Death Star as well.
8. K-2S0 & The Grenade
K2 is my favorite new character in Rogue One. Voiced by Alan Tudyk, the droid is totally the film’s comedic relief, as well as the “Anti C-3P0.” I was legitimately sad to see him die. Early in the film, K2 catches a grenade from a falling Storm Trooper and tosses it behind him, taking out a few more troops in the process. The look on Jyn Erso’s face is simply priceless. Though we won’t be seeing any more of K2 in the near future, he has made his mark in the Star Wars universe and is sure to be a fan favorite for years to come!
7. The Death Star Takes Aim At Krennic
Director Orson Krennic’s life’s work was the Death Star. Blinded by his pride & “aspirations” (more on that later), Krennic regains consciousness at the top of the tower on Scarif, only moments before the Death Star takes position to destroy the Empire’s base. Krennic’s life’s work is the thing that ends up destroying his life – rather ironic. The prequel story, Catalyst: A Rogue One Novel furthers the weight of this situation.
6. “You may fire when ready.”
Grand Moff Tarkin’s reveal in Rogue One was rather startling – and AWESOME! When we first saw Tarkin’s reflection in a Star Destroyer window, I had assumed that that was about all we were getting. Interestingly enough, Tarkin is a prominent character in the story. This is significant because Peter Cushing, who portrayed the actor in Episode IV: A New Hope in 1977, passed away in 1994. This is a complete recreation of his likeness in digital form. Though it’s not perfect, this is a game changer for movies in terms of production and how we as fans speculate. Even more epic than the reveal of Tarkin, however, is the classic line that was taken from ANH in which he utters “you may fire when ready,” giving the command to shoot from the Death Star’s super weapon. Chills.
5. Two Star Destroyers Collide
During the Battle of Scarif, the Rebel Alliance tries to provide coverage above the planet’s atmosphere and takes on the Imperial armada. After a series of EMP blasts that disable a Star Destroyer, a Hammerhead Corvette is ordered in, which is used to ram that Destroyer directly into another. It was totally epic, watching the Destroyers take not only eachother down, but the space station above Scarif.
4. Chirrut Imwê Kicks Some Stormtrooper Ass
Donnie Yen’s character, Chirrut Imwê was superbly written, with a big part of that influence coming from Yen himself. Chirrut is one of the most badass non-Force wielding/non-Jedi characters in the whole saga, able to fight with the best of them. My new dream duel? Darth Maul v. Chirrut. Just imagine if Chirrut wasn’t blind and also could use the Force. On Jedha, Chirrut encounters a small garrison of Stormtroopers. Unfortunately for the troops, this would be their end. We’ve never seen anything like this in a Star Wars film and I adore Yen’s work in Rogue One. Chirrut’s devotion to the Force and his unwavering belief in it in a spiritual sense is admirable. I am one with the Force, the Force is with me.
3. Princess Leia & “Hope”
Another long time rumor/prediction came true in the respect that we got a Princess Leia cameo. The question all along had been who could play Leia, being that Rogue One and A New Hope were supposedly just minutes apart in continuity (and they were, clocking in around 10 minutes apart).
A look-alike wouldn’t work. Of course, we didn’t know that CGI characters would be so prominent in Rogue One. Just after escaping from the clutches of Darth Vader, the plans find their way to young Princess Leia. Originally, I assumed we might just see a back or side shot of Leia. Instead, we got a full front view of Leia, as well as a truly epic exclamation of “hope” when she was asked what data was sent to the Rebel Alliance. Simply amazing. The CGI isn’t perfect, but it still induced a full applause from my entire theater.
2. Vader’s Reveal & “Be Careful Not To Choke On Your Aspirations”
We knew we were going to see the return of the most infamous Dark Lord of the Sith, Darth Vader, in Rogue One. One thing we didn’t know: how absolutely mind blowing it was going to be. Director Krennic’s shuttle is shown flying to what we now know to be Vader’s Castle, where he resides. The assumption is that this is Mustafar, the planet where Anakin Skywalker & Obi-Wan Kenobi dueled in Episode III. However, this is not confirmed, as oddly enough there is no in-film text like there was for other planets and Pablo Hidalgo’s Ultimate Visual Guide does not confirm that this is Mustafar either. Based on early designs by Ralph McQuarrrie intended for The Empire Strikes Back, we finally get a glimpse into Vader’s Lair.
Seeing Vader in the Bacta Tank was chilling, as we nearly got a glimpse of his bare face. An incredible shot appeared shortly after, as we saw the shadow of Vader standing over Krennic. This was a phenomenal reveal by Gareth Edwards, as it’s symbolic of Vader’s larger than life abilities and personality. At the end of Vader’s conversation with Krennic, he Force chokes Krennic, dictating the cleverly written line “be careful not to choke on your aspirations.” A sure-to-be legendary quote in the Star Wars universe moving forward.
1. Darth Vader’s Rebel Rampage
This scene keeps playing in my head over and over again. It is one of the greatest action sequences we have witnessed in any film ever, let alone any Star Wars film. Finally, we see Darth Vader at the height of his strength. Sure, we always knew he was the baddest, most feared Sith to ever live, but now we got to see why. Near the end of the movie, the Rebels’ ship is boarded by the Empire. Darkness ensues. The Rebels line up, ready to fire. Breathing is heard. A Lightsaber ignites, revealing Vader. The sheer panic and desperation from the actors that portrayed the Rebels is nothing short of perfection, helping to make the scene all the more intense. Vader begins deflecting laser fire, something we had not seen him do previously. He does it with ease, performing two and three tasks at a time. This was such an important scene for many reasons. In addition – seeing the Death Star plans nearly fall back into Vader’s hands was ridiculously unnerving. My heart was racing, even though I knew the outcome. A part of me wishes we saw more of this during the movie, but I am glad we had to wait until the end, because it ramps up the level of importance and left me dying to see this again. Kudos, Lucasfilm. You guys and gals nailed it.
What were your favorite moments from Rogue One? We want to hear from you in the comments below!
Josiah LeRoy is The Geekiverse’s biggest Star Wars fan boy. Catch him tweeting about Star Wars and other geeky things here.
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