Rogue One: a Star Wars story (a 15-Minute Force production): Chapter Four: Help Me, Saw Gerrera. You’re My Only Hope.

darthvader

 

00:45:01 – 01:00:00

Without any further mucking about, we’ll pick up where we left off in Chapter Three: Galen Erso’s holographic message to Saw Gerrera, which Jyn is now seeing for the first time.

Saw. If you are watching this then perhaps there’s a chance to save the Alliance. Perhaps there’s a chance to explain myself and, though I don’t dare hope for too much, a chance for Jyn, if she’s alive, if you can possibly find her, to let her know that my love for her has never faded and how desperately I’ve missed her. . .”

Quick cut to the Death Star, where gloved hands in tight closeup continue to press lighted analog buttons as Director Krennic and Grand Moff Tarkin are conducting their test by attempting to wipe out Jedha City.

Back to the Galen Erso hologram—

Jyn. My Stardust.” There’s “Stardust” again: I’m betting that’s going to be a secret password or something similar in the final act of the movie. “I can’t imagine what you think of me. When I was taken, I faced some bitter truths. I was told that soon enough Krennic would have you as well. As time went by I knew that you were either dead or so well hidden that he would never find you. I knew if I had refused to work, if I took my own life it would only be a matter of time before Krennic realized that he no longer needed me to complete the project. So I did the one thing that nobody expected. I lied. I learned to lie. I played the part of a beaten man resigned to the sanctuary of his work. I made myself indispensible, and all the while I laid the groundwork of my revenge. We call it the Death Star. There is no better name and the day is coming soon when it will be unleashed. I’ve placed a weakness deep within the system, a flaw so small and powerful that they will never find it.”

While this exposition is being dumped, we see a shot of the Death Star and of Krennic and gang inside while Jedha is being targeted.

But, Jyn, if you’re listening, my beloved, so much of my life has been wasted. I try to think of you only in the moments when I’m strong because the pain of not having you with me, your mother, our family…The pain of that loss is so overwhelming that I risk failing even now. It’s just so hard not to think of you. Think of where you are, my Stardust.”

Of course, this soliloquy has Jyn in tears. How could she not be?

But, Galen’s still not finished talking.

Saw…the reactor module, that’s the key. That’s the place I’ve laid my trap. It’s well hidden and unstable. One blast to any part of it will destroy the entire station.” During this part, we see the Death Star firing upon Jedha City. “You’ll need the plans, the structural plans for the Death Star to find the reactor. I know there’s a complete engineering archive in the data vault at the Citadel Tower on Scarif. Any pressurized explosion to the reactor module will set off a chain reaction that will destroy the entire station…”

As the hologram image degrades and vanishes, there is a loud rumbling sound and some dust falls from the ceiling. Saw Gerrera watches out the window while a huge mushroom cloud consumes the Holy City of Jedha.

Down in the cells, Captain Cassian Andor uses the distraction of mass destruction to finally break out of the cell. He gets on his communicator and begins calling for K-2SO. The droid is still waiting with the ship. Andor orders K-2 to get a fix on their location and come get them.

When Chirrut Imwe, the blind Force warrior, asks Andor where he is going, the captain tells him that he has to find Jyn. Andor asks Imwe and Baze Malbus to get the pilot. They are going to need him.

Cassian Andor runs into the chamber where Jyn and Saw are located, and it looks like there’s about to be a fight between the two men, but it never happens. Andor tells Jyn she must come with him. He knows where her father is located. Saw tells her that she must go with Andor. She asks for Saw to come with them. He says he will run no longer, but she must save herself.

As Jyn Erso begins running from the chamber, the entire fortress appears to be falling down around them, and Saw shouts after them, “Save the Rebellion! Save the dream.”

In an exterior longshot, it’s revealed that the mountain is indeed crumbling around Saw’s secret headquarters. All of Saw’s terrorist forces are abandoning the fortress along with our main characters.

Krennic and his underlings watch the destruction from space. “Oh, it’s beautiful!” Krennic says, like a Bond villain in training.

The wall of fire, rubble and destruction is rapidly approaching Saw’s base as K-2SO arrives in the nick of time and picks up our DVD box cover heroes, minus Saw Gerrara, whose thread has apparently been cut this time. Maybe he’ll show up later with more robot parts.

It is a harrowing escape, but escape they certainly do, with Cassian Andor punching them into hyperdrive even before K-2SO can complete his calculations.

Back in space, Grand Moff Tarkin tells Director Krennic that he owes him an apology: his work exceeds all expectations. Tarkin goes on to tell Krennic that he will also tell the Emperor that he, the Grand Moff, will be taking over control of the weapon effective immediately.

This, of course, pisses off Krennic. Royally. The Death Star is his achievement, not Tarkin’s.

Tarkin points out that recent security breaches have laid bare his inadequacies as a military director. Let one cargo pilot defect to the Rebellion, and your supervisors take credit for all your work. We’ve all been there, haven’t we?

Krennic argues that the leaks have all been filled. Jedha is silenced. Tarkin points out, correctly, that the pilot didn’t act alone. He was dispatched from the installation on Eadu, from Galen Erso’s facility. Dun-dun-Duhn!

Oh, we’ll see about this,” Krennic says, and then leaves in a huff.

I want to take a brief moment here to talk about how good Peter Cushing, as Grand Moff Tarkin, looks for a man who’s been deceased for a couple of decades. CGI gets a bad rap on many occasions, and not without good reasons. But, the art and science has improved to a degree that honestly amazes me. This looks like Peter Cushing on the screen to me, even though I know it’s not. For me, this is an even bigger achievement than making Yoda hop around like a psycho toad in the prequels (although that was cool as well). How close are we to making feature films starring only deceased actors?

Captain Andor’s coded message is received back on Yavin-4. He tells them that the weapon is confirmed and Jedha is destroyed. Mission target located on Eadu, please advise.

General Draven gives the order to proceed and stick to the plan. Draven says, in front of everyone, that they have no idea what Galen Erso is building for the Empire and they must kill him while they have the chance. I had assumed that these were secret instructions he had given behind the backs of other rebel leaders such as Mon Mothma and Senator Bail Organa. But, the fact that he feels comfortable talking about assassinating Erso in front of everyone makes me re-think this presumption. Perhaps all the leaders of the Rebel Alliance knew what the plans were, and just lied to Jyn to gain her cooperation. Maybe there are no real good guys here. Just lesser evils.

Having received his orders, Cassian orders K-2 to set a course for Eadu. Jyn asks if that’s where her father is, and the captain says he’s thinks so. Meanwhile, in the back of the ship, Imwe is asking Malbus if the whole city was destroyed, and Malbus confirms it.

This definitely feels as though we’re transtioning here. We’re changing setting from Jedha to Eadu. The test of the Death Star, the destruction of Jedha City, in tandem with this movie’s own prolonged (seriously prolonged) “Help me, Obi-Wan Kenobi. You’re my only hope” hologram message moment and Saw Gerrera’s death, must signal the transition from Act One into Act Two. All of our heroes are thrown together on a single small spacecraft with a roguish captain who definitely shoots first and his mechanical co-pilot. And we’ve accepted the call to action as we’re charting a course to Eadu, in search of Galen Erso.

Not coincidentally, I believe that Director Krennic and his deathtroopers are also heading for Eadu. Which should prove interesting.

What I’m wondering, though, is why we’re not heading to the data vault at the Citadel Tower on Scarif, where we can find structural plans for the Death Star, according to Hologram-Galen? It has occurred to me that Cassian Andor, and, by association, the Rebel Alliance, doesn’t have this information yet. Apparently Jyn hasn’t seen fit to share it. She wants her daddy.

After Jyn finds out that Bodhi Rook, the defector pilot, was sent by her father, she does tell the group about the message, and the fact that her father built a weakness into the Death Star, so that they still have a chance to defeat the people who just destroyed the Holy City. Cassian doesn’t seem to wholly believe her story since she didn’t manage to save the hologram during the escape from Saw’s fortress. Chirrut Imwe says he believes her.

And then she tells Andor that he must tell the Alliance that there’s a way to destroy the thing and they must go to Scarif to get the plans. Okay, Jyn, I apologize for doubting you earlier.

Andor says he can’t risk sending that message while they are in the heart of Imperial territory. Jyn says, okay, then, they’ll go find her father and bring him back so that he can tell the Rebel Alliance himself. So, I guess they are going to Eadu instead of Scarif anyway. Only Jyn doesn’t know that Capt. Cassian Andor has been ordered to assassinate her father. The plot thickens.

Cut to the Death Star. We get to see Krennic’s Bad Imperial Guy shuttle leaving the station. Inside, someone tells the director that a course has been set for Eadu.

Cut to a bluish planet that the superimposed words tells us is EADU and Imperial Kyber Refinery. Kyber crystals rear their Force-infused-matrix heads again.

As the rebel ship descends beneath the clouds, it looks more gray than blue down here. There’s a lot of fog and giant pillars of stone, and the ship is buffeted by a lot of turbulence. Bodhi Rook tells K-2 and Cassian that they have to take the ship lower to avoid landing trackers. Meanwhile, Imwe is repeating his Force mantra, as if he’s a nervous flyer. K-2 begins quoting the chances of failure as warning alarms are sounding. Cassian never says, “Never tell me the odds,” exactly, but he does tell the droid to shut up. The defector cargo pilot has never been this way before but thinks they are close to the facility. They lose an engine and then crash land. Hard.

General Draven and the Rebel Alliance are trying to raise Andor on his communicator, but cannot. Draven orders the Squadron up and to target Eadu.

It’s looking like everything is going to come to a head at Eadu. Krennic and the Imperial bad guys are coming. A Rebel Alliance squadron, nominally the good guys, are also coming. Andor and his ragtag band of unlikely heroes are already on the ground.

Luckily, none of them are dead. Bodhi tells Cassian that the research facility is just over the ridge. Cassian asks Bodhi if he’s sure that’s a shuttle depot straight ahead, and Bodhi says yes. Cassian has a plan, and he shares it with his thrown-together-by-circumstance squad.

If there’s still an Imperial ship at the depot, they’re going to steal it. They’re going to have to hope the storm continues and keeps their crashed ship concealed for the time being. Cassian wants Bodhi to come with him up the ridge to check things out. Jyn insists that she’s coming with them. Bodhi says she needs to stay because she saw the message, and she’s the messenger. Jyn says that’s ridiculous because they’ve all heard the message now. When K-2 begins reciting the message, Cassian gets angry and tells the droid to get back to work on repairing the comms. He tells the rest of the group that they are going to go very small and very quiet up the rise and see what’s what. And, they’re leaving Jyn behind.

After Cassian and Bodhi have left, Imwe the blind warrior asks his mercenary friend Malbus if Cassian looks like a killer. Malbus says, no, he has the face of a friend.

Jyn asks Imwe what he’s talking about. He says that the Force moves darkly near a creature who is about to kill. K-2 confirms that Cassian’s weapon was in the sniper configuration. So, of course, Jyn goes off into the storm after the two men.

Cut to Yavin-4. The Rebel squadron takes off, headed for Eadu.

As this chapter of the 15-Minute Force ends, Captain Cassian Andor and defector pilot Bodhi Rook are still climbing the next ridge. Jyn hasn’t caught up to them yet, but I’m sure she will in the next chapter. Chirrut Imwe, Baze Malbus and K-2SO are still waiting back in the wreckage of Cassian’s ship. Krennic’s deathtroopers and the Rebel squadron are coming.

Until next time…Don’t Count on Repurposed Imperial Droids to Have Your Back if You’re Planning a Covert Assassination . . .and May The 15-Minute Force Be With You.

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