Recently I have enjoyed a few articles from the Star Wars ComLINKS #starwarscomlink Link Up hosted by Anakin and His Angels. Specifically this month with the prompt being personal favorite Rogue One scenes. The other night I enjoyed my second screening of the Star Wars story and I figured I should throw my hat in on this. Well, I just like the opportunity to talk some Star Wars.
Let me get this out first. Gah, that movie was so good! I’m not talking “yeah, it’s a Star Wars movie and I’m gonna like it because of it’s namesake”. No, I mean this movie was Empire Strikes Back good! In a more modern connotation, this movie is Dark Knight good! All the negative critiques are dead wrong. It is difficult to find a flaw in Roque One. And dare I say, it is the best Star Wars movie since the originals. A movie unlike we have ever seen with many memorable connections to all of the movies we love. This is what movie magic is all about! Narrowing down one scene in a movie of such caliber is going to be tough.
Going forward it is important to know- Spoilers! If that is a problem than you should be heading to the theatre because you are missing out on an experience.
For the scene I have chosen I would like to talk about the death and final stand of Chirrut Îmwe. Played by Donnie Yen, Îmwe is a blind monk and one of the last Guardians of the Whills. In case you missed that ‘Whills’ is a reference to George Lucas’s original title of Star Wars: A New Hope, Adventures of Luke Starkiller, As Taken From the Journal of the Whills. Whoa. Introduced as a preacher, Îmwe is one of the last believers of the Force in a galaxy where the Jedi are all but gone. And was one of the last defenders of the holy temples on Jedha until… well you know, with the whole Deathstar blowing it to oblivion from space, just to try their new toy out, thing.
Chirrut Îmwe’s world is a dark one (I mean other than the fact he’s blind (I figure it’s okay to make jokes considering he does it in the movie himself)). Based on his age he has witnessed the fall of the Jedi, the Imperial takeover of holy Jedha, and watched the galaxy around him lose faith in the Force. His happiest moment in the movie was hearing Jyn Erso acknowledge the Force before their final battle. Despite all of that he is a believer, a preacher, and carries with him the entire underline theme of the film, hope. And he sees that hope in some young girl with a Kyber crystal necklace happening by. Dedicated to the Force and hope, he decides that he should blindly (sorry) follow her.
He finds himself in the middle of a war on Scariff, and what he must know is his final battle. Odds are stacked against our heroes and his allies are dropping like flies. Jyn Erso has the plans, Bodhi Rook is ready to upload the info to the waiting Rebel fleet. It is up to the dwindling ground troops to reach the ‘master switch’. Îmwe and his partner Baze Malbus may be the only two Rebels left that have hope to reach that switch, faced off against a group of Deathtroopers (Stormtroopers that can aim). What is left to do?
Îmwe drops his defenses. Puts away his weapon. And walks out into the middle of the chaos. Chanting “I am one with the Force. The Force is with me. I am one with the Force. The Force is with me.”. Completely vulnerable Îmwe makes his way through the middle of the battlefield as shots fire all around him. Making it to the master switch and setting off the chain reaction that will ultimately end with the plans in the hands of Princess Leia.
The Force leading him to his purpose, it is unfortunately the end of Îmwe’s struggles as he is shot down. Not before his life purpose is accomplished. As he finally gets someone, of all people, his sceptical partner Baze to believe. As Baze gives his final push chanting the mantra he has heard a billion times, “I am one with the force, and the Force is with me”.
For a movie packed full of war, action, and many characters. The ability to put in such character stories with such little time is one of the greatest strengths of this story. The minor supporting roles of Îmwe and Baze are perfect examples of that, as their deaths have deep meaning and purpose. Also, Rogue One had an ability to answer questionable elements that have plagued Star Wars fans for decades. Like how the Rebels got the plans to the Deathstar, or why there is such a blatant weakness in the Empires ultimate weapon. Well, Îmwe’s death kind of answered one more. Why are Stormtroopers such bad shots? Maybe they are not, maybe it was the Force that has kept Luke, Han, Chewie, and Leia from getting shot a hundred times over. Without realizing it the Force has surrounded them and kept them alive long enough to reach their purpose, reach that master switch. So, thank you for that Îmwe, and…
Thanks booknerds, may the Force be with you.