Before hitting theaters, Star Wars fans had theories upon theories as to who the crew of Rogue One are and how they were going to fit into the overall narrative of the saga. Ranging from the simple Rey and Jyn are related, to the out-there-thoughts of the crew becoming the Knights of Ren, and everything in between.
For me, I just want Rogue One to remain a standalone. The crew parishes on the beach at the end and their memory lives on as heroes of the Rebellion. I don’t want Jyn to be Rey’s grandmother. If Jyn had a baby before her death, then it would seem horribly out of character she would leave her child after her own issues of abandonment by her family and Saw Gerrera. I don’t want Cassian Andor to be the grandfather of Poe Dameron. Just because they are both Latino doesn’t mean they are related any more than any person who is black must be related to Lando Calrissian, Mace Windu, or Finn.
That doesn’t mean I don’t love reading the various hypotheses people have pertaining to Rogue One and the rest of the Star Wars saga. I loved Jyn, Cassian, Chirrut, Baze, Bodhi, and K-2SO. I’m quite devastated they died (even though I argued it should happen). A part of me wishes there was a way they could survived. Various theories as to how they all related to other characters or could have survived the destruction the Death Star inflicted are our way of keeping these people alive in the series.
With all that said, I do think Rogue One will have a lasting impact on Star Wars, just not in the way you think. The resurrection of Peter Cushing as Grand Moff Tarkin opens the doors to other characters making an appearance in future films. Death and age are no longer barriers. If Disney is smart, they will only use this technology sparingly. While they did recreate Tarkin and a younger Leia (that was not Carrie Fisher by the way, it was an actress by the name of Igvild Deila who was a stand in and Fisher’s face was digitally imposed on hers), producers chose to recast Mon Mothma and General Jan Dodonna. Genevieve O’Reilly (who played the same character in a deleted scene in Revenge of the Sith) and Ian McElhinney bear such a strong resemblance to Caroline Blakiston and Alex McCrindle, no one would bat an eye at their replacements. Especially since they are somewhat minor characters in the overall narrative. It is impossible to replace two iconic characters in a film which takes place moments before the start of the original. But should they have? And will we see more recreations like that in the future?
There are several debates going on as to whether or not the digital resurrection of Cushing and the recreation of a 19-year-old Fisher without her actually being in the film is moral or even legal. I’m not going there. For one, I know nothing about the laws in which actors are to be paid for likeness. For two, arguing moral ambiguity in Hollywood is futile. What I am getting at is don’t be shocked when Alec Guinness makes a cameo as the older Obi Wan Kenobi.
Post-production is currently underway for Episode VIII and there are strong hints the first trailer will hit the internet sometime in the spring (makes sense given Beauty and the Beast premieres in mid-March). Then Daisy Ridley throws out a pretty big bomb in the middle of the room while giving an interview with Time Out. The actress who portrays Rey in The Force Awakens has this to say about her character’s parentage:
“I thought a lot was answered in The Force Awakens. Then after the screening I went for a drink with my agent and everyone, and we were chatting away and I realized that oh, in their minds it’s not answered at all!”
This news has launch a whole new frenzy of theories involving Rey’s parentage.
I really don’t have any new speculations of my own, but I do want to point out something very important from Rogue One which casts a scene from The Force Awakens in a whole new light. Kyber Crystals. They are what power lightsabers and are Force-attuned. Rogue One officially made them cannon within the films, introduced the mine in Jedah, and the Guardians of the Whills (though technically TFA introduced the Guardians, just not explicitly).
In the novel Catalyst, which sets up Galen Erso before the events in Rogue One, the Imperial scientist was effected by the crystals when working with them to create sustainable energy. He couldn’t sleep, and when he did, he would have dreams about Kyber which he hypothesized contained a living intelligence and non-Jedi could be effected by their power. Eventually, learning about what his research was really going towards and the influence of Kyber, Galen chose to leave the project and go into hiding with his family.
In the beginning of Rogue One, Jyn had dreams of her life before Galen was taken by Orson Krennic and when she woke, she would immediately fumble with the piece of Kyber hanging around her neck. Were those dreams instigated by the crystal to push her into helping the Rebellion? Did working around the crystals give Galen the idea for the fatal flaw? Kyber also attracted the attention of Chirrut to Jyn and brought him and Baze to the Rebellion. Did he see her dreams and role in defeating the Empire? He told Baze “her path is clear.” Did he realize he could help and decide to follow? That makes more sense than him hopping aboard to get revenge for Jedah.
How this ties into TFA is Rey’s apparition when she picked up Anakin’s old lightsaber. She saw Luke with R2-D2 (possibly on Mustafar?), Kylo Ren with the Knights of Ren killing younglings, and her being left on Jedah begging for whomever left her there to come back. Did the Kyber crystal inside the lightsaber call to Rey and give her a vision of her past?
While Kyber plays a role in Rogue One, there is a high possibility it could never be mentioned again in the rest of the Star Wars saga. The tale of Jyn, Cassian, Chirrut, Baze, Bodhi, and K-2SO is an offshoot of a major story and the events will not affect what will take place 34 years later. But it is fun to imagine possibilities, couldn’t it?
Do you think Kyber will play a role in the future movies? Do you think it affected Jyn and Rey? Do you have any new theories about Rey’s family? Or Finn’s? Talk to me in the comments section below, I would love to hear them.