We are right on top of the premiere of Star Wars: The Last Jedi, so it is the perfect time to reflect on all of the awesome Star Wars content we have right now before we get our next fix.
I recently re-watched Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. The number of times I have watched Rogue One still pales in comparison to Star Wars: A New Hope (let’s just say my New Hope viewings are firmly in the triple digits and leave it at that), but in the handful of times I have watched Rogue One so far, I have taken note of quite a few amazing lines. Here are a few of my favorites. In case you are just dying to watch any of these scenes as you read along, I have included the clock time in the movie along with each quote.
Confusing Peace With Terror
This back and forth between Erso and Krennic sets the stage for the entire movie. Erso is not afraid to speak his mind and Krennic has the mindset to justify any action as long as it gets him (personally) what he wants. Krennic and the Empire are using the promise of peace across the galaxy as a “carrot” (bait) and as a justification for their use of force (and I’m not talking about the mystical kind of force here). Krennic simply dismisses Erso’s blunt statement with an equally frank one. These are obviously two men who are willing to do anything and sacrifice everything for what they believe in. Erso is driven by his family and Krennic is driven by ambition.
Vague and Unconvincing
For a droid who’s sole purpose is strategy, it is completely ironic that he totally misses the strategy being used by Jen Erso to avoid giving any more details about how she “acquired” the blaster she has when she boards Cassian Andor’s ship. The comedy of this line works so well because the line is delivered by a droid in the movie in a completely dry, deadpan and serious way…a repurposed Imperial droid none the less. K-2SO has so many of these lines throughout the movie and I enjoy each and every one of them.
Carrying Your Prison
This line is the perfect example of one of the other things I love so much about Rogue One. Rogue One really drives home the true cost of war, besides the obvious casualties. In war, both sides end up having to give up a bit of their humanity. It takes its toll.
Cassian has been fighting as a rebel since he was very young and has had to do things that still haunt him many years later. That is the cage that Chirrut Îmwe is talking about. Cassian carries this prison with him throughout the movie as he struggles to decide between carrying out orders and doing what he thinks is right. Cassian finally gets a bit of redemption when he gets to do the thing that must be done and that thing is also the “right thing to do.”
Don’t Look Up
This is another example of one of the tolls of war. Even people who are not actively involved in the war have a role, the role of not getting involved. If you don’t “look up” then you don’t have to acknowledge what is going on right in front of you.
At this point in the film, Jyn has no reason to get involved with the conflict. In fact, she has every reason to stay far away from it. That is exactly what Gerrera wanted for her when he left her all those years ago. He knew she would be hunted and used as a pawn for the actions of her father. It wasn’t until this scene in the movie where Jyn gets to see the hologram message from her father that she understands what her father truly stood for and that gives her all the motivation she needs to fight…fight for what she believes in.
But the “if you don’t look up” has several meanings. The obvious one is that you don’t physically look up and see the world/galaxy for what it is, but the not so obvious meaning is that “looking up” is also a stand-in for “hope.” By not looking up Jyn has been robbed of all hope, hope that her father is able to give her with his message.
K-2SO projects a bit of C-3PO in this scene in that he is worrying about every last little detail. Granted, the calculations for making the jump to light speed are important as we were so memorably told in A New Hope by Han Solo:
”Traveling though hyperspace ain’t like dusting crops…”
This interaction between K-2SO and Cassian really puts a spotlight on the difference between a droid and a human. A droid sees a checklist of thing that must be done in a certain order to complete a given task and Cassian sees a wall of death coming at his ship and does what must be done to avoid it.
Her Path is Clear
There are several things I really love about these lines. First off, the blind man is telling someone with perfect sight that Jyn’s path is clear. Chirrut Îmwe isn’t so much talking about Jyn’s actual path, he is talking about the purity of her intentions and her drive. He is talking about someone with a vision worth following.
The other aspect of this dialog that I really like is that Chirrut Îmwe says he doesn’t need “luck.” He is so strong with the Force you would think he doesn’t need much help of any kind, but that isn’t true. In this one line, Chirrut Îmwe shows he has absolute faith in his friend and he also sends a message of just how important the bond of friendship really is. He values his friendship with Baze even more than he values his connection with the Force. This is a message that is a very important message for us here in our current reality…a reality where many people “connect” with friends more and more online and less and less in person. Baze is always right by Chirrut Îmwe’s side and that is a trait more of us need to emulate with our own friends.
One Fighter With a Sharp Stick
Jyn: “Sal G. used to say one fighter with a sharp stick with nothing left to lose can take the day.”
“They’ve no idea we’re coming. They have no reason to expect us. If we can make it to the ground we’ll take the next chance and the next, on and on until we win or the chances are spent.”
This monologue is the entire essence of this movie. The underlying theme throughout is full of the realities and the ugliness of war, but as the film progresses something else starts to build…hope. Jyn goes from being someone who is hiding from her past and avoiding taking any kind of stand with respect to the conflict between the Empire and the Rebel Alliance. But all of that changes when she sees her father’s message. Her path becomes clear and she goes from being a damaged person with nowhere to go to being someone who can lead an entire rebellion. This is the scene where A New Hope is born.
It was nearly impossible to cover all of the memorable lines in Rogue One, but those were certainly some of my favorites. I’m sure I missed a few of your favorite lines, so feel free to share those in the comments below. Oh, and enjoy The Last Jedi.