Tag Archives: death star

Rogue One: The Mystery of the Orange Crates

Back in 2015, Hollywood gossip site TMZ got a juicy look behind the scenes of Rogue One. Specifically, they were able to get spy shots of the tropical planet set that Jyn and her crew will infiltrate:

rogue one spy photo

Apart from the First Order dropship-like ramp, one other thing stood out in this photo. Let’s take a closer look:

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Do you see it? There’s a bunch of orange capsules on set. They were also present in other set pieces for Rogue One:

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A closer look at the mysterious crates:

rogue one orange boxes.jpg

These spy shots were taken in September 2015 in a soundstage in North London.

Then in April, we got the first trailer for Rogue One. And once again, the mysterious crates were present. This time they were stowed in an armored vehicle convoy:

rogue one crate

The Rogue One Lego sets leak last week confirmed that the hovertank thingy is carrying orange boxes:

rogue one lego hovertank leak orange box.jpgUnfortunately we had to blur out the rest of the pic lest LEGO come after Stormtrooper Larry’s ass again

So what’s in them orange boxes? Making Star Wars thinks it has the answer: kyber crystals. MSW’s source says the orange boxes were called “kyber crystal crates” on set, and they were being mined from a mountain side.

According to Wookieepedia, kyber crystals are rare, naturally occurring crystals “resonating” with the Force. They were famously used as the lightsaber’s power source by both the Jedi and the Sith, and getting one was part of a youngling’s initiation in order to become a padawan.

kylo ren lightsaber crystal.pngA cross-section of Kylo Ren’s lightsaber. It had a cracked kyber crystal, resulting in an unstable beam and excess energy that was vented out in the crossguards.

More importantly, they were used as the basis for the old Sith Empire’s superweapons:

There were also larger, rarer crystals of great power and that, according to legend, were used at the heart of ancient superweapons by the Sith.

Interestingly, the Star Wars databank entry for the Death Star superlaser mentions kyber crystals as well:

Each of the Empire’s Death Stars were built around a terrifying weapon —  a superlaser array capable of destroying an entire planet. According to legend, the ancient Sith used massive kyber crystals to create superweapons; during the Clone Wars, the Geonosians revived the superlaser design.

Here we can infer two things:

1. The Death Star isn’t the first superlaser weapon, but the latest in a long tradition of superweapons by the Sith. They really love big lasers.

2. Like its predecessors, the Death Star’s superlaser is likely powered by kyber crystals.

This makes sense. Since kyber crystals were used to focus energy into a lightsaber’s blade, they’re also the perfect choice for focusing superlaser streams into a single, poweful beam that could obliterate an entire planet. In essence, the Death Star is one giant lightsaber, albeit one that unleashes its energy in one massive, instantaneous blast instead of a less powerful but steady stream.

So what does this mean for Rogue One? If the Death Star is indeed powered by kyber crystals, the Rogue crew would run into these orange crystal crates as they infiltrate the Imperial base and steal the plans.

If you notice, the leaked TMZ photos show what looks like an underground entrance. This fits in with MSW’s underground mine / mountainside theory of where the Empire gets the crystals:

spy photo rogue one set.jpg

The crates themselves might be the plot device that would clue the Alliance in on what the Empire is building. After all, you don’t harvest shuttle-fulls of rare, laser-focusing crystals just for a lightshow in Coruscant.

Our guess is, that hovertank convoy in the trailer will be ambushed by Jyn’s crew. Then when the Empire gets tired of its crystal convoys getting blown by IEDs, it resorts to a new type of cargo carrier: the AT-ACT.

at-act rogue one.jpgTry stealing the crystals now bitches!

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Darth Vader Tries to Change his Name

Darth Vader was in a foul mood.

Several years ago, the Emperor had christened him “Darth Vader”. At the time he thought nothing of it, since he had so much stuff to do like ending the war and killing some younglings.

But now that he had run out of Jedi, Vader was finally able to give some thought to his name. For the first time, the dark lord of the Sith realized that “Darth Vader” sucked. Where the fuck did the Emperor get that name?

Plagueis was cool, like some sort of unstoppable disease. Sidious was terrifying, since Palpatine really was an insidious asshole. And Maul, that was downright bad-ass. But what the hell was a “Vader”? It sounded like a Dutch “father”, and Anakin knew he wasn’t a dad. Hell, he didn’t even have balls anymore.

Force-grabbing a pen and paper, the dark lord sat down at his desk and prepared to work.

Hmm. Let’s see:

Darth Awesome – Anakin knew he was awesome, he won the Boonta eve as a kid, ended the Clone Wars as a whiny teen, and his mom told him so. But it was still too cliche.

Darth Devastator – He could throw a pretty mean punch. But “devastator” was too long. Besides, it sounded like a star destroyer.

Darth Dude – Shorter and much simpler, but too generic.

darth vader surfboard_thumb[2]Darth Dude also made him sound like a surfer dude, and he hated sand.

Darth Choker – Too BDSM. And he was already in black leather.

Darth the Menace – Nope, too juvenile.

Darth Superior – Palpatine wouldn’t like it.

Darth Tall, Dark and Handsome – That fit him right to a T! Okay, maybe not the handsome part anymore. Fucking Obi-Wan.

Darth Ani – Padme would have called her that. If only she were still alive….

Darth Vader punched the desk. Fuck, this name shit is hard!

The door to his cabin chimed. It was a junior officer.

“Sir, a squadron of Rebel fighters are approaching the Death Star from Yavin IV,” the nervous flunky reported. “The Grand Moff requests your presence on the bridge.”

“Tell him I’m on my way.”

Figures. Every time he gets some alone time, another emergency pops up. He couldn’t even get a few minutes of peace to change his goddamn name!

With a sigh, Vader Force-crumpled the paper and stood up. He hoped there won’t be a dogfight… he was feeling really distracted today.

Massive Star Wars: Rogue One LEAK!

While the holonet has been full of Star Wars Episode VIII leaks, things have been suspiciously quiet regarding Rogue One.

Stormtrooper Larry is happy to change that today with this massive data dump —  the Death Star battle plans  full intel on Rogue One!

The intel comes from Edelweiss, a digital catalog used by booksellers and publishers. Someone, (an intrepid Bothan spy), uploaded the scanned content from an upcoming coffeetable book called Rogue One: The Official Visual Story Guide.

Not only does it include the full names of Jyn Erso’s rogue crew, it gives us the name of Ben Mendelssohn’s cloak-clad villain, as well as info on the Death Troopers, two new starfighters, and the predecessor of the AT-ACT.

For what it’s worth, the scans are marked not final. So proceed at your own risk. And as always, SPOILERS AHEAD!


rogue one leak

  1. The rogue band of resistance fighters

  • Jyn Erso
  • Rebel Alliance Captain Cassian Andor
  • Rebel footsoldier Bodhi
  • Freelance assassin Baze
  • The “spiritual warrior” Chirrut
  • The aliens Pao and Bistan
  • K-2S0, an Enforcer droid designed by the Empire but now under Rebel service

rogue one leak1

2. Their Imperial foes

  • Ben Mendelssohn’s fancy-cloaked character is named Director Krennic
  • The black-clad troopers are confirmed to be Death Troopers, not Shadow Troopers
  • Notice how the text repeats itself, possibly as filler for the actual content to follow

rogue one leak director krennic

3. Two new starfighters

  • The U-Wing is a four-engined Rebel Alliance ship equipped with two laser cannons and two forward-facing S-foils that give it its name

rogue one leak rebel fighter

  • The TIE Striker sports high-speed wings that enable it to reach speeds of 1,500kph (the normal TIE fighter has a maximum atmospheric speed of 1,200kph according to Wookieepedia).

rogue one tie striker

4. The AT-AT’s predecessor

  • We noticed how the AT-ATs in the trailer differed from their ESB cousins. Pablo Hidalgo confirmed that they are “not technically AT-ATs”. That’s because they are AT-ACTs! Could they be All-Terrain Armored Combat Transports?
  • While we don’t have photos, the text also confirms the existence of AT-DPs (All Terrain Defence Pods), which are two-legged, two-man platforms used for patrol and scouting missions.

rogue one at-act

5. The new droid

  • Look sir, droid! K-2S0 is a former Security Droid. He has the same “donut and two bars” back design as regular stormtroopers, but seems to have been reprogrammed by the Rebels. He will likely play a key role in infiltrating the Imperial base and letting our heroes in.

rogue one k-250 enforcer

6. More glorious spreads

  • Just for the heck of it, here are some more gorgeous photos that don’t tell us much. Although we do wonder what the T-70 X-wing from The Force Awakens is doing here.

rogue one leak xwing

That new Hasbro playset  Imperial hovertank from the trailer

rogue one tank leak

The big mamajama itself, the Death Star

rogue one leak death star

And finally, a group photo of the whole shebang.

rogue one leak cast

The source itself, Rogue One: The Official Visual Story Guide, will be released on Jan. 24, 2017. This is why the leak is full of filler text and “Not Final” disclaimers. The final book will be 164 pages long and cost around $25.

Enjoy your Rogue One leak bonanza! Disney has promised we’ll hear more during Star Wars Celebration Europe in July, but for now it seems our Bothan spies have pre-empted the Disney Empire!

UPDATEDisney has asked several sites to take down the leak, calling it “unauthorized and incorrect“.


Can’t wait for the movies? In the meantime, check out this hilarious story how Ben Solo fell to the dark side!

Rogue One Trailer: The Frame-by-Frame Lowdown

There was a great disturbance in the Force, as if millions of geeks cried out in awe, and were suddenly silenced.

The Rogue One trailer must have happened.

This is it. After months of endless speculation, the salivating masses of Star Wars fans finally got their first fill of Rogue One. And it’s beyond everything we ever hoped, and more.

Let’s take a look.

The opening shot shows Felicity Jones’ character Jyn Erson being led down a familiar ancient temple / hangar.

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As her list of crimes are read out, everything from forging Imperial documents to aggravated assault and resisting arrest, we see the group grilling her:

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Yes, that’s THE 1977 Mon Mothma, in the operations rooms of  Yavin IV!

Mon Mothma says Jyn is aggressive, reckless, and undisciplined, to which she replies, “This is a rebellion isn’t it? I rebel.” And the next shots show exactly that.

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After a montage of rebelling and kicking hapless stormtrooper ass, the sirens blare. We get our first look at Ben Mendelsohn’s villain.

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Is he a Grand Admiral? An ISB bigwig? The white opposite of Lando Calrissian? Who cares, that immaculate cape, chilling stare and mindblowing background  all combine to say “I have manners, impeccable taste, and a penchant for blowing up entire planets.”

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Next we see the height of the Empire, with stormtroopers strutting, citizens cowering and a new Hasbro toy lumbering down the streets.

But not everyone bows down. Here we see Jyn and a fellow saboteur running from something, along with the stripped down droid from earlier in the trailer:

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Why are they running? Because stormtroopers. And tan troopers.

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And don’t forget the famous Shadow Trooper, finally seen in action. (Side note: maybe black armor isn’t the best when fighting in jungle terrain).

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Our heroes fight back, blowing up a landing barge that looks closer to Kylo Ren’s shuttle than a Sentinel-class craft:

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In the aftermath, we see Mr. Immaculate Cloak striding down the body-strewn battlefield. While Tarkin and his ilk lead from the polished floors of the Death Star, this is one admiral who isn’t afraid to go down in the trenches and get dirty.

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But the carnage wasn’t limited to stormtroopers. As Jyn and her misfits rush through the tropics, they come face to face with the Empire’s towering monstrosities. We finally get to see the famous walking artillery in a landscape other than Hoth! (And with a shitty tan camouflage at that. Did the Empire really think they will blend in with those trees?)

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As Forest Whitaker asks, “If you continue to fight, what will you become?”, we see a final shot of Jyn disguised as either a TIE pilot, Death Star gunner, technician, or random guy who cleaned the detention-level toilets.

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A lot is riding on Rogue One. A billion dollars worth, to be exact. As the first Star Wars film to venture outside the main story arcs and John Williams, it will be the benchmark to see if further Star Wars stories can be spun independent of the trilogies.

But judging by this trailer alone, it looks like the dark lords of Disney already have a winner on their hands. This film is even more Star Wars than the The Force Awakens. Take a look at the many homages and incredible attention to detail packed in that one and a half-minute trailer.

For instance, that famous shadowtrooper mug has its roots in the EU’s dark trooper and Ralph McQuarrie’s original concepts:

Untitled

They even got the Star Destroyer right. The Imperator Mk 1-class in the opening scene of A New Hope was slightly different from its later sister ships in ESB and Return of the Jedi:

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And finally, take a look at the Yavin scene. Not even 20 seconds into the trailer, we’re already treated to several cameos: the bushy bearded General Dodonna, complete with the iconic Rebel roulette table that doubles as a countdown timer! Seeing this scene alone, approximately 500 geeks fainted.

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Despite being billed as a different, grittier version of Star Wars outside of the main stories, Rogue One may end up as being the most Star War-sy film outside of A New Hope. 

And that’s a good thing.