Posted by : Wendy B Wednesday, 28 December 2016

A Star Wars Christmas is a new family tradition. After Christmas dinner, my family packs up and heads to the theatre -- three generations experiencing Star Wars again and for the first time, together. This year, it was Rogue One. I was indeed satisfied with this film, but that does not mean it was without its flaws. Not the least of which was the fact that the new movies seem to understand that women can save the galaxy too, but they tend to stop at one, unless someone points it out. Even then, the subsequent marketing and merchandising fails.

And yet here am I tweaking Rogue One for my own personal headcanon, and the first thing I do, you'll notice, is excise poor Jyn. I do want to see more women in film and more people of colour, but I want good story behind it, and frankly, in this case, I think Jyn was superfluous. This could and should have been Cassian Andor's movie. But, as much as I love Diego Luna in the role, here's where I kick him out too (I'm so sorry).

Krennic finds Galen Erso. His wife, Lyra is able to get a message to her sister, General Saw, but Lyra foolishly gets herself killed, leaving their daughter alone. Lyra's sister arrives to rescue the child and we see that she is Mermeia, the softcore porn star of Mind Evaporator fame. What better way to communicate secret rebel messages than with space porn?

Mermeia takes Jyn to some place safe to live and continues on with her work with the rebellion. But her sister's death has made her bitter. Her methods become increasingly more brutal and with no regard for innocent lives, much to the frustration of one of her most trusted lieutenants, Cassia Andor. Cassia has done many questionable things. serving the rebellion under General Saw. She believes they are for the greater good, but the more blood she gets on her hands, the harder it is to maintain that belief.

Word reaches the Alliance of an Imperial incursion on the city where Jyn is located. Mermeia demands that the Alliance respond, but, politically, this is too dangerous a situation for the Alliance to step in. Mermeia and Bail Organa come to blows. The rest of the Alliance backs the former and no one is willing to take this risk to save the child of a man everyone else believes is an Alliance traitor. Mermeia attacks the occupying force on her own, with Cassia grudgingly at her side. The mission fails. Jyn is killed. Mermeia is severely wounded, clinging to the dead girl. Cassia manages to drag an unconscious Mermeia away before Krennic arrives. He recognizes the dead child and takes the necklace that her father gave her.

Fast forward. Mermeia has survived and has taken the rebellion into her own hands. Terrorism is the reigning face of the Alliance and the Imperial propaganda machine uses this to maximum efficiency.

Galen recognizes "General Saw" despite all the cybernetics and convinces a pilot named Bodhi to defect and take her a message. Cassia still has connections within Mermeia's circle and learns about the pilot and rumours of an Imperial superweapon. Mon Mothma sends Cassia to Jehda in hopes of negotiating with Mermeia. She is accompanied by K2, a reprogrammed Imperial droid. The reprogramming prevents the droid from hurting Cassia and her compatriots, but one gets the impression that it is only the confines of a restraining bolt that truly protects Cassia from K2. But for now, Cassia is only the target of K2's sass.

On Jehda, Cassia is noticed by Chirrut and Baze, former priests of the Jedi temple. The two grew up together with dreams of becoming Jedi, but neither was particularly strong in the force. Still, they served the temple faithfully, until word of the slaughter and hunt of the Jedi reached them. Baze could not understand how such powerful beings could be so easily destroyed and turned his attention to fighting the evil that would do this. No one at the temple agreed to this path of violence, and, with great regret, he left Chirrut behind and joined with General Saw's rebellion. Eventually, when the Empire began its plunder of Jehda's kyber crystals, Saw moved her base to the outskirts of the city. In the aftermath of a bombing of an Imperial base, Baze found Chirrut protecting the wounded innocents caught in the crossfire between the terrorist group and the Imperials. Baze was too late to save Chirrut from the explosion that took his eyesight, but from them on, Baze stayed with his friend. While he no longer held the same level of faith in the force and itched to continue fighting, he vowed to always do so by Chirrut's side. But Chirrut refused to fight alongside Saw, disagreeing with the general's terrorism.

Cassia and K2's search for Saw leads them into the middle of an attack on an Imperial transport. They are joined by Chirrut and Baze as they fight off the Imperials and protect the innocent bystanders. They are rewarded by being locked up by Saw's soldiers. The general comes to see Cassia but refuses to listen to her pleas and points out the pilot in the next cell. The pilot has obviously been tortured and Mermeia claims that the message was a lie. The terrorist general gives her former lieutenant her freedom as repayment for saving her before. Cassia calls K2 to her location.

Mermeia returns to her quarters and listens to the message once more. Despite the overall importance of its revelation, this very personal message is obviously for Jyn. Galen provides much information about the Death Star's weakness and the location of the schematics, but understandably, the key to his secret was not included in case the message was intercepted. It is clearly something only Jyn would know, but Jyn is dead. Mermeia's grief over her failure overtakes her.

Tarkin calls for a test of the Death Star, targeting Jehda City. Mermeia sees the destruction heading straight for them and prepares to go down with the ship, but Cassia convinces her to come back to the rebellion with the information. They escape, along with Bodhi, Chirrut and Baze.

Krennic learns of the leak about the Death Star from Tarkin. His ambitions lead him to speak directly with Darth Vader to ensure that the Sith Lord knows who is truly responsible for the Death Star's might. But Vader is unimpressed, particularly since he blames the leak on Krennic. Krennic  is determined to make things right and heads to Eadu. Despite their tragic beginning, Galen and Krennic have developed something like a friendship, or so he believes. He meets Galen on Eadu and  Krennic  tells him of the successful test. Galen plays along until Krennic calls in the engineers and reveals that one of them is a traitor. Galen intervenes, revealing himself. Crennick, betrayed, orders the engineers shot anyway. He takes Galen into custody. He tortures the man. Galen breaks, but is still able to laugh because only Jyn knows the key. Krennic shows Galen the necklace he gave his daughter and leaves Galen to rot in his cell.

On Yavin 4, the Alliance is in an uproar. They have all seen Galen's message and accept Cassia's word about the superweapon, but many are fearful and wish to surrender. Mermeia is unusually quiet during this until Bail Organa voices his opinion, backed by Admiral Blakbar: the rebellion must fight. Mermeia is roused from her stupor and finally speaks up in agreement, but this works against the vote to fight as no one trusts the terrorist general. Mermeia leaves the council in disgust only to find Cassia waiting for her with a group of soldiers. They have had their differences, but Cassia knows they have to keep fighting, or else, what has it all meant?

Bail finds Mermeia as they are preparing to leave. Their discussion, at first heated until calmed by Chirrut and Baze, reveals that their vision is the same, but Bail's political position forces him to tackle situations from a different angle. Had Mermeia been more reasonable, they could have worked together more effectively. Now was their chance to start. Bail promises to back them up, if they can deliver the plans.

"Rogue One," piloted by K2 and Bodhi, goes AWOL, heading to Scarif.

Bodhi, Cassia and K2 head into the facility in disguise. Mermeia commands the troops from the ground.

On Yavin 4, Mon Mothma is alerted to the rerouting of Admiral Blakbar's ships. She rushes to the hangar where she finds Bail bidding farewell to a departing ship. He gives her a knowing look before taking his leave to return to Alderaan and set wheels in motion from the political angle.

Krennic lands on Scarif.

K2 confirms their targets and they head in while the ground troops distract the enemy forces. The trio makes it to the vault but they don't know what they are looking for and Krennic is attacking. K2, in communication with Mermeia, rattles through the file names until Mermeia recognizes "stardust." A blaster bolt disengages K2's restraining bolt. Cassia fears the droid has finally turned on her, but, with a snarky comment, it implies that it finds Cassia to be an amusing pet that it will keep, for now. Bodhi and Cassia head into the vault. K2 locks them in.

Above, the space battle rages to take down the shields, while on the ground, Mermeia's troops go after the WiFi switch.

Bodhi is killed by Krennic but Cassia makes it to the satellite controls. More dramatic war deaths happen. Mermeia dies shortly after hearing that the transmission got through. Krennic faces off against a wounded Cassia. He has lost everything and does not even know who this person is. But it doesn't matter now, he realizes, as he sees the Death Star's strike. Cassia walks past the stunned Krennic, who has fallen to his knees, and takes the elevator down to find K2. The droid is severely damaged, but there's still some spark and snark in there. Cassia enjoys her last moments, feeling hopeful that her sins truly have been for the greater good.

Above, Vader attacks, but Princess Leia's Corvette manages to escape with the plans...


This is my mindspill. Mostly about comics, books, video games, movies of the science fiction and fantasy leanings. Sometimes recipes and parenting stuff will sneak in, along with a real world rant or two.

I also write about geek culture at Women Write About Comics, and I review genre fiction at The BiblioSanctum.




2017 Reading Challenge

2017 Reading Challenge
Wendy has read 9 books toward her goal of 100 books.



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