After months of waiting, speculation, rumors and more TV spots than you can shake a stick at, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is finally in theaters. The buzz on the movie was very high heading into this weekend and those who have seen it now know why. There were a lot of great things about the movie, but one of the coolest things for sure was that it fixes a nearly 40-year-old plot hole from the original Star Wars. Warning: This post will contain a ton of spoilers for Star Wars: Rogue One, so if you haven't seen the movie and don't want anything spoiled, read on at your own risk.
We all love Star Wars: A New Hope. It is the movie that started this new eight-movie saga in a galaxy far, far away but no movie is without at least some small problems. One thing that has bothered many fans for years is the way in which the Rebellion is able to destroy the Death Star. Why would the Empire leave such an obvious design flaw in a painstakingly designed, very expensive weapon that took such a long time to make? It turns out they didn't know the flaw even existed.
In the movie, Director Orson Krennic (Ben Mendelsohn) recruits the services of a brilliant scientist who specializes in the research of Kyber Crystals named Galen Erso (Mads Mikkelsen) to help perfect and design the Death Star in the early stages of its construction. Galen, the father of Jyn Erso (Felicity Jones), doesn't want to help Krennic but he is left with very little options and is forced into the situation. Instead of just giving up and resigning himself to his dreadful situation, Galen decides to play the long game and earn the trust of the Empire and become indispensable to the cause, but for good reason.
In the movie he sends a defected pilot named Bodhi Rook (Riz Ahmed) with a message warning of the Death Star but more importantly, explaining that he intentionally placed a design flaw that the Rebels could exploit should they be able to get their hands on the plans for the planet destroying battle station. That then becomes the focus of the movie, but it gives things much more purpose and reason. The Rebels didn't just blindly steal the plans hoping that a flaw could be found. They knew it existed and it was Galen's big middle finger to the Empire and his way of fighting with the Rebellion from the inside.
In Star Wars: Rogue One, Galen explains that he knew the Empire would finish the weapon with or without him. By agreeing to work on it and gaining their trust, he was able to place this design flaw in it undetected and thereby gave the Rebels a chance to destroy it. Were it not for him, nobody would have even known the Death Star was coming before it was too late and there may not have been a way to destroy it at all.
This detail adds an entirely new layer to Star Wars: A New Hope and really helps to clear up one of the only real frustrations anyone has with that movie. The creative team behind Star Wars: Rogue One really took the opportunity to enhance elements of the greater Star Wars universe in this movie and made the best of it. Those who enjoyed this aspect of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story can explore it a bit more in-depth by reading the Star Wars novel Catalyst, which serves as a prequel story to Rogue One and explores the relationship between Galen and Krennic much more deeply.