Holy Star Wars!

Holy Star Wars!

After almost a month of sacred readings of Star Wars, I have been thinking a lot about how to ensure that my writings are as accessible to a...

Thursday, December 15, 2016


Rogue One Teaser Trailer


Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is a film all about one particular weapon: the Death Star. The first trailer for this film reveals that a test for this super-weapon is imminent, gives us one of the most stark shots of just what size a weapon the rebels are dealing with, and presents the viewer with a plethora of action to wet their interest for what is being described as a “gritty war film.” But not every weapon is the same, and while the word “weapon” itself holds a negative connotation, there are two real classifications of weapons: offensive and defensive weapons.

A physical weapon itself may very strongly call for use as offensive or defensive based on its construction, but most often, the weapon itself is not the determining factor. Rather, it is the intention a weapon is kept and used with that determines whether it is offensive or defensive. The teaser trailer for Rogue One is full of clear examples of both types of weapons, as well as gray areas between the two.

Some of the examples of clearly offensive weapons in this trailer included the Death Star itself, the new Death Troopers and AT-ACT walker. These are weapons designed with the explicit purpose of instilling fear, maintaining order, and squashing any semblance of resistance across the Galaxy. There can be no mistaking the intention behind the utilization of these weapons, even from the perspective of the Empire itself.

Something I would consider a defensive weapon that is present throughout most of the trailer is the sounding of the klaxons. While they do not bludgeon nor scorch an enemy as the other weapons in this trailer do, the sirening klaxons are a tool in the rebel’s arsenal to warn themselves against attacks and prepare themselves to either use other weapons or retreat, likely in a combination of the two. Perhaps it is an exaggeration of the definition of a weapon to consider the klaxons as such, but I think it is more useful to point out their defensive purposes than to worry about the narrow or broad nature of the definition for “weapon.”

Most of the examples of weapons throughout the trailer are much more ambiguous. The ambiguity is drawn really from the nature of rebellion. It is undeniable that the Empire and all of its intentions and methods are evil. But this does not automatically mean that every last stormtrooper is evil. There are two scenes in this short video of rebels fighting stormtroopers in an urban setting. The first is several shots of the main star of the film, Jyn Erso, engaged in hand-to-hand combat in an alleyway, followed by some blaster shots and an explosion. The other scene, appearing to take place in the same city, features Chirrut Imwe and takes place in a more open area with a crashed X-Wing starfighter in the background, the choice vehicle of the rebel alliance.

In Jyn’s scene, was she attacked without first provoking the stormtroopers? Or, did she commit some sort of crime that warranted their intervention? Was she harming them solely out of self-defense, or did she have the intention of doing serious damage or even killing them? These are the fine distinctions between offensive and defensive maneuvers, and even still, there is no definite definition.

The setting of Imwe’s fight with the stormtroopers, in a more open area near a crashed X-Wing, gives the initial impression that perhaps the rebels provoked the stormtrooper’s attacking him by attacking the Imperial presence in this city. Was the assumed offensive on this city a matter of strategy designed to weaken the Empire in a long-term defensive campaign? Or, was the attack some sort of pure offensive? Knowing the nature of the rebellion and the value they place on human lives, it is likely even an offensive on this city would have been in the spirit of preventively striking the Empire to prevent horrific damages later.

A rebellion by nature is defensive. It occurs to protect against the repression that otherwise would ensue. How a rebellion is conducted, however, can easily straddle a line between offense and defense. One is not necessarily good or evil, but what is important is cognizance of how the rebels are conducting themselves so as not to become what they hate. While governments are naturally on the offense as they compel their citizens to abide by their laws, they too should stay aware how they utilize their weapons.

Whether offensive or defensive, weapons are dangerous and must be handled with the utmost care and attention to the semantics of how those weapons are used. We should all take the time to recognize our most powerful weapon, our words, and whether they are being presented as offensive, defensive, or somewhere in-between. As with any weapon, there are appropriate times for each, and even within those proper opportunities, how we implement them can make all the difference for how those we are talking to will take those words.

Next time:

ROURGE ONE PREMIERS TONIGHT! Keep an eye out for a full review on Sunday in place of a regular post.

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