Over the years, many jokes have been made at the expense of a certain design flaw in the original 1977 Star Wars’ planet-killing Death Star. Who on Earth (or Hoth or Endor or somewhere) thought it would be a good idea to put in an exhaust port that led exactly to the core of the entire space station? Even if they did leave it in, couldn’t they put a cover or a forcefield over it? And why were there handy X-Wing-sized trenches that led right up to it?
Sure, the answer to all that could just be “It’s a movie, chill out,” but for decades, the criticisms and gags have come thick and fast. Websites, stand-ups and even TV’s Family Guy (below) have got in on the action, and overall there wasn’t a lot of respect for whichever avant-garde architect put in a hole that could blow up the entire superweapon with one laser blast.
However, in new Star Wars prequel/spin-off Rogue One, some new details come to light that completely change how we should see the Empire’s big “mistake” – and an awful lot of jokes are going to have to be rethought.
Some very mild spoilers for Rogue One below the jump, so there’s still time to turn away if you don’t want to know a single detail about the film before you go and see it.
Still here? Then it’s time to use our metaphorical FACT Death Star to blow some of your minds.
Early in the new film, it’s revealed that Mads Mikkelsen’s Galen Erso, aka the man forced to design and build much of the Death Star (guess we’re more or less glossing over the Geonosians from Revenge of the Sith, but hey), has been working on a devious piece of sabotage to get his revenge on the Empire.
Over the years, while ostensibly perfecting the superweapon, he’s actually been building in a fatal flaw that can take the whole thing down – the very exhaust port that we’ve all been making fun of for years.
Mads Mikkelsen as Galen Erso
This wasn’t some Imperial oversight, or silly mistake – this was a brave act of resistance through sabotage that gave the Rebels a fighting chance for the first time once Erso’s daughter Jyn (Felicity Jones) and crew stole the plans detailing the flaw for the Rebel Alliance.
In other words, the whole thing will make a whole lot more sense the next time you watch A New Hope, and we can only thank Rogue One director Gareth Edwards for finally clearing everything up. We’ll expect Family Guy’s written apology in the post.
Rogue One: a Star Wars story is in cinemas from midnight tonight, Wednesday 14th December