"Rogue One: A Star Wars Story" has a lot of pressure on its back. Not only is it the first to break the episodic saga of the Skywalkers, it's also the bridge between the prequels and modern movies, which were based on the origins of Darth Vader. As a prequel that also sits just outside the overall main arc of "Star Wars," a major puzzle that director Gareth Edwards will have to navigate is how to reverse engineer the film, since we know it culminates in the operation of the infamous Death Star.
With extensive reshoots being done, fans are wary to see what transpires, and just how the final cut pans out as studio interference is always a cause for concern. However, after the commercial success of "The Force Awakens," there's an air of confidence and excitement building. We've decided to make an early Christmas wishlist of goodies we'd like!
15 Darth Vader Unleashed
There's no need to stand on ceremony, especially with such loyal, passionate and vociferous fans. We're pretty sure everyone lost their marbles when they heard Darth Vader's breathing; even more so when they saw him in the "Rogue One" trailers, so let's just cut to the chase. We want to see Vader force-choking, inflicting fear and intimidating the heck out of everyone. Wielding his lightsaber would be a welcomed bonus.
From the Rebels to the Death Star's staff to the inner-circle of subordinates charged by Emperor Palpatine with bringing his genocidal vision to fruition, we want them all quivering in Vader's presence. Under the stead of Palpatine thus far, we've never really seen Lord Vader as the big boss in control, so this is his time to show who the big kahuna really is -- as cutthroat as ever in this dictatorship. Any kill from our favorite Sith would be applauded, so let's hope they don't sugarcoat it when he unleashes the Dark Side and breaks the dream of the Rebellion!
14 Engineering Failure
We all remember how Luke Skywalker destroyed the Death Star in "A New Hope." He used The Force, of course, but let's be real: if it weren't for shoddy engineering, the weapon would not have been exposed that badly. Yes, he owed a lot to the Rebel squadron that assaulted and paved the way for him. Sure, it was Obi-Wan's spirit that guided his shooting in the cockpit. But the personnel that allowed the vulnerable exhaust port (which connects to the station's main reactor) to exist needs to stand up for accountability's sake!
Let's hope director Gareth Edwards elaborates on this issue, because whether it boils down to human error on the technical side of things or oversight or sheer, dumb luck... someone needs to answer. That's the kind of mistake you can lose a job, or in this case, a galactic power quest over. We're pretty certain there wasn't any union back then, so whoever screwed this up, we say... you had one job!
13 The Rogue Symbol
It was a giddy moment to hear Riz Ahmed's character, Bodhi Rook, coin the term "Rogue One" when asked by the Empire for credentials amid a clandestine mission, and it most definitely threw us back to the 1970s. The nostalgia factor of the Rebel fighter pilots taking flight with the symbol on their helmets immediately jumped to mind. Could it be that this design had something to do with Rook, the ex-Imperial pilot?
Hearing about the origins of the Rogues, and also seeing how this symbol came about -- what it means and just why it became one of hope and resistance -- is worth the price of admission alone. There's something more to the term than just a designated title for engaging tie-fighters in the war. It represents the philosophy of freedom, and to delve into the essence of this is one of the many things that fans have clamored for over decades.
12 Ode To Palpatine
After "Revenge of the Sith," the Emperor was left disfigured at the hands of Mace Windu. However, while he may have lost that personal battle, it seemed that the war was won. With Vader in this movie, there's no doubt Palpatine will be close by as his master, even if it's only in hologram form. We would love to see the missing story of how he evolved in this gap.
The anthology films are standalone, so to really get insight into how he oversaw the transition from the Senate to the Empire is a major draw for Star Wars geeks. Palpatine isn't as mysterious as before, due to the prequels, but if we can garner a sense of how he rules in close confines, that'd be Force-lightning lit! Does he have a chip on his shoulder? What's his stance on the potentially remaining Jedi? Has he ever sensed Anakin's kids? How much crueler has he become? These answers would help set a precedent of intimidation and wash away the sometimes clunky feel the Empire suffered from in the originals.
11 Holy Jedha
Seeing the mecca of the Jedi revealed in intimate detail is something that would serve great purpose this December. Jedha contains so much history and legacy that it'd be a shame if the film's final cut just reduced it to an average planet with some Force-sensitive individuals. This is an opportunity to distinguish Jedha as a mystical character unto itself and dive into the lore of things, like the construction process behind a lightsaber or how the Jedi code and coda actually came about.
This is all not even mentioning how different colored crystals are refined by the Light and the Dark Sides. We want to see this aspect of The Force because it's this spirituality that drives the saga at heart and invokes the passion of so many, globally. The code of the Jedi is a way of life in the real world for many a fan, and really peering into the foundation that laid their ways would set this revered place under a welcomed microscope.
10 Dagobah's Finest
Now, if we're picking up from "Revenge of the Sith" and our ambition is to get a snippet of Palpatine's new way of life, then it sits right to see what Master Yoda is up to over on Dagobah. After all, if we can soak in Jedha, then why not get reacquainted with the legendary Jedi and the place that would eventually help restore balance to the Force with the training of Luke?
Even if it's for just a cameo, we're dying to see how Yoda has handled Anakin's betrayal and in his refuge, how he deals with the demise of his Order and his Knights. Couple that with the expanding Empire and it could make for an even more introspective and contemplative Yoda. Having him feel the loss of life as Vader's conquest continues with the Death Star, or even gaining a premonition of the Skywalker hope to come, would be epic (and very much-welcome) fan-service.
Can you spot the future Jedi? Seriously, where's Luke? It's still quite shocking that Obi-Wan hiding him on Anakin's home planet of Tatooine didn't even register a bell in the minds of Vader and Palpatine. Imagine what would have happened had they simply returned to Anakin's home earlier; they could have saved themselves a whole lot of trouble.
If just in a cameo role or as part of a montage, how cool would it be to see Aunt Beru and Uncle Owen raising Luke? There's a lot of backstory to fill in this missing period, so it would be bold and clever to try to tackle as many beats as possible to fully establish that connection to "A New Hope." Even a scene with Vader feeling confused by a Skywalker presence -- Leia included -- or a young man racing in the foreground of Tatooine's suns, placing a bullseye on womp rats would suffice. Dare we ask for the babysitting Obi-Wan?
8 More Animated Canon
Saw Gerrera's inclusion was well-received by fans of "The Clone Wars," who remembered him as a Rebel extremist that opted against diplomacy and espionage for more direct, volatile and violent routes. Forest Whittaker's a great choice to bring him to the big screen, especially with the whole pained past of losing his sister as part of his reason for fighting back against oppression.
That aside, this casting has led to calls for "Rebels" characters as well. Could Ezra Bridger or Ahsoka Tano be tapped in some fashion, or at least have seeds planted? There's a plethora of picks here, with even Asajj Ventress being a candidate in a film franchise that is clearly retconning as they see fit outside of the Expanded Universe. Gerrera was Lucas' creation for a live-action series that never materialized, so at least we've seen that in the film-verse, anything can happen at any time. Regardless of how they choose to go, if they tap even one of these avenues for inclusion, the potential gains for the franchise would be astronomical.
7 The Organa Architects
A "New Hope' was more or less kickstarted by Princess Leia slipping R2-D2 that message for aid. Now, while reaching that point may be asking too much from this film, maybe we can see how a young Leia, or more importantly, former Senator Bail Organa, helps fuel the fire of the Rebels as they burn with disgust towards the Empire. After agreeing to hide Padme's daughter at birth from her corrupted father, the Organas were among the characters lost in the space opera translation until that "Help me Obi-Wan Kenobi, you're my only hope" sideshow.
With Jimmy Smits reprising his role as her father, that means we could well see just where Leia gets her resolve, and how truly influential the Organas were in fighting against Palpatine's doctrines. Having Leia's family receive the Rebel message would indeed precipitate a lot towards the start of Episode IV and what catalyzed the rise of the Jedi again.
6 The Hando Effect
Now, let's forget the chatter that he won't appear. Things can change, after all, and with a Han Solo movie coming up as well, it would be plain greedy to ask for anything here regarding the dashing and debonair daredevil. The same applies for his fiend-of-a-friend,Lando Calrissian, who will appear in the movie; but wouldn't it be a doozy if they got a mention or a quick flyby of that "old piece of junk" called the Millennium Falcon?
A nod to the dynamic duo should not be jettisoned with the text crawl, because there are certain things that these movies need and this odd couple is just that! Disney, as Marvel Studios will testify, knows that it's never too early to tease or hint at a character or two, so why not let that component of their comic book movies slip into the "Star Wars" universe? Connective threads and smugglers: you don't need to tell us you love it. We know.
5 Testing The Death Star
Yeah, as if the Empire would test it on an empty or desolated planet. We know they're gonna break it out on a Rebel or perceived Rebel, sadly enough. There's no doubt that this movie will give someone that planet-ending treatment, and while we saw a revamped take in "The Force Awakens," maybe it'll be less about visual spectacle inside or outside the planet, and more about the emotive loss of what was destroyed, drawing a parallel to the agony Leia experienced beholding the end of Alderaan.
What would be quite a bold statement is if the weapon is used to kill off the crew of protagonists with Jyn Erso looking on, mirroring Leia in more ways than one. Either way, a planet is existing on borrowed Empire time and the "Pied Palpatine" needs to be paid soon. Prepare the feels and the tissues; that sad moment is surely dawning upon us.
4 Rogue Pilots Training
Now, we mentioned that we'd love to see more on the origins of the Rogue symbol and just why it became that beacon of inspiration, but one thing that has always stood out apart from this iconography was the fact that they were fearless and skilled pilots. We saw Oscar Isaac's Poe Dameron light it up last year like Luke Skywalker, so if we could actually get them in training this time around to see how they navigate and reach these technical heights, that'd be amazing.
We learned about Jedi training, so why not take a queue from the pod racing of "The Phantom Menace" and go in depth into how these pilots hone their craft? Edwards' crash course on Rebel flying would set the stage for the team Luke eventually joins and end all assumptions with cold, hard fact as to who are the best pilots in the galaxy and why. Practice makes perfect, after all, and we'd love to see this evolution somehow implemented.
3 No Jyn Of All Trades
Felicity Jones as lead has impressed in what we've seen so far, infiltrating on behalf of the Rebels. Still, Disney should be careful in developing her, because, as with any lead, a flawed hero experiencing a learning curve is the most relatable protagonist for fans. Remember how the reception to Rey was met with backlash as she was unfairly labelled by some as a Mary Sue, who was able to pilot, fight and master The Force on a whim?
While the online torment, which solicited a response from Daisy Ridley herself, was uncalled for, it would be great to see a Jyn who is not immediately overpowered. We want to see the entire Rogue crew work for their supper! With what we've witnessed from her and Diego Luna's Cassian Andor, an intelligence officer, it does look like a movie that really plays up people's cerebral struggle, their mental strength and the deception that needs to be employed against someone bigger and stronger. We can't wait to see the crafty hero at work!
2 Un-Fett-ered Hunting
Why not let fans know what our favorite bounty hunter, Boba Fett, is up to? He never seemed to be given proper service in any of the six films thus far, so maybe let him make an impact here with a wrap-up scene that shows him mopping up something for Vader. Maybe we could see him being contacted at least for his first assignment? Once more, a Fett appearance is likely to be kept for the Han Solo joint, but if we're to believe the LEGO toys, then while it may be a small chance... well, it's still a chance nonetheless.
There's just something magnetic about Fett and we're hoping to see him maximized the next time he floats across the big screen, because after being used as clone fodder, we think he's meant for something much more in the pantheon of "Star Wars." After all, if you want to rid yourselves of pests, who you gonna call? Rebel control, right?
1 Troopers Unlimited
As if Stormtroopers weren't enough, here come Shoretroopers in black as part of a crack-force Death Squad! While questions will be asked as to whether they're Fett clones and how many still exist, fans will be just as interested in these new recruits and their distinctive styles. Why, for example, were they missing in the original films? This means things were downgraded to the generic Stormtroopers at some point, so definitely, with more troopers being used, it needs to be explained as to who's who and just how this army and the different units are all built.
The majority of the troopers never really lived up to expectation -- coming off bland, clunky and lackluster at times (though admittedly still iconic) -- so this is a great opportunity to expound on the dichotomy and overall dynamic of the different eras of these foot soldiers. Differentiation is needed when it comes to illustrating what Palpatine's military consists of, and on this go-around, something tells us we're going to see the most ruthless interpretation of the Empire yet!
Thoughts on our wishlist? Picks of your own? Let us know what The Force Ghosts are whispering to you in the comments!