Will the Death Star fire its super laser in Rogue One? That is a question has has bugged us for a little while now. Our friends over at Tumbling Saber suggested that maybe it would. I stood steadfastly against that saying that the Death Star fired its weapon in A New Hope and that needs to be the first place we see that happen. However; the recently released Rogue One A Star Wars Story trailer has me reconsidering my position. I now think the answer is yes. Well maybe. Sort of....
We know from the trailer that the Empire has a presence on Jedha, the spiritual moon at the centre of the action in Rogue One, because we see a Star Destroyer "Independence Daying" it over what appears to be a fortress on the planets surface. We also think that the planet has some property or element of significance, maybe vast deposits of Kyber Crystals, which the Empire values. So surly Jedha is safe right?
In the second trailer for Rogue One we get a couple of hints that the Death Star is prepping itself to test the super laser on Jedha itself. See the eclipse in image below? That would appear to be the Death Star moving ominously into position. We know from media released already that the Death Star hangs over Scarif, the tropical planet that plays host to the Empires "ship yard". This may well prove to be home to Director Orson Krennic, the man behind the Death Star. A man with designs on replacing Darth Vader as the Emperor's right hand. So why would the Death Star, if its being constructed over Scarif, suddenly appear in the sky over Jedha?
Check out the image below. It is the Death Star in orbit over, what we can assume is, Jedha. But surely the dish is on the wrong side? We perhaps that is intentional.
This image shows Krennic and his Imperial cronies studying Jedha's surface from the viewport on the Death Star. This looks like the inverse of the previous image, with Krennic and Co preparing to do something nefarious. Has the Death Star been positioned so it can target the planet's surface? Is this shot showing the Imperials looking at the northern pole of Jedha from below because they are inverted? Seems to make sense. But wait; Surley the first time we would see the Death Star destroy a planet would be in A New Hope right? Doing it here would undercut that, no?
My guess is that Krenic, who's hateful little face you can see in the image below, has promised to squash the Rebel uprising on Jedha once and for all, by demonstrating the power (although not the full power) of his creation. We hear in A New Hope that the Death Star is capable of destroying entire planets, right? But what if that isn't its primary function?
We know that the Emperor has Geonosis wiped clean to protect the secret of the Death Star's development. Could Palpatine's plan have been to build a fleet of Death Stars that could be placed in systems to govern them through the threat of, not destroying the planet completely, but by wiping its surface clean with is laser. An extinction level event, courtesy of the Empire.
Look at the images below. They are from a sequence in the trailer where Cassian and Jyn are flying the U-Wing through what appears to be a massive seismic event. Their only way out seems to be to jump to hyperspace while in atmosphere.
So in short I'm suggesting that Krennic will use the Death Star's super laser to wipe out Jedha and every living thing on it, and that this is the primary objective of the Death Star. In a way it improves the use of the Death Star in A New Hope, because we then get to see what it can do when a real loon turns it up to 11. My guess is that seeing the destruction of Jedha will light a fire under Mon Mothma, Bail Organa and the fledging Alliance, leading the their decision to pull Obi-Wan out of hiding and trigger the events of A New Hope.
What do you think? Are we getting an early glimpse at the use of the Death Star in Rogue One? Is Krenic demonstrating its power to the Emperor by using it to crush Saw Gerrera and the Rebel uprising on Jedha? Will our heres make it out alive? Leave your thoughts on these points in the comments below.
Thank you for reading,