Discussion in 'Fan Fiction- Before, Saga, and Beyond' started by divapilot, Mar 21, 2017.
Superb depth of insight into Tarkin & Cassian, their motives & goals
Tarkin reminds me a lot of Frollo from "The Hunchback of Notre Dame". A man who thinks he is righteous.
As for Cassian, he got disillusioned in life quiet early it seems.
I like both Cassian abnd Tarkin as SW character and its nice to see the contrast of their ideologies. WithTarkin wanting oder and productivity, enforced through violence if necessary.While Cassian expirienced the result of this with the citizens of his homeworld forced to essentialy slave labor in the factories with no one really caring for them. And when they protested the republic used violence to keep them in line, like Tarkin uses it to suppres rebellious star systems.
Oh so much great stuff in this update!
Tarkin is one of those villains that I love to hate and you just captured his personality perfectly here: there's the absolute callousness of his methods, but also this idea that's often so true of fascists that others don't understand how right they are, and -- most importantly for me, because it's a relationship that I find very intriguing in fanfic and profic alike -- the way he manipulates Vader. There's something positively creepy in the way you have him "feed" an opportunity for Vader in Negotiate, and that becomes even creepier when we reach Overthrow, where as a reader I really get, in just those few words, to ask myself what particular game Tarkin is playing and what his contingency plans could be for a future without the Emperor.
“I’ve been in this fight since I was six years old.”
I love how you expanded on what little we know of Cassian's childhood with these drabbles. Not only did you give him a full-fledged backstory here, but you also constructed a very plausible set of reasons why someone would find himself on the side of the Separatists. We see Cassian's father evolve from worker to labour activist to guerilla, and Cassian in turn becomes from a very young age the hardened fighter that we get to meet in Rogue One.
Tarkin is a creep
And more insight in the life of Cassion; nice
Thank you! Tarkin is such a creepy, cruel man, and Cassian seems to have a terribly burdened heart. It begged for a backstory to Cassian’s involvement in the rebellion.
Thank you so much! I can see Tarkin as Frollo (he even kind of looks like him.) He is a cruel manipulator who tries to get others to believe that he is doing it for your own good. Tarkin doesn’t care about the individuals who are affected by his actions, all he cares about are the results. And as for Cassian, he’s been fighting since he was a young child, so he has had a very hard life.
Thank you very much! I set these two sets up to be in tandem. You see Tarkin, the man who issues the orders, and then Cassian, who has to deal with the reality of the orders. Tarkin has no sympathy for people like Cassian or his father. They are below his notice. And if they complain, Tarkin sees them as expendable.
Thanks for your kind comment! I think in order to be of the mindset that the ends justify the means and that people’s suffering is irrelevant in such an equation, you have to be a pretty big narcissist. You need to be able to disassociate yourself from any compassion you might feel. While Cassian’s father slaves away in the factories and Cassian is simply being groomed to take the next spot on the assembly line, Tarkin justifies it by dismissing them as unimportant and trivial cogs in the greater machine of progress. Then there’s that strange interplay with Vader. I think Tarkin enjoyed messing with Vader’s head. It was amusing. Whatever happened to Vader or to the Empire, Tarkin put himself first and set himself up to make a profit from it.
That line was so powerful to me. Cassian had no childhood, he was a boy soldier. His father held onto the hope that maybe he could make a better world for Cassian, but it only got him killed. Hope became a precious thing to Cassian, who did the only thing he knew how to do – fight against the regime. It must have aged him terribly.
Thanks! Yep, Tarkin is a sadistic little creep. And Cassian has not had it easy; he has lived through terrible heartache that have aged him far beyond his 26 years. Glad you liked these!
Week 15. The Captain’s Favorite (K-2SO)
“I don’t think she’s helping. In fact, I think she’s detrimental to us.” Kaytoo did his best interpretation of annoyance as he sat beside Cassian.
“She’s necessary for the mission,” Cassian replied calmly.
“Well, you’ve never needed anyone else but me on your missions. This is a first for me. I was always enough of a companion for you before.”
Cassian turned to the droid. He laughed quietly and shook his head. “Kaytoo, I do believe you’re jealous.”
The black Imperial droid spun his head rapidly around to stare at Cassian with his optical receptors. “Jealous? Don’t be ridiculous.”
Kaytoo followed orders well; after all, he was at his core an Imperial security droid. There was a very strong sense of loyalty and duty hardwired into his component parts. So when Cassian told him to stay in the ship, he obeyed.
Then Cassian went into NiJedha with Jyn.
Underqualified, mouthy, emotional, reckless Jyn.
Who would get Cassian into trouble.
Obviously, Cassian had made a terrible mistake. Kaytoo decided his loyalty to Cassian meant breaking this order and finding him, to protect him. He left the ship and followed the impressions left by their footsteps into the dusty old city.
If Kaytoo had a jaw, it would have hung open in disbelief. “You’re letting her keep the blaster?”
Cassian shrugged. “It will be fine, Kaytoo.”
The droid pivoted in his copilot’s seat to face Cassian. “You realize the odds in favor of her using that same weapon against us are very high, right?”
“I said we’ll be fine. She feels safer with the weapon. Let her have it.”
Kaytoo re-ran the scenarios and came to the same dismaying conclusion. “No, we won’t. Why did you give her your blaster?”
Cassian was quiet for a moment before answering. “I trust her.”
“I ran a health check on you. I think she’s actually making you sick,” Kaytoo announced.
“Oh?” Cassian glanced over at Jyn, who was sleeping fitfully in the rear of the shuttle.
Kaytoo smacked Cassian in the arm. “There! It happened again. Your breathing became irregular and your heartbeat increased when you looked at her. A clear physiological reaction. Respiratory and cardiac changes, evidence of increased perspiration. She’s definitely making you ill. I should put you on a permanent monitoring.”
Cassian rubbed the sore place where Kaytoo’s long arm made contact. “You should mind your own business, Kaytoo,” Cassian retorted.
“I am sorry. I didn’t convince the stormtroopers that you were my prisoner.”
Cassian sighed. “It’s all right, Kaytoo. It’s my fault. I never figured out how to hide your reprogramming. You look like an imperial droid, but you don’t act like one.” Cassian smiled at the droid. “You did your best, and Jyn and I are both grateful.”
Kaytoo looked askance for a moment. At last he looked up at Cassian. “I could have done something more to convince them.”
Kaytoo cocked his head. “I could’ve punched Jyn in the mouth,” he offered, a little too gleefully.
Wonderful exchanges You can really sense Kaytoo's caring for Cassian.
Check: "She's definitely making you ill."
I've gotten seriously behind on this wonderful series and am going to try to remedy that right now. It may mean that I don't comment in as close detail as I usually do, but I'll do my very best.
Just as a general note: I remember back when you started these drabbles, I thought to myself, "ogosh, a whole entire 20-week drabble series just about Rogue One? That's ambitious indeed!" But you, ma'am, are acing it, from stem to stern—you've really teased oodles of richness out of this film, its characters, and its backstories. Which really should come as no surprise to me, I suppose!
9 and 10: Wow, what an amazing choice to pair this set of very luminous prompts with the destruction of NiJedha. Indeed, one really striking thing about the cinematography of R1 was how much light was involved in the destruction scenes, in contrast to the dim, gritty look in a lot of the other more ordinary scenes—and it was this group of drabbles that led me to notice that, so thank you. Bodhi's "Mama" revelation stood out for me, too, with its flux between memory and reality, and with its link back to your earlier group of Bodhi drabbles; what Bodhi wouldn't give to hear one of those "Bodhi Theodosius Rook!" lectures one more time. And then in contrast there's Orson Krennic, who would see the destructive starlike blaze as something beautiful, the old reprobate. Likewise, the group of age-related prompts was a perfect fit for the Organas, and especially for Leia; I love that her youthful, precocious political career and crown-princess-ship are happening in tandem with her education in in the secrets of the Rebellion, bringing her to two different kinds of maturity at the same time. "Elder" is of course extra poignant because we know that Bail won't get to enjoy that calm, elder-statesman future of which he dreams—that too will go up in a luminous, starlike blaze even bigger than the one at NiJedha.
11 and 12: Wonderful tie-in to mavjade 's "For the Rebellion" here—great job expanding on that very poignant story. I can almost see the wheels turning in Cassian's mind, the gradual progression from despair-drowned-in-drink to staunch resolve, with the concept of rebellion itself as the catalyst—all starting with that one "what if?" This Lyra group is gorgeous; you do a great job of filling in this beautiful character whom we see all too briefly in R1. The way the crystal imagery forms a thread through the group is beautiful and so appropriate, and I particularly love the way you give both her and her husband crystal-like characteristics: she has the strong, starlike "heart of kyber," and he has the shatter-prone fragility (and thus perhaps also the resonance). And hey, if it's stars that have hearts of kyber, that gives a wonderful new dimension to Jyn's nickname of "Stardust."
13 and 14: This is quite the goosebump-inducing group you have here for Tarkin! His "wipe them out" mentality really comes through here in cool, razor-sharp detail—we see every step of the thought process leading up to the unheard-of plan of destroying a whole planet (and it's important for us to remember just how unheard-of that was). And of course he would have trumped-up notions about how his cold, hard logic is worth more than Vader's Sithly fire and brimstone—ooh, little does he know! And yay for a second Cassian set from such a different part of his life. It's very interesting to see your extrapolation from his "six years old" quote, and the way his fight began on the factory floor, among workers who simply wanted "more." Like the week 11 Cassian group, there's a catalyst here: those labor disputes were the first stage of what would become for him a much larger, lifelong fight. And they were brutal enough to harden him even at that tender age, to bring him to the point where he was unable to cry at his father's death—goosebumps! The very thought of a child that age brought to that state is harrowing (my Findsboy is 7!), thought that is of course what war does.
15: Hah! You really nailed that trademark K-2SO deadpan here, from start to finish. Yeah, Kay, you just keep telling yourself you're not jealous of this unpredictable, emotional, reckless, eminently undroidlike interloper. Kay almost reminds me of P. G. Wodehouse's Jeeves here in the way he is so deadset on making sure his boss doesn't act rashly (even to the point of disobeying Cassian's order). And his little conclusions about Cassian's health in "Check" are hilarious... uh, Kay, for all your impeccably rational measurements, I think you're still not quite fully putting two and two together there. This group was a wonderfully fun touch of humor in the middle of a series otherwise dealing with such serious scenarios (not that that is bad per se...)—just as K-2SO himself was within R1!
Yay, Kaytoo! You know how much I love this character, and these drabbles were just perfect! He doesn't know how much that Rebel reprogramming software messed him up He really is jealous of Jyn, isn't he? "I could have punched her in the mouth" Check in particular had me in stitches. He's an almost-sentient droid, but the secret is in the "almost".
Love to see the characters coming alive in this new set
I like the insight we got into Kaytoo's mind. How he cares about Cassian and is worried over Jyn. I think as Cassian has reprogrammed him and they traveled with each other for quite a while, that Kaytoo sees Cassian as a close friend. SW defenetly has some very "human" droids.
Thank you! I definitely ship Jassian. Love those two to death (oops). And K2SO tries to help, he really does, but attraction is not part of any programming you can code.
Thank you for your very thorough reply, and I apologize that it’s taken five months to properly respond to these comments. I do intend to continue the set (I’ve got the last ones done, just have to work backwards). And I honestly loved Rogue One, so it’s a joy to revisit these old characters. I hope they don’t get forgotten again, ironically, as the new trilogy picks up steam.
One of the things that struck me, and that imho was underplayed, is that NiJeddah was Bodhi’s home. He lived there, his family was there. At that point, when he sees the destruction of NiJeddah, his mind is still a mess from the torture he underwent. He is trying to process this unspeakable horror, with his memory all unwired. It seems logical that the first thing he would think about is knowing that his mother is in that catastrophe.
As for the Organas, they had to have had a very different plan for what their lives would be. Even if Bail acknowledged that his involvement with the rebellion may cost him his life, it was inconceivable that Leia would not ascend the throne. Or that there would be no throne to ascend to.
@Mavjade’s story is the perfect missing scene in Rogue One. I can’t imagine the “rogue” expedition getting started in any other way. It seems very much a Cassian thing to do; wallow for a minute then find a way to make it work. And we don’t know much about Lyra except that she was a geologist and a follower of The Church of the Force, and that she may have been a bit Force sensitive herself. She was a jewel, and she had a heart of kyber. I think a lot of Jyn’s strength came from her.
Tarkin has no mercy and he doesn’t care about the pain he causes. He is an egotist but in a different way than Krennic; whereas Krennic baldly wanted the honor and glory for himself, Tarkin was wise enough to at least pretend the honor and glory was for the Empire. And the “six years old” quote from Cassian struck me when I first saw the movie - not only because it defined how long Cassian has been at war (to the loss of his childhood) but also because he would confide something that personal to Jyn. Another interesting fact is that when he was at war, Cassian was fighting on the Separatist’s side - we are so used to thinking of the Republic as the good guys, but it seems that it all boils down where you are according to a certain point of view.
I loved Alan Tudyk’s portrayal of K2SO, even to the ad-libbed slap across Diego Luna’s face. K2SO tries hard, bless his metallic soul. There is a brief comment in the novelization about how K2SO was Cassian’s only friend, and I found that very affecting. What a lonely life Cassian had, where he had to build himself a friend. You almost think that maybe Cassian left the sarcasm in there on purpose.
Thank you! I can imagine that Kay didn’t see any reason for Cassian to favor Jyn over him. After all, he knows Cassian better, he was reprogrammed by him. So what is it with this woman that Cassian could possibly find appealing? Kay has to be jealous, if nothing else then by the fact that Cassian isn’t trusting everything to him and is instead giving Jyn the benefit of the doubt, against Kay’s warnings.
Thank you! They are challenging and fun to write.
Thank you, @Anedon! Like I mentioned above, in the novelization it briefly mentions that K2SO is Cassian’s only friend. Reprogramming an imperial droid would mean to give it some kind of autonomous thought, rather than blind obedience. As such, Kaytoo must have some “feelings” toward Cassian. It’s an interesting topic, how human the droids seem. Are they that way because their owners need them to be human, or are we just projecting human qualities onto what are really just machines?
Week 16. The Climb
Bodhi led Cassian along the narrow pathway. The rain made the going treacherous, and the jagged rocks cut into their hands as they ascended the side of the mountain. Had he not been wearing his goggles pushed back on his forehead, Bodhi’s vision would have been obscured by his wet hair.
He glanced to his left. Cassian stared resolutely ahead. Something in the captain’s intensity unnerved Bodhi. That, and his long-range sniper rifle. An unlikely weapon to bring along for a rescue mission. This was an extraction, right? They were here to save Galen.
Was this a terrible mistake?
The Force was a river and Chirrut allowed it to swirl and flow around him. He stood at the top of the rocky outcrop and let his senses expand around him. He saw without seeing the complex built into the side of the cliff, the shuttle behind him, the two men below him.
Then something else. Something warlike, swooping out of the atmosphere, and something warlike rising to meet it. Chirrut listened as the ships roared overhead. Then the unmistakable screaming whine of the TIE fighters.
Without hesitating, Chirrut raised his weapon and pierced the enemy ship with his blast.
Cassian hunkered down beneath a raggedy, misshapen tree and stared across at the brightly lit facility. He could hear Bodhi right behind him, the pilot’s breath heavy and labored.
He pulled the rifle from his back and set it up, then lay beside it. Through the scope he could see several men on the platform. One of them was Galen Erso.
Cassian hesitated and raised his head. He wiped his eyes. Cassian had his orders. He looked through the scope again. He could take the shot. It was easy.
And yet… Jyn would never forgive him.
Jyn slipped on the wet earth, then lifted herself up again. Above her was the platform, and on that platform was her father. She paused for a moment, then looked up. The rain slicked down her dark hair and made her clothes stick to her skin.
Would he be surprised and happy to see her? Would he want to hold her again, call her his Stardust? Or would she be so changed that he wouldn’t recognize her?
She had come so far, and she would never have this chance again. She grasped the bottom rung firmly and began to climb.
Galen knew this moment would arrive. He had played sleight of hand for years with Krennic, delaying and sabotaging the weapon, and the reckoning had come.
Krennic would probably shoot him in front of all his men, the group of engineers huddled behind him. They would watch him die and be sufficiently frightened into obedience. And what was it for? Revenge for Lyra? Support for the rebellion?
He looked at the horizon and saw the shape of the imperial shuttle. No. Not for those reasons. The weapon must be destroyed if there would ever be a better galaxy for Stardust.
Week 17: Reprogramming
Cassian struggled with the wiring, holding the magnetic probe between his teeth while he grasped the wires with both hands. A quick glance to the datapadd assured him that the blue wire did indeed lead to the core memory. Just a few more volts and he should have nearly all of the droid’s search history deleted.
K2SO felt the prodding in his circuits and panicked. What was this criminal doing? As soon as he was able, he would bring the man to the nearest garrison for arrest. Tampering with imperial property was against the law. He would pay for this.
To install any new programming, Cassian would have to write over the old codes. And that wasn’t going to be easy. But the payoff - to have an imperial security droid, with all of the embedded code - this machine could be a treasure for the rebellion.
K2SO quickly protected the remaining original coding by looping the programming in circuitous pathways, hoping to avoid the violation of his primary duty to the Empire. The idea of stripping him, gutting him, of his identity was monstrous. He would not be made into a traitor. K2SO grabbed the man by his throat and squeezed.
When K2SO reactivated, he felt something missing and he was confused. There should be something in his central core. Diligently, he ran a diagnostic and discovered that none of the archive data was more than three days old. Was he three days old? He didn’t think so.
What was happening? He felt a rush of conflicting directives. As always, loyalty, duty, obedience. But to whom?
“Are you going to try to kill me again?” someone asked.
K2SO’s optical receptors focused on the bearded face of a tired man.
“Are you going to try to destroy me?” K2SO asked in return.
This machine could prove a priceless artifact. But something made Cassian hesitate to turn him over to be dissected. Maybe it was the way the droid wanted to live.
Not wanting to be destroyed isn’t the same as wanting to live, he thought.
The droid sat in the rear of the shuttle, all gangly limbs, like a stringless puppet. It had taken over a month, but Cassian had removed all the inhibitors and preprogramming that had defined the droid as what he had been. K2SO had learned independent thought. So what was he now?
Now he’s your responsibility.
“Do you have any memory of your reprogramming, Kaytoo?” Cassian asked.
The droid, sitting in the copilot’s seat, flipped a switch before turning his head toward Cassian. “Very little. I remember I was afraid.”
Cassian was silent for a moment. “I’m sorry. I didn’t think of you that way then.”
“What did you think I was?”
Cassian sighed. “An enemy. Something dangerous.”
“And what do you think I am now?”
Cassian stared into the blackness of space. The many shared experiences between the two had effectively reprogrammed the droid’s personality so that there could only be one answer.
#16 -- excellent use of the various prompts in the scenes surrounding finding Galen. #17 -- terrific interplay between Cassian and K2SO -- a contest of wills leading to that wonderful last line
an enemy turned into a friend, great
This was a fantastic elaboration on the theme of "looking up" in Rogue One. One aspect of the film's irony that I greatly appreciated is that Jyn starts out by telling Saw "it's easy when you don't look up" (about the Imperial flags) and then a lot of the movie becomes about looking up – climbing the cliff on Eadu, climbing the tower on Scarif, etc. In your drabbles every character has to look up, in his own way, to ask the right questions and decide what they need to do. I particularly liked Bodhi's drabble – I have a soft spot for this character and you've written him perfectly. He's still in the questioning phase at this stage of the story; he is able to voice his doubts and questions but not yet to actually decide to act on his own.
Squeee! What a great take on how the relationship between Cassian and K-2SO developed! They went from being enemies to friends, yes – but they also started out as a mechanical and a human being, and ended up being two persons on an equal footing. Again, this is a great spin on the scene from the movie where Cassian realises that K2 "died". This little bit of backstory explains the depth of his feelings!
I like the different viewpoints on the attempted rescue/assasination of Galen. Cassian wants to shoot because its his duty but struggles with his descision. Jyn wondering how her father would react when seeing her again, Galen being ready to die, knowing that his actions might lead to the death stars destruction and so on.
The second set is great as well. I like this additional insight in the relationship between Cassian and K2. It really shows how the droid is more than just a machine, but instead a person, a friend.
Gosh, how did I miss that these were updated? You, madam, continue to hit it out of the park with your nuanced, in-depth, just plain beautiful expansions on the pivotal moments of one of the franchise's most poignant films. I loved getting each character's view of the Galen mission, especially Jyn's—wondering if her dad will still love and recognize his Stardust—and Cassian's moment of tense decision when he realizes just exactly who his assigned mark is. Jyn is kind of the pivot around which everyone's motivations revolve here: it's because of her that Cassian puts his weapon down, and because of her that her dad forges ahead with his dangerous and ambitious project of sabotage. The Stardust lights their way!
Wonderful take on the beginnings of friendship between Cassian and K2O, too, the effort and even pain that they both go through in order for that friendship to come about. The description of how things felt on K's end was particularly striking; I can totally see where the whole experience would be something he's hard pressed to describe. The way both Cassian and K ask each other the same question, born of probably the same fear about each other is just wow—and you make it lead oh so gradually, oh so naturally, to that wonderful final line. And in a way, these two have so many important commonalities that it's no wonder they hit it off! I think I now know why K's "death" scene hit me so hard when I saw the film; well, good fic has the power to bring us to that kind of realization, doesn't it?
Keep up the superb work, dear diva—it's an inspiration to all of us.
Thank you! I'm still finding things to write about in R1. I especially liked working with the second set, where Cassian and Kay learn to see each other as individuals.
Thank you for stopping by! I'm glad you enjoyed them.
Thank you for the thoughtful, thorough reply!
I hadn't intentionally set out to do that, but you're right, each person here has to look up at some point. And your comment about Jyn going from someone who won't look up to someone who is determined to look up inspired me for a later set, so thank you! ) You're right, at this point Bodhi is still trying to figure out what the heck he is doing here. In fact, all of them have yet to come together for a shared goal, they are still on their own agendas (which is probably why they are all over the place on that mountain). I think this is really the point where Cassian decides to throw his lot in with Jyn. He follows her now, not his superiors. (Dude, chill. Your crush is showing.)
K-2SO also starts out considering himself Imperial property and he evolves to find his own individual self, and Cassian, who starts out thinking how he can profit from this piece of machinery, learns that he can't give the Tin Man a heart and just leave it at that. He has to take care of him now. They are indeed two persons at the end. There is a reference in the novel about how K-2SO was Cassian's only friend, and a reference to how it was Kay who had saved him in an earlier exploit, carrying a wounded Cassian in his arms to safety. I got to wondering how the loyalty between them had evolved.
Thank you! Yes, each of them is wondering wildly differing things here. And like @Chyntuck says above, each of them is questioning what they believe in. The irony, of course, is that Galen dies anyway - from a Rebel hit. Nobody won.
Thanks! Yes, it started out with Cassian stealing imperial property, but as K-2SO lost his imperial programming he began to learn to be his own "person." He is so much more than just a machine to Cassian, and Cassian is the only human that seems to understand K-2SO.
Thank you for your kind words! I appreciate them! And don't worry about missing an update. Without the ability to change the titles, nobody knows what's updated. On some stories I'm so far behind I think I'm leading the race.
I love how you pointed out that Jyn is the pivot around whom they all rotate. They are all here, in some way, because of Jyn. Cassian hesitates to follow orders because he knows it would end the connection he has to her. Galen is here on Eadu by force, but the situation he finds himself in with Krennic is because of his love for her. Bodhi's message from Galen was for her. Even Chirrut is here because he follows the woman with the heart of kyber, and Baze follows Chirrut. She binds them together. It's such an important scene, when you stop to think about it. They go to Eadu as a group of people who have their own agenda. They leave as a team.
Thank you for your comments.
I can imagine how frightening and confusing and violating it must have been for K-2SO to feel his memory and his indoctrination being stripped away. But in its place, K-2SO became a free thinking being with his own decisions and loyalties. They truly not only depended on each other, but loved each other as best friends do. They had been through so much together, and in his final act, K-2SO literally died for Cassian. K-2SO gave Cassian friendship, someone to talk to who wouldn't judge him for the terrible things he had to do, and Cassian gave K-2SO an individual personality and free will.
Thank you! Everything is written out; it's just a matter of timing it so that I'm not hogging up the boards.
Week 18: The Hands and the Eyes (Baze and Chirrut)
Baze was a good student and took his duties as a Temple Guardian learner seriously. He had many friends among the young Guardians, and they enjoyed his athleticism, his wit, and his happy-go-lucky nature. Chirrut was quiet and introspective. He learned quickly, but he also questioned things, which let to some awkward moments with the Temple elders.
They seemed an unlikely pair, and yet the two teens were best friends, since their days in the orphanage. “Chirrut! Catch!” The blind teen turned, and Baze tossed the staff. Chirrut raised his hand and snatched it out of mid-air.
Jedha was a harsh planet that harbored a treasure in kyber crystals. It was a hard life, surviving in such a place. Poverty ruled the streets. Orphans skittered like rodents through alleys. Thieves lurked everywhere.
The world itself became arid and desolate, but it didn’t deter the pilgrims from coming. The transients, the treasure, and the temple made life here dangerous. He and Chirrut were official guardians now, and although weapons were not allowed in the temple, Chirrut had charmingly convinced the elders that a blind man was entitled to a walking staff. Baze smiled knowingly and laughed to himself.
Baze had hoped Saw’s people would help fight the encroaching imperials, but it turned out that they were more interested in their political agenda than in helping NiJedha. He and Chirrut severed their ties and returned to the temple, although by now there was little left to guard.
Baze felt angered and disillusioned, but Chirrut embraced his former guardian’s role. He ran his hand over his closely shorn scalp, then reached out his hand and touched Baze’s outgrown hair. “You’ve decided to keep a souvenir of your wild revolutionary days, I see,” Chirrut remarked, laughing. Grudgingly, Baze allowed a smile.
The imperial military had developed a sudden, unexplained taste for kyber, and Jedha was their hunting ground. First, they forced their way into the temple and stripped the crystals from the walls and the floors. Entire rooms were looted. Then they moved on to the ancient mines themselves, bringing scientists and geologists to scavenge the valuable crystals.
Interfering with imperial efforts to acquire kyber carried a heavy penalty if there was a conviction. Baze shook his head at a society turned upside down. He wondered how retrieving the kyber crystals stolen by these off-worlders could possibly be a crime.
The cold kept Baze inside the doorway of the temple, but Chirrut sat outside in the feeble winter sunshine. Baze kept his weapon close. The place had become a powderkeg, with Imperial soldiers harassing the citizens and Saw’s people continuing to strike against the troops. Lately, it was worse - something about a missing pilot.
Baze watched the man move stealthily through the crowd, as if he were practiced at the art of blending in. Baze narrowed his eyes. His hand reached for his weapon. But before he could react, Chirrut had called to the woman who Baze hadn’t even noticed.
Wonderful portrayal of their teamwork, friendship, and complementing personalities. Even as circumstances change, they become more bound to each other. Their outlooks determine how they confront the changes.
Ooh, a Chirrut-Baze set! Fantastic portrait of this unlikely friendship, Rogue One's "odd couple." I like too how you've given us some insight on their role as Whills Guardians, which is something I always wondered about; very clever about Chirrut's walking staff-cum-weapon! And in that role, even with the temple barely a shell of its old self, they get a unique view on the situation in NiJedha, on the "society turned upside down," and on the consequences of the Empire's "sudden, unexplained taste for kyber" (oh, if only they knew exactly what that was feeding!). And it all leads up to that one woman with the crystal pendant that Chirrut senses in that crowd before just about anyone else, almost John the Baptist style—yes, she is the pivot around which it all turns, once again. Once again, another beautiful, top-notch take on this film and its characters—thanks for continuing to amaze.
I am so sorry that I am just catching up. The past months there have been many deaths around me and I was ill a lot. To read the stories of others became even more difficult than writing the hurt, pain & loss away each time I was not consumed by my kindergarten teacher position.
But now I have reached the point and would like to comment. Hoping after so much awe there are enough words left.
Your kyber crystal writing style helps enormously to dive into your story lines and follow the fabulous character development. I also like that you have an inner (plot) plan and are less messy about it like me.
Week 16. The Climb
So many fates linked into one climb. So many thoughts, motives behind it. Amazing, when you think about it. And in the end, they all reach "the basis camp" again. Team building is always a difficult process.
Week 17: Reprogramming
Becoming human, K-2SO, I would say. Even learning how to befriend the former enemy. It is possible!
Week 18: The Hands and the Eyes (Baze and Chirrut)
They are very different to Jedi knights, those Guardians of the Whills. They allow feelings and failure, which leads them to learning more about the universe and, in the end, themselves.
great portraits of Chirrut and Baze