‘Rogue One’ Top 20 – A Quick Guide For Your Pre-‘Rogue One’ Star Wars Media Marathon
With the premiere of Rogue One quickly approaching, many Star Wars fans are no doubt going to be doing some binge-watching and/or reading to prepare for the film’s release. Read on for a quick guide to some Star Wars media that you might want to visit (or re-visit) sometime in the next week to get ready for Rogue One.
I have compiled a list of 20 Star Wars films, tv episodes, and books that either directly tie-in to Rogue One, or provide introduction/backstory to some of the characters in it. The list is not exhaustive in regards to canon, nor is it essential to watching the movie. However, if you’re like me, you may like to binge on Star Wars media from now until the movie comes out. If this is you, here is a quick guide to some pertinent productions and publications.
Construction on the Death Star began in secret during the Clone War. Attack of the Clones reveals the start of the war and how Palpatine got his hands on the prototype design schematic for what would become the moon-sized super-weapon from the Geonosian Archduke, Poggle The Lesser.
Star Wars: The Clone Wars – “Senate Murders”
Fire up your favorite Netflix device – it’s time for some Star Wars animation. When Padme goes before the senate on Coruscant to propose the motion to end clone production in an effort to seek a peaceful resolution to the Clone War, a fellow senator and close friend of Padme is murdered in order to influence the impending vote. Together with senators Mon Mothma and Bail Organa, Padme is determined to get to the bottom of her friend’s murder. Both Mothma and Organa will appear in Rogue One as leaders of the Rebellion. This episode features them in their days in the Republic Senate.
(from “Senate Murders”)
Mon Mothma: My dear, you were brilliant.
Padmé Amidala: Thank you. But perhaps we should wait till we actually win the vote before we make a victory speech.
Bail Organa: It’s been a difficult time. You’ve handled yourself well.
Padmé Amidala: I had to try. Ono believed if you see injustice, you can’t wait for someone else to fix it. You must stand up and get involved.
Star Wars: The Clone Wars – “The Citadel”
Star Wars: The Clone Wars – “Counterattack”
Star Wars: The Clone Wars – “Citadel Rescue”
These three episodes from the third season of The Clone Wars feature a rescue mission led by Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker to rescue fellow Jedi master Even Piell and Republic captain Wilhuff Tarkin, who are each carrying information vital to the Republic’s war effort. This story arc provides a nice little introduction to Tarkin, rival of Ben Mendelsohn’s Director Orson Krennic in Rogue One and future Grand Moff who will eventually oversee the operation of the Death Star.
Anakin Skywalker: You lack faith in the Jedi.
Tarkin: I find their tactics ineffective. The Jedi Code prevents them from going far enough to achieve victory, to do whatever it takes to win. The very reason why peacekeepers should not be leading a war. Have I… offended you?
Anakin Skywalker: No. I’ve also found that we sometimes fall short of victory because of our methods.
Tarkin: There. I see we agree on something.
Star Wars: The Clone Wars – “A War on Two Fronts”
Star Wars: The Clone Wars – “Front Runners”
Star Wars: The Clone Wars – “The Soft War”
Star Wars: The Clone Wars – “Tipping Points”
In Rogue One, Partisan leader Saw Gerrera (Forest Whitaker) takes the fight to the Empire, sometimes employing methods that other Rebellion leaders find to be a little extreme. These four episodes of the fifth season of The Clone Wars detail the backstory of Saw as he and Ahsoka Tano lead the people of his homeworld Onderon to victory over Separatist forces.
(from “The Soft War”)
“I’m not a terrorist. I’m a patriot. And resistance is not terrorism.”
– Saw Gerrera to General Tandin
Star Wars: The Clone Wars – “The Jedi Who Knew Too Much”
Star Wars: The Clone Wars – “To Catch a Jedi”
Star Wars: The Clone Wars – “The Wrong Jedi”
After being framed for crimes she didn’t commit, Ahsoka Tano is on the run. This story arc features more Wilhuff Tarkin, who has been promoted to Admiral since his rescue at the Citadel.
(from “The Wrong Jedi”)
“Former Padawan Tano, I shall prove that you were the mastermind behind the attack on the Jedi Temple. That once your accomplices carried out your orders, you eliminated them one by one. When you are found guilty, I ask the Court the full-extent of the law be brought down upon you, including penalty of death!”
– Tarkin to Ahsoka Tano
Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith
As the Clone War ends and Palpatine’s plan to rule the galaxy starts to take shape, the Jedi are branded as traitors to the Republic and are systematically executed. Remaining Jedi go into hiding and the Republic transitions into the First Galactic Empire. Anakin becomes Darth Vader and a brief cameo of the Death Star, along with the newly branded “Moff” (an Imperial title) Tarkin can be seen viewing the new battle station alongside Vader and the Emperor in the film’s final moments. The galaxy as it exists in Rogue One was birthed here.
Catalyst: A Rogue One Novel by James Luceno
Catalyst is a brand-new novel by author James Luceno and is a direct prequel to Rogue One, focusing on the parents of Jyn Erso (Felicity Jones), who is a small child in the book, and Imperial officer Orson Krennic. The secrets behind the Death Star’s construction are revealed in this book as well as introductions to some new characters in Rogue One. The book also features Tarkin and Saw Gerrera.
(excerpt from Catalyst by James Luceno)
Jyn watched them and listened. She didn’t know what the Empire was or who the Empire was, but Mama and Papa and Saw didn’t like it. In some way the Empire had made them leave behind all her toys and Mama’s and Papa’s clothes and other things. And Mac-Vee, too, who would have nothing to do without them there. But she felt warm and safe in Papa’s arms, and Saw was a new friend.
Tarkin by James Luceno
Chronologically following the events in Catalyst, Tarkin provides the back story for Grand Moff Tarkin. Sent on a special mission together by Palpatine, the story features the beginnings of the relationship between the Moff and Darth Vader, as they develop a mutual respect for one another.
(excerpt from Tarkin by James Luceno)
Tarkin didn’t always agree with Vader’s methods for dealing with those who opposed the Empire, but he held the Dark Lord in high esteem, and he hoped Vader felt the same toward him. Very early on in their partnership—soon after both had been introduced to the secret mobile battle station—Tarkin grew convinced that Vader knew him much better than he let on, and that behind the bulging lenses of his face mask, whatever remained of Vader’s human eyes regarded him with clear recognition.
More than anything else it was those initial feelings that had provided Tarkin with his first suspicion as to Vader’s identity. Later, observing the rapport the Dark Lord shared with the stormtroopers who supported him, and the technique he displayed in wielding his crimson lightsaber, Tarkin grew more and more convinced that his suspicions were right. Vader might very well be Jedi Knight Anakin Skywalker, whom Tarkin had fought beside during the Clone Wars, and for whom he had developed a grudging appreciation.
Star Wars: Rebels – “Call to Action”
Star Wars: Rebels – “Rebel Resolve”
Star Wars: Rebels – “Fire Across the Galaxy”
Just a few short years before Rogue One, Tarkin arrives to finally put an end to the rebel cell on Lothal that has been such a nuisance to the Imperials stationed on the planet.
(from “Call to Action”)
Tarkin: I actually knew the Jedi, not from the pages of folklore or children’s tales, but as flesh and blood. And do you know what happened to them?
Minister Tua: Well, there were rumors –
Tarkin: They died. Every last one of them. So you see, this criminal cannot be what he claims to be—and I shall prove it.
Star Wars: Rebels – “The Honorable Ones”
In this episode of Star Wars: Rebels Season 2, the crew find themselves at Geonosis, investigating a report from rebel intelligence that the Empire had been building a weapon from an orbital facility in the space above the ringed planet. Obvious to the viewer but not to the crew of the Ghost, the facility is none other than the construction site for the Death Star, although by this time, the super-weapon has been relocated and the rebels are left wondering what exactly the Empire was up to.
Adding even more to the mystery, the planet seems to be devoid of all life, after having been previously inhabited by billions of insect-like Geonosians. Later in the episode, ISB Agent Kallus also makes a reference to Saw Gerrera as he tells Zeb the story of how he obtained his bo-rifle from a Lasat warrior while stationed on Onderon.
(from “The Honorable Ones”)
Ezra: Rebel intelligence was right. The Empire was building something over Geonosis.
Sabine: Yeah, but what? I’ve never seen an orbital construction field this big.
Kanan: The Geonosians made weapons back in the Clone War. Whatever they were up to, I’m betting we’re not gonna like it.
Zeb: Must’ve been huge if they had to build it up here instead of down on the surface.
Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope
As Rogue One will directly tie-in to this film, giving this one a re-watch is a no-brainer. Be sure to take a couple hours next week to enjoy the classic that started it all. Don’t forget to read the opening crawl for Rogue One spoilers ;).
Also, be sure to check out the next episode of Star Wars: Rebels as it might possibly have some connections with the upcoming movie, although given the next episode’s focus on Ezra and Maul, any Rogue One tie-ins are probably more likely to happen in later episodes after the movie comes out. With just over a week to go, the excitement is through the atmosphere for the first ever standalone Star Wars movie.
As I plan to binge on these movies, episodes, and books over the next week, I know that many others will be doing similar things to get ready for the premiere. How do you plan to get ready for Rogue One? What will you watch? What will you read? Share your comments below.
(original title image from Geek and Sundry)
Jordan Pate is Co-Lead Editor and Senior Writer for Star Wars News Net, of which he is also a member of the book and comic review team. He loves all things Star Wars, but when he’s not spending time in the galaxy far far away, he might be found in our own galaxy hanging out in Gotham City or at 1407 Graymalkin Lane, Salem Center, NY.