Jyn Erso: So Much Potential, But…

I watched Rogue One again two weekends ago.  I really wish I could say that I came away from it better satisfied than the first viewing, and while there were parts that did not irk me as much (such as Darth Vader on Mustafar), I found that I still had major issues with Jyn.

The problems I have are not so much with her, but more with Disney and how they decided to create her character.  I read an article a few years ago when the Hunger Games first came out – critics, especially female critics, were using the Hunger Games as an example of how movies with female leads can crush the box office, despite the fact that Hollywood bigwigs thought that men in leading roles would do better (i.e. make more money).  Hunger Games really broke the mold when it came to the leading female in an action movie and I think we have seen a good amount of movies since then that also prove that.

But this line in one of the articles has stuck with me ever since.  The author said something along the lines of,

Do not write strong female characters.  Instead write characters for women. The strong aspect will fall into place if it’s necessary.

I wish I could remember the article and link back to it, but alas, that was five years ago.

The author was saying that if you focus too much on creating a physically strong character, that character will lack the depth that makes people attracted to movies to begin with.  When we look at Katniss, whom her article was based off of, we see a young woman whose strength comes out of necessity to keep her family safe.  She taught herself how to hunt with a bow and arrow so that she could sell her food on the black market and feed her family.  Her love for her sister is what pushes her to join the Hunger Games.  Her feelings for Peeta is what forces her to turn the games on its head at the last minute and best President Snow.  By creating these driving forces within her, a strong character was created.

This is my first problem with Jyn.  We don’t see any character to her.  And you guys can all preach to me as much as you want that there are more in the books, but if a movie is to be good, you shouldn’t need to read a book.

We know Jyn saw her mother die and her father taken hostage.  We eventually learn that she was raised by Saw.  But because she has no character depth, I don’t understand her motivations.  When she figures out that Cassian had orders to kill her father, she is upset.  She rages at Cassian.  This all makes sense…though Jyn lacks character, anyone can relate to losing a parent; especially in her situation where the loss was not ideal (is it ever an ideal situation?).  Yet within a few minutes, she has joined the Rebellion and trying to convince them to find the Death Star plans on Scarif. 

What?  You want to join the team that blatantly lied to your face about killing your father?  They said he would be unharmed but then Cassian was going to kill him?  You know Cassian didn’t think of that on his own, he pretty much implied he was under orders.  So let’s hold hands with the Rebellion and let bygones be bygones, right?  Phssshhhhh.

Those are my first problems in a nutshell.  I can’t understand Jyn’s motivations and she doesn’t seem to have much of a personality.  And of course I could read the book!  I know!  But if you think that, you’re missing the point.

Now we are onto the second, larger problem I have with Jyn and Disney’s writing of her/the movie.

Disney goes out to make this strong leading heroine (yay!)…but this strong, supposedly capable woman always gets rescued.

Okay read that again.

She. Always. Gets. Rescued.

I’m not sure why I missed this the first time I saw it in theaters.  But watching it again, I can count on my hand three major times that she gets rescued.

The first time is when she meets up with her old foster father, Saw.  He shows her the hologram of her father, Galen Erso, and she is spellbound.  She hasn’t seen her father in years and he’s all of a sudden there calling her by her nickname “Stardust” and telling her about plans to destroy the Death Star.  Meanwhile, the Empire decided to use that exact moment to blow up NiJedha/Holy City. She falls to her knees in shock as the cave begins to crumble…and who comes running around the corner?  Cassian.  Because Cassian got himself out of a cell on his own and ran to get her.  If not for Cassian, Jyn would have been dust and pieces just like Saw Gerrera.  I don’t remember Jyn getting herself out of a cell or handcuffs.  NiJedha/Holy City is exploding, the ceilings are caving in, and Jyn sits there looking at a blank hologram until Cassian forces her to move.

The second time, again, has to do with her father, Galen.  Galen is blown up/shot on Eadu where Jyn had been watching everything, hidden.  She runs to his side, to possibly save him if she can, while trying to hear his last words.  Meanwhile, Rebellion X-wings and TIE fighters are having a full on battle and she’s sitting on the most obvious place (a platform that awkwardly juts out) any X-wing would want to shoot down.

Oh and while she’s sitting there crying over her father, who comes to extract her from this dangerous situation?  I remember – Cassian!  That guy who always seems to be most helpful in these situations where Jyn has high odds of dying.

And then finally, the third time, which is sadly the most unforgiveable.  Jyn and Krennic are face-to-face on the top of the tower at Scarif.  He has a gun.  It’s pointed at her.  How in the world will she get out of this situation?  Hmmm…why not use her brains and figure a way out?  Or not.  Remember that guy Cassian I keep talking about?  He somehow regained consciousness from when he fell, climbed all the way up a tower, just in time to shoot Director Krennic so that Jyn can upload the plans.

If Jyn had managed to get herself out of other situations before, this last rescue would not be so challenging in my eyes.  But she didn’t and never will.

Here’s where I pick my other gripe with Disney.  This would not be as big of a problem if they did not surround Jyn with an all-male cast.  If Jyn was consistently rescued by another women, not only would it show amazing teamwork within females (I think Hollywood likes to pit us females against each other in a petty fashion a bit too much), it would show us that girls can get out of situations on their own.  I’m not saying the entire surrounding cast has to be women, but it would have been helpful to have Cassian be played by a woman.  His character is easily interchangeable with a female lead.

In my point of view, this is why Rey succeeded so well in The Force Awakens and why Jyn’s character was such a failure in Rogue One.  They made Rey a young woman that could fight, cry, laugh, and empathize with others.  They made a character who turned about to be strong.  With Jyn, we get almost the same character throughout the movie and who does not seem to be able to get herself out of tense situations.  She constantly needs to be rescued which does not look good for a female lead, especially one they are hyping up to be battle hardened and tough.  This time, Disney made a strong female without any character.

 

Do you agree or disagree with my rant?  Am I too narrow minded and missing something important that would change my entire argument?

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Third Times the Charm

(Please, please, please…if you have been reading all the spoilers on the internet – do not write about them here!  These are all my own theories and I want to be happily correct or incorrect WHEN I SEE THE MOVIE and not beforehand.  Thanks.)

Okay.  So.  This:

This happened last night.

These are my thoughts in no particular order and I am spoiler-free so these are all just MY theories:

  • The most obvious question on everyone’s mind is…where’s Luke?  He was not on the trailer poster released Sunday.  He had a voiceover in the 2nd trailer but it was revealed at Celebration that he recorded that later, so it may not be in the movie.  My theory is that Luke is missing or he’s locked himself away for some reason and the plot revolves around finding him.  I do not think he plays a large part in this movie.
  • Rey is crying and it looks like she’s crying over a body (possibly dead?).  I believe she’s crying because Han dies.  I’ve believed from day one that Han will die in this movie only because it took a lot of convincing, and money, to get Ford to come back to Star Wars.  I think for that reason alone, his dragging feet, he will be written out of the story line.
  • L. Palmer refers to Poe Dameron giving Finn a “bro slap” when he goes off to his x-wing…but I kind of interpreted it differently.  I’m not sure that looks friendly to me, nor do I think Finn thinks it’s friendly.  He looks a little thoughtful and definitely not happy after Dameron walks away.  It could just be that they’re heading into battle so everything is serious, but I’m curious.
  • And speaking of Dameron…dude what are you doing hanging out with Kylo?  What is that all about?  There has been so much speculation since character names were announced that Poe is evil because of his name but I’m not seeing any evidence of that – until now when he’s chilling with Kylo.  Okay, he looks like he’s in a lot of stress and may be getting tortured, but he’s still with him.  finn gif tfa
  • Rey’s accent is English, Finn’s is American.  I was sure, and still am leaning towards, that Rey is the daughter of Han and Leia.  I also have this wild theory that Kylo and Rey are siblings (maybe twins) and she’s hiding from him on Jakku (which I believe is actually Tatooine, but renamed after the Empire fell because it’s WAY too similar to Tatooine and we go to Tatooine in the first movie of both trilogies).  That could be why she’s trying to be “no one”.  Maybe she doesn’t want Kylo to know where she is.  Not sure how all this ties into my theory of her being Han and Leia’s daughter unless she got hidden at birth (like some other twins we know!!).
  • Kylo Ren wants to finish what Vader started.  What the heck did he start?
  • Nice juxtaposition in the trailer of Finn being aimless versus Kylo who seems to have a very clear direction.
  • Kylo will whoop Finn’s butt in the lightsaber battle at the end.  Finn looks nervous and not confident at all.  Maybe this is where Luke comes in and saves the day?  That would be awesome.
  • How does Finn get the lightsaber?  It sounds like, from all the trailers and the title, that the Force can “awaken” in you if you know how to let it in or let it emerge.  So does this get rid of the notion from the Prequels that you are either born with the Force or not born with the Force?  That’s a lot to erase from something that is officially canon…
  • Not sure if anyone has noticed over the trailers and the cool San Diego Comic Con clip that was released – Finn and Dameron share/switch jackets.  To me, it looks like the jacket belonged to Dameron, maybe Finn helped rescue him, and gets the jacket from him?  I only say this because of that brief, split second clip from SDCC when we see Poe being hurtled off in Starkiller Base (or a Star Destroyer) by two stormtroopers and he’s wearing the leather jacket.  Perhaps Finn is one of the troopers leading him away?
  • I think it might be Lupita/Maz doing the majority of the voiceover in this trailer.  “Who are you?…The Force…it’s calling to you.  Just let it in.”
  • It’s kind of cool to see how Han did a 180 from ANH to this trailer.  Now he believes in Jedi vs. telling Obi-Wan to shut up on his nonsense.
  • Lots of other Kylo Ren peeps standing around Kylo Ren…probably the Knights of Ren we’ve been hearing about.  But why don’t they get lightsabers?
  • Anyone see the cool Mandalorian skull on the flags around that temple?  Also, a droid!  JJ is not completely ignoring the Prequels!  It definitely looks more Prequel than OT.
  • Did you notice BB-8 is all over the place?  He’s with Rey, Finn, and Poe during this trailer.  Which makes me think that maybe he doesn’t really “belong” to anyone, or he plays a more pivotal role that any of us suspect.
  • I hate the name Captain Phasma, but she’s starting to grow on me because she looks BAD ASS.  Bring it.
  • Another trench on Starkiller Base.  Another blowing up of a gigantic battle station?  Please no.  Let’s try to be more original.

And finally, here is what I think the timeline of events is based on the trailers:

Dameron gets captured by the First Order.  Finn is a stormtrooper, has a change of heart, rescues him. Gets in trouble, rey the force awakens with bb8escapes via TIE and the Star Destroyer shoots it down.  He ends up on Jakkooine (my friend’s and I term for Jakku) and meets Rey. He’s a wanted man so they escape on the Falcon (still hazy on how she ends up with the Falcon other than she has been repairing it in her junkyard? Maybe?) to the Resistance.  Somehow they have to go find Luke because Kylo and his Knights of Ren are being talked about.  Finn and Han go to find Luke.  End up at a temple where maybe Maz or Luke is.  Finn gets a lightsaber.  No idea what happens to Rey.  There is a climatic battle at the end where Finn ends up facing Kylo, Han dies, Poe blows up battle station (boo).

As you can see, lots of holes!  But that’s my basic prediction…and I’ve got less than two months until I find out!

I got 7:00pm Imax tickets for December 17th.  Woot.  Excited.

WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS??  SHARE!

Final Analysis on the The Force Awakens Teaser Trailer

So we all watched it last week and had a great discussion about what the heck is possibly going on in The Force Awakens.

I thought that since it’s been a week, now is a good time to organize my thoughts, excitement, and speculations and write everything down.  It will be fun to come back in a year-ish and see which of my predictions were right, and which were wrong.

Overall, I liked the trailer.  I’ve heard complaints that people wanted to see the original cast back, but I’ve said from the beginning that I really wanted them to focus on the new cast and give a fresh look to Star Wars.  They did that with the trailer and I’m happy about that.

I was also happy at just how much of a tease it was.  So many questions left unanswered and so many theories now in place.

This is a looooooooooooong blog post, mostly for my own reference next year, but if you’re a die-hard Star Wars fan, then plow ahead.  (Oh wait, that’s all of you)

******

Trailer fades in and all we hear is,

There has been an awakening.  Have you felt it?

I spent a long time trying to figure out the voice.  My first thought was Andy Serkis, and then I completely wiped that from my mind and I swore it was Benedict Cumberbatch, despite his denial that he’s in VII.  I thought maybe he wasn’t appearing in VII, but his voice was there…mysterious and elusive and he will appear in person in VIII and IX.  I was completely wrong (but originally right) because Andy Serkis confirmed he’s the voice.

THEN BAM!  Up pops John Boyega in a stormtrooper outfit on a desert planet.

john boyega

Boyega: My first gut reaction is that he’s on Tatooine.  I still believe that because it would be a nice way to tie all the trilogies together.  We visit Tatooine in the first movie of each trilogy (ANH and TPM) so I think it would be appropriate to also see it in TFA.  Will the main star come from Tatooine like Anakin and Luke did?

Most interesting is that Boyega is in the stormtrooper outfit with his helmet off.  When have we ever seen that with a stormtrooper?  Never.  We’ve seen it with clonetroopers, but not stormtroopers.  He also looks paranoid, frightened, and is definitely out of breath.  Why the urgency?  What’s going on here?

Is there significance with the way he pops up after the voice over mentions “the awakening”?  Could Boyega’s character randomly have the Force awakened in him?  We’ve thought that the Force is with someone from their birth and it doesn’t awaken out of the blue.  In a sense, it awakened with Luke when Obi-Wan began his training, so perhaps that is the case with Boyega’s character, though the voice over suggests otherwise.

ezra and zare

Ezra and Zare

My final thought on this shot is my grand revelation I had last Friday that Boyega is actually the stormtrooper that Ezra met in the Star Wars Rebels episode “Breaking Ranks”.  If so, his character name would be Zare Leonis and he infiltrated the Imperial Academy in search of his missing sister.  When Ezra escapes, Zare decides to stay to continue his personal mission.  Disney and LFL said that they wanted to start tying the canon together more with the books, shows, and movies.  If my theory is correct, this could be step in the right direction.  Perhaps we will never see Zare again in SWR, but his storyline will be revealed in TFA.  It could also explain why perhaps he’s on the run in this episode.  Maybe he’s escaping the Empire (finally).

On top of that, what if his sister is played by Lupita Nyong’o?  We don’t see her character at all in this trailer, but they gave Zare’s sister a name in SWR (Dhara) and why do that with no intention of ever bringing the storyline back?

It might be a bit of a stretch though, since Boyega himself is 22 years old.  But Nyong’o is 31 so it could work…maybe…?

As we transition to the next scene, you can faintly hear a probe droid, so it reaffirms the fact that he could be on the run.

Soccer ball droid: Your guess is as good as mine.  No idea how that droid would function, what it was there for, or if it was even important.  I checked through the Prequels trailers and they did have some random shots of ships that really had no real bearing on the story.  So maybe that was the case with soccer ball droid, or maybe it does mean something.  The only thing I saw of significance was the junk it was rolling past.  Looks a lot like podracers to me…

soccer ball droid

Empire:  Stormtroopers in garish, flashing light.  Oh, and isn’t one a little short for a stormtrooper?  Could that be John Boyega again?  So we know stormtroopers = Empire, so it brings us to the question…did the Rebellion not destroy the Empire in ROTJ?  Is it still alive and well?  And look at the helmets!  Different, but similar.

stormtroopers tfa

There are also rumblings online that they could be in an Imperial Troop Transport.  Apparently Kenner released a toy of them but no one has actually seen them on film (It was in SWR though).  So is that true and it’s making it’s first movie appearance?  If you see the quick shot, it also looks like the stormtroopers have new-ish blasters as well.

And then we see their feet and it looks like they are about to descend into the night.  But where?  What planet?  There are lights, not natural lights, when you look into the night as the ship opens.  The dots of white and red make me think it’s some kind of civilization where they may be going to attack.

Ridley: Daisy Ridley!  Wooo.  She jumps on some sort of speeder, that kind of looks like a cross between an AA-9 Coruscant Freighter and podracer, but different.  And yet, did anyone else feel like it was eerily similar?  Like I had seen it before?

But let me just say this was my FAVORITE scene.  It was so reminiscent of Leia on Endor that my heart sang.  The outfit was even similar to what the Rebels wore on Endor with the over-the-shoulders slouch look.

There has been a lot of speculation on the fact that she had some sort of spear and/or lightsaber right next to her when she jumped on, but then it wasn’t there when she was flying away.  I also noticed that.  Look:

The hilt definitely looks like a lightsaber, but the blade somehow encased or contained?  Why is it missing in the next scene?  Honestly, I think it was a mistake by the editors.  They aren’t even close to done with the film and they probably have a bunch of different shots, some with that lightsaber thing and some without.  Abrams probably didn’t want us seeing it and getting too much information so he didn’t want it in the scene.  You know what…I have no idea, but I really think it was a mistake.

And she, like Boyega, looks like she is running from something and is slightly nervous.  As she speeds off into the distance, we see her going towards something that looks almost like the junk we saw in the background of the soccer ball droid.  Is it the same place?

X-Wings: Woooo!  X-Wings are back and Oscar Isaac is at the helm.  And notice guys…notice….the Rebel Insignia!!!  I had had moments of fear that they would completely change it and then my tattoo would be a remnant of a lost time, but nope.  Loud and proud on his helmet AND his fighter uniform.  Also, remember how I mentioned a year ago that most of the Insignia’s were actually a dark blue, not the red we always place with them?  Looks like Abrams remembers that too since the one on his uniform is the dark blue, though the one on the helmet is red.

oscar isaacs x wing

But of course that brings up the recurring question AGAIN…are we still fighting the Empire?  Still?  WHAT DOES THIS ALL MEAN?

xwings over waterThe X-wings fly over the water, which I actually could not figure out was water at first, silly me.  Just from the lighting, I thought it was actually Hoth again and they were flying over ice the first two times I watched it.  Beautiful shots though, right?  I love the artistry so far.  However…this scene actually makes me think it might be a closing scene of the movie.  Something about the lighting and the way there are three going into battle.  Will it be a final battle over the water?  THAT would be different!

Sith:  Okay, the big question.  All over the internet and TV, I’ve seen people dissecting this blade and the big question, “Who is that?”

First, we’ll talk about the blade.  I kind of like it.   The pulsing, unclean cut to it makes me think of something new sith crossguard lightsaberunfinished.  Perhaps due to the Sith (supposedly) being wiped out, this person had to create a lightsaber based on what they researched.  And this is what it is?

But what about those little blades coming out and making it seem like a cross guard?  I’ve read so much from people who think it’s stupid (what if your hand slips?) to people who think it’s practical as it will stop another lightsaber from chopping off your hand (that happens a lot, it seems).  I think…meh.  Don’t really like it actually.  I like the unfinished look of the blade, just not the cross guards.

As for who it is – I really, really want it to be Gwendoline Christie.  Really badly.  I’d love to think that the fact they were hiding the person was because we are finally, FINALLY get a female Sith.

Logic is pointing to Adam Driver because ever since he was cast he has been attached with the Sith rumor.  Some fans believe it could even be Luke due to the fact that they think this person’s right hand/arm is thicker than the other so perhaps it’s a bionic hand in there.  I disagree.  The gait of the villain (if it is a villain) seemed to be of a younger person.  And a very tall person at that.  Christie and Driver come in at 6’3” and Hamill comes in at 5’9”.

The voice returns.

The dark side.

And the light.

And then YAY IT’S THE FALCON.  Who got goosebumps then?  I certainly did.  The effect of it turning around and we’re following it upside down at this crazy angle and then there are TIE Fighters coming at you…MAGIC.  Loved it.  Second favorite moment for me, for sure.  And with the theme blaring in the background.  Happiness.  Pure happiness.

Falcon and TIEs

Again though, why the TIEs?  The Empire is somehow back in this movie.  Another desert planet, but this whole time we have not seen any sign of twin suns so we can’t confirm it’s Tatooine.   The Falcon also has a rectangular dish on it, no longer a circular one because if you remember, it got knocked off on the second Death Star run.

*****

The only question left for me at the end, on which I have no real theories on, is the voice.  Serkis’ overarching voice gave us a narrative that seems most unusual for Star Wars.  What character is that?  It seemed a little too neutral to me.  Are they good or bad?  Do they play a big role or are they, like my original theory on Cumberbatch, elusive for the first movie?

Time will tell, but for now, I’m pumped, excited, and can’t wait for the next trailer, much less the actual movie a year from now.

Scene it on Friday – ANH Scene #72

Scene it on Friday – ANH Scene #72

Now this is podracing!  …oops.  What I meant was: Now that’s how you write an action scene!

Wow, I can’t believe that while I was reading this, I was actually completely enthralled.  I kept reading the next line thinking “What happens next?” even though my brain knows what happens next.  It’s completely different reading this versus watching it.

When you watch this as a movie, there is so much to take in at once.  We have the Death Star scenes with Tarkin, the War Room scenes with Leia, et al, looking tense, and then we have the battle above the Death Star with Luke, Biggs, and Wedge.  It goes by so fast and that’s the beauty of it because it keeps us on the edge of our seats.  However, when it goes by that fast, you miss a lot.

The great thing about reading through this scene is all the minor little details that my brain takes in as second nature when watching, but I never really thought had to be put into writing.  Lines like “Luke’s targeting device marks off the distance to the target,” and “Vader adjusts his control stick.”  I mean – of course I remember that scene with Vader adjusting the control stick.  I always thought that it looked like he was unscrewing a soda to take a swig in the middle of the battle.  That would have been a good Coca-Cola commercial.

“Right when things feel like they can’t get any more crazy…” pan to Vader in the TIE Fighter taking a swig of Coca-Cola, “…you remember you have a Coke in your cockpit.” *commence jingle* “Life tastes good – Coca-Cola.”

I digress yet again.

Has anyone listened to the soundtrack of ANH and the actual piece of this song?  Listening to the track is pretty boring.  It serves well in the movie because it’s subtle enough that you pay attention to the action but it also heightens the scene enough to build tension.  However, if I remember correctly, the track is about 13 minutes long or something ridiculous with a lot of it just being cymbals and drums.   In the beginning and end, they have the nice brass instruments that Williams loved so much in ANH, but it’s definitely not prevalent.

Whatever happens to Dodonna in the rest of the movies?  No, I refuse to look at Wookiepedia for this answer.  I’m fine not knowing.

(One small minor tangent – I guess I am a little confused on how this is one whole scene, but I don’t know much about film.)

Princess leia war room ANH

INTERIOR: DEATH STAR.

Grand Moff Tarkin casts a sinister eye at the computer screen.

DEATH STAR INTERCOM VOICE: Rebel base, one minute and closing.

INTERIOR: MASSASSI OUTPOST — WAR ROOM.

Dodonna and Princess Leia, with Threepio beside them, listen intently to the talk between the pilots. The room is grim after Red Leader’s death. Princess Leia nervously paces the room.

LUKE: (over speaker) Biggs, Wedge, let’s close it up. We’re going in.  We’re going in full throttle.

INTERIOR: WEDGE’S COCKPIT.

The horizon twists as Wedge begins to pull out.

WEDGE: Right with you, boss.

EXTERIOR: SPACE AROUND THE DEATH STAR.

The two X-wings peel off against a background of stars and dive toward the Death Star.

INTERIOR: BIGGS’ COCKPIT.

BIGGS: Luke, at that speed will you be able to pull out in time?

INTERIOR: LUKE’S X-WING FIGHTER — COCKPIT.

LUKE: It’ll be just like Beggar’s Canyon back home.

EXTERIOR: SPACE AROUND THE DEATH STAR.

The three X-wings move in, unleashing a barrage of laserfire.  Laserbolts are returned from the Death Star.

INTERIOR: BIGGS’ COCKPIT.

Luke’s lifelong friend struggles with his controls.

BIGGS: We’ll stay back far enough to cover you.

INTERIOR: LUKE’S COCKPIT.

Flak and laserbolts flash outside Luke’s cockpit window.

WEDGE: (over headset) My scope shows the tower, but I can’t see the exhaust port! Are you sure the computer can hit it?

EXTERIOR: DEATH STAR — GUN EMPLACEMENTS.

The Death Star laser cannon slowly rotates as it shoots laserbolts.

INTERIOR: LUKE’S X-WING FIGHTER — COCKPIT.

Luke looks around for the Imperial TIE fighters. He thinks for a moment and then moves his targeting device into position.

LUKE: Watch yourself! Increase speed full throttle!

INTERIOR: WEDGE’S COCKPIT.

Wedge looks excitedly about for any sign of the TIE fighters.

WEDGE: What about the tower?

INTERIOR: LUKE’S X-WING FIGHTER — COCKPIT.

LUKE: You worry about those fighters! I’ll worry about the tower!

EXTERIOR: DEATH STAR SURFACE.

Luke’s X-wing streaks through the trench, firing lasers.

INTERIOR: LUKE’S X-WING FIGHTER — COCKPIT.

Luke breaks into a nervous sweat as the laserfire is returned, knicking one of his wings close to the engine.

LUKE: (to Artoo) Artoo…that, that stabilizer’s broken loose again! See if you can’t lock it down!

EXTERIOR: LUKE’S X-WING FIGHTER.

Artoo works to repair the damages. The canyon wall rushes by in the background, making his delicate task seem even more precarious.

EXTERIOR: DEATH STAR.

Two laser cannons are firing on the Rebel fighters.

INTERIOR: WEDGE’S COCKPIT.

Wedge looks up and sees the TIE ships.

INTERIOR: LUKE’S X-WING FIGHTER — COCKPIT.

Luke’s targeting device marks off the distance to the target.

EXTERIOR: SPACE AROUND THE DEATH STAR.

Vader and his wingmen zoom closer.

INTERIOR: DARTH VADER’S COCKPIT.

Vader adjusts his controls and fires laserbolts at two X-wings flying down the trench. He scores a direct hit on Wedge.

INTERIOR: MASSASSI OUTPOST — WAR ROOM.

Leia and the others are grouped around the computer board.

WEDGE: (over speaker) I’m hit! I can’t stay with you.

LUKE: (over speaker) Get clear, Wedge.

INTERIOR: LUKE’S X-WING FIGHTER — COCKPIT.

LUKE: You can’t do any more good back there!

INTERIOR: WEDGE’S COCKPIT.

WEDGE: Sorry!

EXTERIOR: SPACE AROUND THE DEATH STAR.

Wedge pulls his crippled X-wing back away from the battle.

INTERIOR: DARTH VADER’S COCKPIT.

Vader watches the escape but issues a command to his wingmen.

VADER: Let him go! Stay on the leader!

EXTERIOR: SPACE AROUND THE DEATH STAR.

Luke’s X-wing speeds down the trench; the three TIE fighters, still in perfect unbroken formation, tail close behind.

INTERIOR: BIGGS’ COCKPIT.

Biggs looks around at the TIE fighters. He is worried.

BIGGS: Hurry, Luke, they’re coming in much faster this time. I can’t hold them!

EXTERIOR: SPACE AROUND THE DEATH STAR.

The three TIE fighters move ever closer, closing in on Luke and Biggs.

INTERIOR: LUKE’S X-WING FIGHTER — COCKPIT.

Luke looks back anxiously at little Artoo.

LUKE: Artoo, try and increase the power!

EXTERIOR: LUKE’S X-WING FIGHTER.

Ignoring the bumpy ride, flak, and lasers, a beeping Artoo-Detoo struggles to increase the power, his dome turning from side to side.

EXTERIOR: SPACE AROUND THE DEATH STAR.

Stealthily, the TIE formation creeps closer.

INTERIOR: DARTH VADER’S COCKPIT.

Vader adjusts his control stick.

INTERIOR: BIGGS’ COCKPIT.

Biggs looks around at the TIE fighters.

INTERIOR: LUKE’S X-WING FIGHTER.

Luke looks into his targeting device. He moves it away for a moment and ponders its use. He looks back into the computer targeter.

BIGGS: (over headset) Hurry up, Luke!

EXTERIOR: SPACE AROUND THE DEATH STAR.

Vader and his wingmen race through the Death Star trench. Biggs moves in to cover for Luke, but Vader gains on him.

INTERIOR: BIGGS’ COCKPIT.

Biggs sees the TIE fighter aiming at him.

BIGGS: Wait!

INTERIOR: DARTH VADER’S COCKPIT.

Vader squeezes the fire button on his controls.

INTERIOR: BIGGS’ COCKPIT.

Biggs’ cockpit explodes around him, lighting him in red.

EXTERIOR: SURFACE OF THE DEATH STAR.

Biggs’ ship bursts into a million flaming bits and scatters across the surface.

INTERIOR: MASSASSI OUTPOST — WAR ROOM.

Leia and the others stare at the computer board.

INTERIOR: LUKE’S X-WING COCKPIT.

Luke is stunned by Biggs’ death. His eyes are watering, but his anger is also growing.