So, if you’ve been keeping up with my musings on Rogue One (which you should…in my humble opinion, anyway), you know that I went into December thinking K-2SO would be my favorite Star Wars newcomer…well, I wasn’t exactly wrong, per se, I think it’s fair to say that, as of this moment, K-2SO is now my favorite droid in Star Wars, but he didn’t end up being my favorite newcomer after all…that title goes to one Baze Malbus, the realistic, modern brawn to Chirrut Îmwe’s more antiquated, spiritual brains (though Chirrut certainly brought a good bit of brawn to the party as well). Though not featured as prominently as, if you ask me, any of the other members of the main group, Baze makes his screen-time count by delivering some great lines and by flawlessly executing the best scene in the movie: avenging Chirrut’s death by decimating the Death Troopers before joining his dear friend in the Force…that’s my favorite scene from Rogue One, and that’s all I have to say about it, so, thanks for reading, hope you come back for more! No, I’m just kidding, I didn’t leave you hanging, there’s more, c’mon!
An Angry Man
Before we jump into the scene in question, let’s spend some time exploring why it has such an effect on me, huh? (Well, you don’t really get a say in the matter, but I’m going to pretend you replied with a resounding “yes!”) At first glance, Baze seems like the little more than the grumpy sidekick of the initially vastly more interesting Chirrut, but it’s context clues that really bring Baze to life…that and his impressive skill with his repeating cannons, which is as much a joy to witness as Chirrut’s blind martial arts (all awe and respect to Ip Man, though, don’t get me wrong). I like that Baze and Chirrut represent a sort of yin and yang of devout men who have been essentially robbed of everything they held dear: Chirrut holds fast to his beliefs, while Baze, conversely, sheds his Guardian of the Whills persona for that of an angry nonbeliever. I can fully identify with Baze’s attitude; I’m sure that’s exactly how I’d feel. If I gave not just my time and energy to a cause, but myself, only to watch it come completely undone, I’d be distraught, vehement, vengeful, and ready to throw away all the now-worthless ideals I’d once held in such esteem I’d given up everything for them. I would need someone like Chirrut there to keep me from going cannons blazing into the heart of the Empire that ruined my life, set to enact as much of my pent up vengeance on them before, undoubtedly, losing the one thing I had left…and such is the yin and yang: Chirrut’s unwavering calm holds Baze’s substantial anger in check, while Baze’s devotion to his friend keeps Chirrut from fulling giving in to the will of the Force…
A Loving Heart
One of my favorite lines in all of Rogue One occurs when Baze turns to Jyn and says, simply, “good luck, little sister.”It’s a such a short, blink-and-you’ll-miss-it moment, but says so much about Baze’s character: just like many religions believe humans are all “God’s children,” thus siblings through their religious beliefs, Baze is showing here that he’s remained true, in some degree, to his spiritual belief in the Force, or that he’s beginning to come back around because he’s found something that’s reinvigorated the passion that’d been all but extinguished even before the destruction of the holy city. We have tons of evidence that Baze and Chirrut are close like brothers, be they brothers in arms or former brothers in the Guardians of the Whills, but this line shows that his heart is open – it shows that he’s bought in on Jyn’s mission, that he’s accepted her as a sister in spirit and isn’t just doing this to protect Chirrut. In terms of the larger Star Wars story, it hearkens back to Obi-wan calling Anakin his brother, while making me wonder if inquisitors aren’t considered siblings in the dark side, explaining why they refer to each other as numerical brothers and sisters. I bet you had no idea you could get so much from such a simple line, huh? (If you did, we should talk because, you know, great minds and all that.)
One with the Force
As I mentioned, my favorite scene in Rogue One begins just after Chirrut uses the Force shield he created with his mantra to flip the master switch. With his mission completed successfully, the shield fades, Chirrut is gunned down, and a simultaneously enraged and distraught Baze rushes to his companion’s side. He arrives in time to be assured that wherever Baze finds the Force, he will find Chirrut. It reminded me of Yoda’s speech to Anakin about death and the Force: “Death is a natural part of life. Rejoice for those around you who transform into the Force. Mourn them do not. Miss them do not.” It’s a similar notion that many real-world religions preach concerning the afterlife, though instead of going to a place, like heaven for example, you become part of the Force and are simply everywhere. At this moment, the once devout Baze reaches deep into himself to uncork the fountain of belief he’d been suppressing and, with his fallen friend’s mantra on his lips, begins delivering righteous retribution on the Death Troopers that claimed Chirrut’s life. He becomes a one-man wrecking machine. He takes fire, but presses on, and, when the deed is done but he notices an explosive is about to take his life, Baze looks back to Chirrut (who I think appears to be smiling) and readies himself to rejoin his fellow Guardian in the Force. It’s such a beautiful, powerful, emotional scene. I cry every time I see it, but not exactly out of sadness, more out of the need for some sort of avenue for all the various feels to escape. It might not be the best or most pivotal scene in the movie, but it’s definitely my favorite.
And grass…tastes bad…yeah…(again, watch Rick & Morty) Anyway, I thought Rogue One was a terrific movie without factoring in the Star Wars universe, but once you add that in it quickly becomes a fast favorite (I’m not going to rank them, though, that’s like trying to pick a favorite pet or child…even if you can, you shouldn’t). I was sort of on the fence about getting too excited about the upcoming anthology films, but with the success of Rogue One all that’s out the window and my expectations for the Han Solo movie are through the roof and into the atmosphere. I’m also really looking forward to seeing what other stories they’ll end up exploring on film in the future. I’ve said this a over the past few years (as basically every other Star Wars fan has), but it’s an amazing time to be a Star Wars fan…so, go read the rest of the ComLINKS and see what scenes other people picked, leave comments to share your thoughts, and/or write up a little something about your own favorite scene and add it to the list. I look forward to hearing what you and other people have to say, and I look forward to watching Rogue One again because every viewing begs for the next…now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to continue prepping for my new, upcoming podcast (oh yeah, shameless self-promotion)…may the Force of others be with you…