Follow the Yellow Brick Rogue, Or: How the Rogue One Crew Mirrors the Wizard of Oz

from The Wizard of Oz

Krennic, Death Troopers, and AT-ACTs, oh my! “So, it’s been over two months since Rogue One debuted in theaters, Bryan, shouldn’t you be talking about The Last Jedi?!?!” Fie on that, I say! Rogue One deserves more written commentary! Exclamation points! Okay, anyway, yes, I am writing about Rogue One again because I think it’s a fantastic movie and, in thinking about it quite a bit for the last two months, I’ve come up with what I think is an interesting correlation between the characters that make up the “main” crew and those in The Wizard of Oz that go “off to see the Wizard.” Have I gone completely mad? Probably, but you’ll have to read on to be sure…


from The Wizard of Oz

“If I only had a brain”…I could make my own decisions, not just complete all my missions, “if I only had a brain”…that’s right, the one and only Cassian Andor is my Scarecrow because, throughout the story, he goes from being a “brainless” grunt that just follows orders to someone who makes decisions based on what he thinks is right. It’s actually somewhat ironic that Cassian’s reprogrammed droid sidekick, K-2SO, has about the same ability to think for himself as Cassian does. There’s no better example of his brainlessness than when, after everything that happened on Jedha, being surrounded with the sadness and even having the information Jyn’s passed along, he still gets his orders to carry out his mission to kill Galen Erso and is intent on blindly following them…it isn’t until he has his target in his sights that he starts to have second thoughts…though, honestly, if a good shot had been available earlier on, before his “new brain” started engaging, he probably would have completed his mission and never received said “new brain.” Once he has it, however, he’s able to use it to rally other fighters to Jyn’s cause and go from taking orders to inspiring others to disobey orders to do what’s in the best interest of the Alliance, and the galaxy at large…

Tin Man

from The Wizard of Oz

For the Tin Man, I have to pick none other than the actual metal man, K-2SO! Except, no, I don’t. Sure, I could, K-2 does sort of get a heart toward the end, but he was really never “heartless” during the movie, just snarky, plus he’s “programmed” and doesn’t really have the autonomy to change that much. So, instead, I give the role of the Tin Man to my main man Baze Malbus. You see, I think you can easily state that Baze lost his heart when he threw away his devotion for the Guardians of the Whills. When we meet him in Rogue One, it’s as if he doesn’t care about anything but Chirrut and what’s happened to their home, and, instead of finding a measure of solace in whatever kind of connection to the Force the Guardians have, he tosses it aside because it was a useless endeavor that didn’t prevent the terrible things that happened to Jedha. I think this is a notion that a lot of people can find familiar, whether it be as similar as a religion letting them down so they denounce their faith, or maybe a diet or exercise plan not working out how they’d hoped so they give up. It’s a relatable feeling…but then we see Baze start to come around, not necessarily back to his devotion to the Guardians, but he starts to care more, especially about Jyn and her purpose. Towards the end, we see Baze fully embrace his connection to the Force and his devotion to the Guardians of the Whills after having his moment with his dying companion. He gets his heart back…and uses it to go on a Death Trooper rampage before reuniting with Chirrut in the Force…


from The Wizard of Oz

Jyn, you’re not on Wobani anymore…okay, I know it’s obvious to relate Jyn to Dorothy since they’re both the only females involved in either group, but the similarities go much deeper than that:  first and foremost, they’re both looking to go home. Dorothy wants to escape the strange, magical world of Oz, and Jyn is trying (after some rough persuasion) to get to the closest thing she has left to home, her father. And more to that point, the path to her “real” home goes through her once-substitute-home of Saw’s crew on Jedha. Secondly, Dorothy, though thoroughly embroiled in her own plight to leave Oz, has no trouble not only stopping to help those in need, but offering them a place in her cadre of Wizard-seekers. Jyn, though she tries to come off as the hardened loner that only cares for herself, also shares Dorothy’s more selfless trait. We first see evidence of this on Jedha when she saves the little girl from being caught in the crossfire between Saw’s rebels and their Imperial oppressors. Additionally, Jyn’s kind nature and exuberant passion lead her to collecting her own cadre of “planet-killer” warriors…which brings us to:  thirdly, both Jyn and Dorothy’s paths home lead them to acquiring all manner of tag-along companions that help each of them in their journeys. Unfortunately for Jyn, though, her “there’s no place like home” moment is stolen away and has to be re-imagined as going on to fulfill her father’s (her home’s) dying wish, to destroy the Death Star. A feat that she does accomplish (well, she accomplishes the feat that leads to the accomplishment of said destruction) right before the screen fades to white…but, Jyn doesn’t get to wake up from a dream like Dorothy does, instead she gets to sleep forever…

Cowardly Lion

from The Wizard of Oz

This one’s the most obvious…you get it yet? No? Well, it’s Bodhi Rook, of course! This choice is interesting because Bodhi gets his first dose of courage off-screen when he consorts with Galen and agrees to defect and take Galen’s message to Saw. Then, in a “no good deed goes unpunished” sort of way, he’s made to suffer for his choice and subjected to Bor Gullet, an act that seems to strip him of whatever courage he’d gained previously, as well as almost stripping him of everything that makes him who he is…it’s not until Cassian calls him the pilot that his mind starts to come back, but he’s still that sort of scared, diminutive character for most of the rest of the movie…that is until they get to the surface of Scarif and need someone who’s tech savvy to tap into the Imperial communications to get a message to the fleet that they need to take out the shield in order for them to send the plans; then, after some apprehension, Bodhi manages to come through, facing his fears and enemy fire to get the link established. Now, I think everyone involved has an important role to play in the eventual outcome of the Rebellion getting plans, but imagine if Bodha hadn’t found his courage and never managed to get word to the fleet that the shield needed to be priority one…they’d been testing its strength and finding it too strong to break through with conventional methods, so they probably would have given up that venture to perhaps focus fire on the Star Destroyers or take out more TIEs…who knows? We don’t have to worry about that, though, because our Cowardly Lion gained his courage and made it happen…and then, once again, got punished for his good deed…

So what do you think about that? Pretty clever, insightful stuff if you ask me…which you might have, I don’t know, I can’t hear you…anyway, yeah, so what other characters from The Wizard of Oz connect with characters from Rogue One? I kind of see Galen as the Wizard…maybe Krennic as the Wicked Witch, with his Death Troopers as the weird flying monkey things…but enough about me, what about you? Is my interpretation spot on and couldn’t have been better (probably, yes, I am pretty good…), or would you have changed things up? If so, what’s your list look like? And what about connections with other movies? Could you do the same thing with, say, Oceans Eleven? Let your thoughts roll around your noggin for a while then, if you’re up to it, leave a comment and we’ll carry on the discussion, otherwise, just keep it head canon, but, either way, may the Force be with you…


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