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'Star Wars' Canon Vs. Legends: How Leia Obtained The Death Star Plans

by Culture Slate 8 months ago in star wars
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Two Sides Of The Same Coin

Things were bleak in the galaxy far, far away. Trillions of denizens were subjugated under the iron fist of the Galactic Empire, and the situation did not seem to be getting any better. The Empire had one more nightmarish trick up their sleeve. The Death Star, codenamed DS-1 Orbital Battle station, would be the culmination of Imperial might in the galaxy. As a demonstration of power, it had the sole purpose of obliterating those who dared to oppose the Empire. However, not all hope was lost. Against all odds, the Rebellion had secured secret plans for the battle station, which may hold the key to their victor.

Discussions throughout A New Hope beginning with the film’s title crawl alluded to how the plans made their way to Princess Leia. As the Star Wars saga grew, the circumstances changed. Disney’s divisive buyout of the franchise brought with it a new canon. The old Expanded Universe was rebranded as Legends. Both versions would deviate as the story progressed. The prequel trilogy had established that the earliest prototype for the Death Star was designed by the insectoid Geonosians. These plans were then handed off to Count Dooku, and ultimately ended up in the hands of his master Darth Sidious, the man who would become Emperor Palpatine. This was where the similarities stopped. The established canon and Legends would differ on what happened after the plans was firmly in the possession of the Empire, and how the Rebel Alliance acquired the plans.

RELATED: Everything You Need To Know About The Death Star

In the Legends timeline, several successful raids from various Rebel assets culminated in the Death Star plans finally being given to Princess Leia. The Empire broke down the development of the battle station into smaller projects across multiple research outposts throughout the Empire. This ensured that the Death Star plans were not located in one place. As such, the Rebel forces would have to hit all of these installations in order to obtain the full blueprint of the DS-1 Orbital Battle Station. The number of locations varied depending on what you consider to be valid sources in the Legends timeline. There were conflicting information among the Legends sources, but most pointed to pitched battles on the Imperial outposts. Each Rebel strike team barely succeeded in their mission. Many would fall to Imperial forces.

By piecing together these various fragments of the plan, the Rebel Alliance was able to construct a full readout of the station and compile it into one package to be delivered to the Rebel high command. From there, these schematics were analyzed for a weakness in the station if there even was one. Luck, or rather, the Force, was with the fledgling Rebellion and a weakness was found. All in all, the Legends version went a different direction than official canonical story.

The canon movie Rogue One would bring a different origin for the dreaded Death Star. The battle station was now the brainchild of Imperial scientist Galen Erso. Under the oversight of Director Orsan Krennic, only a single well-funded research team was responsible for the development of the closely guarded secret superweapon. While the project was still in its infancy, Erso became horrified by the station’s true purpose and abandoned the project. Unfortunately, he was eventually found and forced to return to the project. This was when he resolved to sabotage the super weapon in an effort to atone for his involvement and to spare the galaxy from its destructive potential.

Galen Erso’s efforts proved successful, and he was able to incorporate the station’s now infamous Achille’s Heel. With his work done, he sent a desperate message out to the Rebel Alliance via a like-minded Imperial cargo pilot. The Empire was working on an ultimate weapon, and only the Rebel Alliance could stop them. The rest of the story continued in Rogue One. In a last ditch suicide mission, a team making up of Erso’s daughter Jyn, Rebel Intelligence officer Cassian Andor, and K-2SO headed for the planet of Scarif, which housed the Imperial data archive, and more importantly, a complete technical blueprint of the Death Star. The team succeeded in transmitting the plans to the Tantive IV, at the cost of their own lives. The movie ended right where A New Hope began with Darth Vader and the Empire in hot pursuit of Princess Leia and the Tantive IV.

Both versions of the story had their own merits and ultimately arrived at the same conclusion. The Legends offered many branching narratives with the Rebels frantically assembling pieces of a larger puzzle. However, the new canon favored a simpler, more cohesive chain of events. Rogue One was much more concise. It opted to use the Death Star as a narrative tool to aid in telling the tragic story of the doomed characters. Whether you prefer the new canon or Legends, both never fail to deliver interesting stories of the galaxy far, far away.

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Written By Micah Mitchells

Source(s): Wookieepedia

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