About that “secret Imperial research base” on Jakku…

Greetings Star Wars fans! Well, I must say for the most part things are a little quiet on the Star Wars news front the past week. That is, compared to previous weeks when news has been flying fast and furious.

…but there was one thing…

Reddit user mdk1111 has pointed out that there appears to be an update to the Star Wars databank entry for Jakku. The update says the following sentence:

During the final years of the Galactic Civil War, Jakku was the site of a secret Imperial research base and served as a jumping-off point for warships heading into the Unknown Regions.

Wait, what? “Research base”? “Jumping-off point”? I don’t remember seeing any of this before The Force Awakens, but I could have missed it, and I did some research on it before the movie. Looking at web.archive.org it looks like it was updated around Dec 23rd, so right after the movie. It turns out he Visual Dictionary for The Force Awakens echoes the point about the “secret Imperial research base”:

image credit: The Force Awakens Visual Dictionary, by Pablo Hidalgo

So what sort of secret research was done on Jakku? For that matter, how many scientists do you know of doing “research” in the Star Wars universe? Well, there was that scientist in the Zillo Beast episode of the Clone Wars…but for the most part, I’m kind of struggling to think of a scientist to ever appear in the Star Wars universe. That is, I couldn’t think of anyone until recently.

We recently learned from MakingStarWars of one scientist major character in the Star Wars universe. That would be the character played by Mads Mikkelson from Rogue One, who is playing:

a scientist that took over the Geonosian Death Star project. He solved several of the flaws the Empire could not and is sort of a revered person in the Empire for his contributions. However, Mikkelsen’s character is a Robert Oppenheimer-type character.

It would seem that all of a sudden, in a matter of months, there is a lot of discussion about scientists and research in the Star Wars universe. With any luck, this could all connect the kyber crystal technology of the Death Star to Star Killer base to Rebels in the form of the scientists that discover how to work with kyber crystals and harness their power. Yeah, I know that the Death Star plans go all the way back to Attack of the Clones, but I don’t think they had all the bugs worked out, and we could assume that Mads’ character is part of a research team that has been at it for a while. In the Tarkin novel, which takes place 5 years after Revenge of the Sith, they are still working things out on the Death Star. I just still think the most interesting thing about the Death Star that a scientist could be working on would be the source of the lasers, and at the same time, it would allow for some Jedi/Sith lore to be talked about in a cool mystical way. It would be a scientist uncovering some great mystical knowledge à la LOST; the way the Dharma initiative was researching the ancient mystical secrets of the Island. There’s room for some cool story telling there.

The research base, and the”jumping off point to the Unknown regions” also connects back to the Aftermath novel, where we had this quote about scientists exploring these “unknown regions”:

“Palpatine felt that the universe beyond the edges of our map was where his power came from. Over the many years he, with our aid, sent men and women beyond known space. They built labs and communication stations on distant moons, asteroids, out there in the wilds. We must follow them. Retreat from the Galaxy. Go out beyond the veil of stars. We must seek the source of the dark side like a man looking for a wellspring of water.”

So that part about the Empire “building labs” and sounds a lot like the research base on Jakku. This would place Jakku as the connection point, the hub of scientific activity and travel to these “Unknown regions” where the Dark Side power originates. What better way to connect the research that developed the Death Star to some ancient Dark Side power, like the power shown in the Rebels season trailer where we have Ezra holding a Sith holocron and this laser blast:


Who knows what they’ll do with the story though…

Now what does Mads Mikkelson’s character Galen from Rogue One have to do with Jakku? For me it means a lot because I have had a suspicion that Mads Mikkelson is playing a young Lor San Tekka. I won’t go too much into it here and you can read the evidence in that article. How could this be if he is said to have the name “Galen”? Well, there is a chance there was a name change to go into hiding and escape the Empire. After all, if he works on the Death Star and turns to the good side, then he would want to never be seen again. It wouldn’t be the first time that a character in Star Wars changed his name to go into hiding (Obi Wan becoming Ben) . And if I’m right, this Galen could the very person to hand over the Death Star plans to Princess Leia. Just imagine if Galen turned out to be the “old ally” that Lor San Tekka was described as in the Opening Crawl of “The Force Awakens”. Somehow, Lor San Tekka ended up on Jakku. A planet in the middle of nowhere that was the site of an “secret Imperial research base” and a “Jumping off point” to “Unknown regions”. Unknown regions like the places that Lor San Tekka visited in his many travels? After all, he’s described as a legendary traveler and explorer. I just can’t help but wonder if he has a past as a scientist that connects him to Rogue One, and ends up setting up The Force Awakens in an elegant way.

Follow me on twitter @davestrrr and stay tuned to SpoiledBlueMilk on MWF.