This year we will see the first Star Wars film that doesn’t involve our main line trilogies. We are finally starting to get leaks Rogue One and the most interesting one of late to me is about Code Names for three factions. Who are the Seals, Eels and Sharks that we will get to know this December and what can those names tell us?
First lets examine the obvious one. Sharks. This is the code name for our antagonists, the Empire. According to reports the character code names are based on different types of Sharks, Vader=Great White perhaps? Unfortunately as of yet these names have not been released however we can infer some meaning from “sharks”. Sharks are the top of the food chain and have inspired fear for centuries. We also know the Empire is top of the Star Wars food chain in Rogue One and also inspire fear. While “Sharks” doesn’t help us much with Empire as they are a known commodity it does help us with the next two groups and how they relate overall.
Next up are the Seals which we know means our rebel group. One of the first images that comes to mind is the Navy Seals, a small, mobile, elite fighting force that takes on some of USAs toughest military missions. Obvious the group tasked with stealing the Death Star plans should fit the mold of Navy Seals. I suspect this is one reason seals were used instead of dolphins or another aquatic animal that fills a similar niche in the ecological system. Seals both compete against Sharks for food and are prey. In face to face battle the seal will lose to the shark most of the time sometimes the Shark will play with them first. However seals can slip past sharks and are able to evade their attacks though not necessarily unscathed. So what does this tell us? The rebels are trying to win over systems to their cause from the empire but lose the battles or have to escape to avoid destruction most of the time.
Finally we have the eels. It has been speculated that the eels are a faction of bounty hunters. I don’t think that is exactly correct. In nature eels have many roles, scavenger, surprise hunters and bottom feeders being the most prevalent. While some of that would fit bounty hunters it also fits the general scum of the galaxy. I think that is what the eels faction will represent, a loose organization of criminals, outlaws and bounty hunters. The people that one would find in Mos Eisley Cantina or Maz’s Castle. While they have no allegiance to the rebels they also have no love for the Empire. Some like Forrest Whitaker character will be more sympathetic to the Rebels while those like the rumored Boba Fett would lean towards the Empire. There will be those that are helpful and cause problems from this faction and I suspect they may even fight with each other despite the “leader” being supportive of the Rebels.
While not exactly earth shattering this information does help us put together the landscape of the movie and lets us know based on character code names where their ultimate allegiance lies.