It’s increasingly amazing how Lucasfilm and Diseny have kept such tight wraps on their current projects. Compared to This time last year with all the news and leaks that we had on The Force Awakens, we know next to nothing about Rogue One. There are a few new planets in this one, and we are starting to get a trickle of information about them. I think perhaps the most interesting is Jedha, which we’ll talk about today. There could be potential spoilers below, so tread carefully.
A small desert moon frosted by a permanent winter, Jedha is home to one of the first civilizations to explore the nature of the Force.
This definitely seems intriguing, doesn’t it? So this definitely suggests that this is the location where the first Jedi emerged. It begs the question, why? Why would this particular frosty moon be of any significance to the history of the Force? There is a recent quote by Donnie Yen that may shed some light on this (hat tip to TeddyBdaGOAT for pointing this out). Check the video:
— ExtraTV (@extratv) July 17, 2016
The part of the quote that I’m interested in is roughly:
Jedha is the planet where they used resources to build and make lightsaber…
Which I interpret as “It is [the moon] where they used [kyber crystals] to make [the first] lightsaber.” I could be wrong, but my first two edits are out of definition. It’s a moon, not a planet, and the “resources” that they use to make lightsabers are kyber crystals. The last bit of editorializing is just me putting two and two together. This is the moon where the study of the Force began, and it is the place where “they make lightsabers”. We know, for example, that Ilum is a place where they harvest lightsaber crystals, so it’s only worth pointing out if it is the location of the first one.
If this interpretation is correct, then his moon holds enormous significance to the Star Wars saga, and to the movie. Ron (@CPThrio) pointed out on MakingStarWars.net that it could be Jedha where the Empire seeks to mine lightsaber crystals for the Death Star’s main weapon. We’ve also discussed the role of kyber crystals in this movie, as I’m sure many others have. This theory sort of jumps out at you once you see the importance of Jedha. In fact, it almost clears a path of speculation about how the plot of the movie unfolds. Our Rebels, Jyn and Cassian, go to Jedha to investigate what the Empire is doing there, and bump into Chirrut Imwe and Baze Malbus who are from there, according to some recent reports. You can thank StarWarsPost for pointing out that some leaked photos could in fact hold said kyber crystals, on their way to be shipped to the Death Star for installation.
The point about Chirrut and Baze point above comes from an article with an interview with director Gareth Edwards in Entertainment Weekly, a magazine that has become a Star Wars news powerhouse. Gareth goes on to say
“It’s a place where people who believe in the Force would go on a pilgrimage…It was essentially taken over by the Empire. It’s an occupied territory… for reasons we probably can’t reveal.”
This quote definitely supports the idea that the Empire is cracking down on two things: people studying/worshiping the Force, and the mining of kyber crystals. These two points make for a really interesting set of plot points, and it makes a whole lot of sense that this is sort of the pivot point of the movie.
It’s very interesting that in this article Chirrut is only referred to as a blind, spiritual warrior. After the Donnie Yen interview above, he said that “he is blind, but he sees people with his heart.” When I heard that, I certainly thought that this is the first indication that I’ve seen that strongly suggests that he has the Force. Seeing people “with his heart”, sounds a lot like “with the Force.” I love the quote from the new trailer from Chirrut:
I fear nothing. All is as the Force wills it.
Another thing that all this recent chatter about Jedha reveals is perhaps why Cassian Andor is wearing what looks like Hoth-edition parka in the left side of this first Rogue One group photo:
We now know from the Starwars databank entry that Jedha is “frosted by permanent winter”, which would explain the outfit.
The new shots from the trailer give a visage of a city on a plateau with a tower. We also know from this databank entry that “Jedha serves as a holy site for pilgrims from across the galaxy who seek spiritual guidance. Now, the Empire occupies Jedha.” So the cat is out of the bag on this one. Jedha is the “Mecca” for the followers of the Force. Mecca famously contains the Kaaba, which houses a black stone of religious significance. I think it would be a really cool parallel if there is a large Kyber crystal housed in the tower to the right of the plateau city pictured above. It’s the likely origin of the Jedi order, and also the probable origin of the lightsaber. There is a very very strong chance that it is also the basis for the name “Jedi”. This planet no doubt plays a crucial role for Rogue One, and for the galaxy far far away in general.
We know that Luke found the first Jedi Temple on Ahch-To, so we can conclude that the first Jedi Temple is not on Jedha. Therefore, the first followers of the Force must have organized later and moved to Ahch-To. It makes you wonder, could the Church of the Force, the religion that was followed by Lor San Tekka, have started on Jedha? The other question is, will Jedha be detroyed? We’ll have to wait and see what kind of damage the Empire does to this moon in Rogue One, but speculation is half the fun.