If you ask Star Wars fans what the most important and far-reaching scene of saga is, you will get so many responses. In fact, I did ask my friends and family and I got answers such as:
“I am your Father”
Obi-Wan not killing Anakin on Mustafar
Mace Windu not killing Palpatine
Darth Maul killing Qui-Gon
“Promise me you will train the boy”
“Use the Force, Luke”
When Luke first uses the Force on the Millennium Falcon
Kylo Ren killing Han Solo
“So this is how Liberty dies. To thunderous applause.”
“I am a Jedi, like my father before me”
But in my opinion, the single most important, most valuable scene, is the Death Star Council Room.
Something that is so amazing about the Star Wars movies is that with each new movie, they reinvent themselves. Sure there are some continuity issues, and people like to complain about them. But I think that the pieces that do fit so wonderfully together are amazing, and outweigh the ones that don’t.
Quite frankly, I think it speaks to the knowledge of the writers.
When Episode IV came out, so much of it was just words. Especially the Death Star Council Room scene. Have a watch:
Council Room Scene
I was somewhat unsure on how to approach this, but I have decided on going line-by-line, instead of movie order:
Until this battle station is fully operational we are vulnerable. The Rebel Alliance is too well equipped. They’re more dangerous than you realize.
Dangerous to your starfleet, Commander, not to this battle station!
This line just begs the Rebels to prove them wrong, and they do. It nicely sets up how much of an underdog the rebellion is. And these two lines pretty much stayed this way for 39 YEARS.
But then Rogue One came out, and we see just how well equipped that Rebel Alliance is. We see exactly what they can do to a Star Fleet. And now, Tagge isn’t worried about some vague threat and rumors of the Rebellion, he is referencing the spectacular defeat and loss of plans that happened not even a day before
The Rebellion will continue to gain a support in the Imperial Senate as long as…
A small line, but it does have its implications. I feel like the biggest inspiration this had here was, again, Rogue One, but also Star Wars: Rebels. In R1 we see that they are at least pretending that they intend to work through the Senate. They want Galen Erso to testify before the Senate. There is still the idea that the Senate might possibly be able to overrule the Emperor.
And in Rebels there are instances of Senators speaking out, trying to use what little influence and power they have.
The Imperial Senate will no longer be of any concern to us. I’ve just received word that the Emperor has dissolved the council permanently. The last remnants of the Old Republic have been swept away.
That’s impossible! How will the Emperor maintain control without the bureaucracy?
Ok. This is the one I was MOST EXCITED to discuss. Did anyone else have their mind opened after seeing the prequels, then going back to this? When Episode IV came out, THESE WERE JUST WORDS. Maybe there was a vision in the mind of George Lucas. I’m sure he always knew the scope of the Galaxy Far, Far Away. But how many of us normal people gave a second thought about the Senate that was mentioned and so casually disbanded? No one either knew nor cared about those “last remnants of the Old Republic.” Those are no longer simply words. They tell stories. In fact, it’s amazing what the writers did with that line. What was interesting dialogue fill became entire worlds, cultures, and images. All of which look NOTHING like what we see in the Originals, which makes sense because the Emperor has been systematically destroying everything about the Old Republic to build a new system of uniformity and order. It all makes the Emperor SO MUCH WORSE. And the storytelling SO MUCH BETTER.
And the Senate! How many people came even remotely close to imagining THIS :
Surely those who worked on the Prequels, and designed this set (well, the graphics), read and re-read these lines. Because of these lines, they had to come up with a concept of a Senate so vast that ruling the galaxy without it would be considered “Impossible” that the Emperor, powerful though he is, couldn’t possibly maintain control. And they hit the nail right on the head. They even make a nod to the Death Star Council Room Conversation in Episode 3, when Bail Organa is ordered to attend a special Senate hearing. Bail says “It could be a trap,” but Obi-Wan responds “No, I don’t think so. The Chancellor will not be able to control the thousands of star systems without keeping the senate intact.” Continuity, y’all. It’s the best.
The regional governors now have direct control over their territories. Fear will keep the local systems in line. Fear of this battle station.
This, again, we see realized in Star Wars Rebels. Granted, at this time the Senate is still functioning. But you do see the Governors have more and more control. In fact, increasingly, the Senators are simply figureheads, for the Empire or the Rebels, and the governors have the authority and take the orders from the Empire, ensuring that their people obey. In Rebels, they refer to the Senate building as “The Old Senate Building” and it has been completely abandoned. The Emperor’s decision to disband the Senate was not sudden. It was a long time coming.
And what of the Rebellion? If the Rebels have obtained a complete technical readout of this station, it is possible, however unlikely, that they might find a weakness and exploit it.
The plans you refer to will soon be back in our hands.
If you haven’t figured it out by now, this is the scene that inspired Rogue One. If I have to explain how this became even more relevant than it already is to you, then you need to watch Rogue One a few more times.
Tangent – Rogue One fixed so many loopholes in Episode IV. Like WHY having a complete technical readout would expose a weakness. and WHY the weakness was there in the first place.
Any attack made by the Rebels against this station would be a useless gesture, no matter what technical data they’ve obtained. This station is now the ultimate power in the universe. I suggest we use it!
Seeing is believing, no matter what galaxy you live in. These are Imperial Officers who have risen to the top. You don’t do that on belief that your peers will actually accomplish what they say they will. And a man saying he can build a space station that can disintegrate a planet? You say “Ok sure. Meanwhile, I’m going to go build a Starfleet that can ACTUALLY accomplish the Empire’s goals.” Han, who has an incredible knowledge of the Galaxy, of starships, and (if the EU version is applicable. Guess we’ll see when “Solo: A Star Wars Story” comes out) knowledge of the Empire. And he believes it is impossible. To be honest, I say Rogue One sorta fixed this line. Motti should not be so adamant that the Death Star is the Ultimate power. Personally, I’d be worried that the darn thing exploded the first time it was fired. But Motti has SEEN the Death Star destroy two cities with his own two eyes. He’s on a power high.
Don’t be too proud of this technological terror you have constructed. The ability to destroy a planet is insignificant next to the power of The Force.
I believe this line shaped the creation of Anakin Skywalker.
Anakin Skywalker is a creation of the Force.
He is strong in the Force. He believes in the Force, even if it is the Dark Side. When he feared for Padme’s life he turned to the Force, not technology and medicine.
Vader cares very little for the Death Star. He is completely indifferent to it in Episode IV. He is eager to hunt down Rebels. He is ordered to get the plans back, so he makes efforts in that area. But he is perfectly happy to leave all decisions about the Death Star to Tarkin.
I didn’t actually realize this until Rogue One, when Vader is generally pissed that the whole thing is causing so many problems, and more or less takes it out on Krennic. I don’t think Vader ever bought into the idea that Mass Slaughter solves problems better than the Force. Perhaps he is still dealing with his guilt of mass slaughtering the younglings.
Don’t try to frighten us with your sorcerer’s ways, Lord Vader. Your sad devotion to that ancient religion has not helped you summon up the stolen data tapes. You given you clairvoyance enough to find the rebels hidden fortress- *FORCE CHOKING*
I find you lack of Faith disturbing.
So much I could write about this. In fact, I HAVE written a whole lot about the idea of the Jedi Order being a RELIGION at heart. If you want to read about that, click HERE.
Enough of this! Vader, release him! This bickering is pointless. Now, Lord Vader will provide us with the location of the Rebels hidden fortress before this station is fully operational. We will then crush the rebellion with one swift stroke!
Well, I suppose this line doesn’t say much except it now highlights how much better of a leader Tarkin is than Krennic.
But lets wrap this up. I doubt many have actually read all the way to this point. But if you have, hopefully I have convinced you that this is the single most far-reaching scene of the saga. Maybe not from a story line point of view. But definitely from a… certain… point of view 😉