some thoughts about Jedha from your local diaspora kid who grew up hearing stories about dodging shells and the military knocking on doors
- Jedha is a warzone and is under Imperial occupation. It’s being stripped of its natural resources for the Empire’s purposes. It’s also a holy place, people were going on pilgrimage to the Holy City despite the constant struggle between the Imperial forces and insurgent groups.
- only the city was actually destroyed by the Death Star, however the entire moon will face the repercussions and will probably crumble. This means that there will be refugees (unlike Alderaan whose only survivors would’ve been offplanet)
- also Jedha is basically part of space!asia: all the background characters that we see are predominantly asian (plus Chirrut, Baze, and Bodhi, of course)
So what’s it like to live under occupation, to live as a refugee?
- Language: The Empire likes everything black and white. It’s also very discriminatory (they almost exclusively employ humans). It’s be very easy to assume Imperials (maybe not even consciously) would force citizens to speak basic. Whether our characters speak another language(s) is up to you. (Personally I think Jedha is composed of a myriad of cultures and thus languages, but people always switch to basic when talking to Imperials). (Did any of our trio speak another language? Can they read and write? Or is it just a few words, or can they only understand?)
- Restrictions: Stormtroopers and other personnel are always around, whether they’re directly involved with taking kyber or not. So it would be common to be stopped by troops, or even have them knock on your door. (Would there be harsh Imperials who would mistreat children for merely running around, would leer at people and make them uncomfortable? Would there be kinder ones who would let things slide, turn a blind eye to people smuggling extra portions? I think there would be both). Either way everything was very highly regulated. You’d need identification on you at all times. I can picture a young Bodhi being scolded for staring too long or talking too loudly.
- Culture: Like I mentioned, I think Jedha is composed of many, many cultures. I think the Guardians have their own thing going on, but they would also be very familiar with the many different cultures on Jedha. But what about Bodhi? It’s clear he grew up on Jedha, but after working with the Empire? Was he forced to lose his culture, or did he forget it? Or did he hold on to every last thing he had? There’s a lot of room for development here.
- Rebellion: Was Bodhi’s family sympathetic to the Rebels? Or were they too afraid of the Empire to join them? From experience, even rebel groups that oppose an awful regime can be ostracized by the public, whether it be fear for their own safety, displeasure with their methods or even harassment. (The Empire may knock down doors, but rebels could be hiding in those houses. How would it feel?) There might be silent support, or people might even rally behind them. (Basically: are the rebels heroes or just trouble?)
- Afterwards: how would the refugees of Jedha feel, specifically our Guardians & Bodhi? Would there be regret for not learning enough, a sense of duty/need for revenge, a weight on their shoulders (the responsibility of being the caretakers of their culture)? Baze is the clearest for me: he wants to avenge his city. But what about Chirrut and Bodhi?