FRIEND, I HAVE SO MANY FEELINGS ABOUT FINN BEING BODHI'S LEGACY. Him scouring the FO records for this mysterious defector, who could ever do such a thing? Or him knowing NOTHING of Bodhi prior to his own defection and learning about him from Poe, and when he meets new FO-defectors, shaking and terrified, he says to them, I used to be FN-2187 and now I'm Finn and let me tell you of a brave man called Bodhi, and we will accomplish great things, just as he did. SORRY, NEEDED TO FLAIL AT YOU.
listen, one of the biggest motifs of Rogue One is “the message” or “I am” statements. for Bodhi, it’s “I am the messenger” and “I am the pilot.” Bodhi is not like the rest of the team! he has no combat training! he is a cargo pilot–the most anonymous, low-level job there is in the Star Wars universe.
and yet!! he goes down in history, as part of the team that took down the death star.
no way that doesn’t send shockwaves throughout the galaxy. no way his name isn’t stricken from the annals of the empire, no way the rebellion doesn’t scrawl his name across the walls in graffiti, in code. THE ROGUE SQUADRON BASICALLY CLAIMS HIM AS THEIR ORIGINATOR. we get people yelling “for jedha!” on the beaches of scarif, how much do you want to bet we get rebels and defectors from the empire crying out, “FOR BODHI!” when they run into battle? “remember Bodhi Rook,” the intelligence force says to one another in the wake of Cassian’s death.
FN-2187 only hears about the Defector, as the First Order refers to him, during the admonitions to stay loyal, that he is a cautionary tale. “he died alone,” they say, “remember this: he died alone.”
what FN-2187 thinks to himself in the wake of the village massacre is that he died free.
“what was the Defector’s name?” he asks General Leia half-fearfully, expecting to be rebuked or punished for even asking.
she smiles, full of a strange, fierce pride. “his name was Bodhi Rook. he was the pilot.”
and Finn says to himself, heading into combat with the resistance, “remember Bodhi Rook.”
I need your help, tumblr. My friend wrote an as-yet-incomplete masterpiece in the deeply important “Finn starts a revolution” Star Wars sub-fandom (there are not enough stories for that yet, there can NEVER BE ENOUGH), and she may write more of it - but she’s also a full time law student who has trouble saying no to extracurriculars because she’s all about saving the world ten anti-oppressive movements at a time.
So she’s really busy always.
(Seriously, I strongly suspect her of somehow acquiring a Time Turner, but if that were true I would think she’d be better rested, you know? Just go back a few hours and sleep on the couch while your past self is sleeping in the bed. Or share the bed? Making out with yourself: optional but not really conducive to rest, probably.)
If she had a tumblr I would tell you to go send her a million asks and prompts and bribes and so on, but she does not. However, I’ll pass along whatever you want to tell her. Including bitter desperation to know what happens next and promises of your firstborn. I will be the messenger. This is a duty and a privilege I hold sacred. This story has to be told.
Here is an excerpt from the beginning (shared with permission):
At first they were cautious. Few who had been stationed on
Starkiller Base had survived its destruction; even fewer of those were willing
to speak of what they had seen, or not seen, or surmised. Those who had been on
Jakku seemed equally close-mouthed. And yet, some of them must have spoken, at
some time; for who else would the ones who later said I heard…, have heard it from?
Over time, the ones who heard watched out for others: for
the sharpshooters from training who missed every shot in battle, for the
mechanics who covered for a sick deckhand during a captain’s inspection, for the
fighters who made effort to remember the designations of the fallen. These ones
they would seek out later, in alcoves or on catwalks, in loading bays and
airlocks, and pass on the whisper: I
heard…. And so word spread, quietly, from stormtrooper to stormtrooper,
from pilot to mechanic, from one hooded or helmeted face to another.
The story changed, never the same from one telling to the
next. I heard he was the best gunner in
his squad. I heard he escaped a whole wing of TIE fighters. The whispers grew
and spread, less plausible each time, until hearsay became legend became
something like religion. I heard he freed
a dozen Resistance prisoners that General Hux had in interrogation. I heard he
disabled an entire Resurgent-class Star Destroyer, and all he had was his
blaster and a grappling hook. They spread until the tales themselves became
so farfetched that everyone knew they weren’t offered for the truth, but for
the telling. I heard he didn’t just
disable it – he blew it into space dust. I heard he fought a lightsaber
duel with Kylo Ren, and lived.
Always, it came back to that: FN-2187 lived.
He picked up other names along the way: the Deserter, the
Resistor, the Survivor, titles chanted silently as mantras by stormtroopers
going into battle, or murmured as talismans against an officer’s cruelty or
Ren’s fits of temper. Half a dozen epithets, none traceable to any one source,
so of course no one knew who started calling him the First – but that was
the title that soon spread furthest, took deepest root. Part of it was the way
the name drew from and yet defied the First Order. But mostly it was something
else: if FN-2187 was the First, it promised there would be more.
* * *
There’s more where that came from.
I am not above doling this out incrementally as motivation. I will post the next snippet as soon as someone asks/bribes/threatens/pleads/bargains, needing to know the rest of the story.
You understand your mission now. Spread the word, everyone.
I mean. #1 HUGE difference between the Empire and the FO, of course: the Empire was in control. The Galactic Core belonged to them. The Inner and Outer Rim belonged to them. There was no Republic, at all. So, everyone who was in the Empire had sort of gotten– defaulted there. It wasn’t something you joined. It was a job you got. It was that institutions you already belonged to had switched allegiances, so now without doing anything you were an Imperial Somethingerother instead of what you had been before.
So it made sense that literally everybody in the Rebellion was a defector from the Empire. Bail freaking Organa was an Imperial Senator *at the time* and his continued survival depended on him being above suspicion, so he wasn’t *even* a defector– he was just actively a double agent.
So all the pilots, surely, were defectors, because how else could they have been trained? All the educated people, unless they were quite old, would have had to get their educations at Imperial-approved educational institutions.
And Bodhi Rook was a young man; he would not have been old enough to sign up for anything under the Republic. It’s extremely likely there were basically no other job opportunities for him, if he wanted to be trained to fly. It was the Empire, or nothing legitimate.
the First Order, however, existed only in the Unknown Territories. There was basically no presence in any of the areas where the New Republic had jurisdiction.
And so being a defector from the First Order meant actively seeking out a place to defect *to*. It meant leaving everything you’d ever known and coming to alien territory you know nothing about. It’s a much bigger deal, a much different situation. Nobody in the FO who’s younger than about 40 would have any memory of any other way of life, any contact with what’s now the New Republic.
Spiritually, yes, Finn is a natural successor to Bodhi Rook.
But practically– what Bodhi did was difficult, to be sure, and done at great personal risk for no guaranteed outcome (and, in fact, had a terrible outcome for him personally; I do not mean to detract from his story at all in any way, or his sacrifice, because he could not have paid a steeper price or exhibited more raw courage than he did).
What Finn did is basically impossible. He had to defect blindly; he had no idea what any society outside the First Order would look like, and no guarantee it would be any better. He just knew that what he was being called upon to do was wrong, and there had to be a better way, and he had to go and try to find it.
Logistically speaking they have basically nothing in common. Bodhi defected from something and to something, carrying a message and with a definite goal in mind and a specific thing that he had to stop. Finn just defected from something, with nothing but blind hope and an incredible courage of moral conviction with no basis in anything but his own innate sense.
Spiritually, I’m super into that connection. Logistically, they did very different things. I’m not trying to say one was better than the other; they just faced entirely different situations and made different extremely courageous choices.
Just a quick face sketch of Bodhi, he’s my fave of the Rogue One team! I do wish we get at some future point any additional materials about his connection towards Galen Erso, I feel this has potential for exploring good surrogate family topics. :’)
Post-Scarif Headcanon [warning : SPOILERS FOR ROGUE ONE]
- After the Battle of Yavin, after all the euphoria has died down and they’re dismantling the base to move to their next location, Wedge has a sit-down with Luke and what remains of the Rebel Alliance starfighter pilots.
- They’ve lost so many – Dreis, Dutch, Biggs, Porkins…Wedge stops himself from naming them all because the survivor’s guilt from having to pull out of that trench run will never stop haunting him, he suspects.
- “We need to reform the squadrons, re-organize the remaining pilots and the new recruits into units again.”
- And he remembers, remembers the ones who gave their lives for that one-in-a-million chance to destroy the Death Star. The ones who gave them just the barest glimmer of hope that they could save other worlds from the fates of Jedha, of Alderaan.
- Wedge remembers the pilot, the Imperial defector, the wide-eyed man with a nervous voice who nevertheless had eyes blazing like newly-molten steel when he stood before the council with Erso’s daughter and plead their case.
- An Imperial defector, just like him. No, not really. Wedge had been sprung from Skystrike Academy by a Rebel cell who had heard his desire to defect. This man, this cargo pilot, had acted alone–alone, frightened, facing untold dangers, arriving at Yavin bruised yet unbroken.
- He’d heard the last transmissions from Scarif, recognized the man’s voice for its urgency and its determination.
- He’d heard Admiral Raddus’ last words, “Rogue One…May the Force be with you.”
- It took everything inside Wedge to command his astromech to enter the hyperspace calculations when he knew what they were leaving behind.
- So now, days later, in a conference room in Yavin 4, surrounded by the other pilots, Wedge turns to Luke and says, “I think I know what we should name this new squadron.”
this is the truth now: rogue one had succeeded, but they’d also lost
bodhi didn’t get the chance to accept his demise. he watched the grenade as it beeped off, fear gripping his heart. he didn’t get to prepare himself for the pain. in the end, he died alone: not as a defector, but as a rebel pilot. he died, but not without thinking, quite proudly, “it’s okay. i’ve done enough.”
chirrut walked across the open field, through the blasts and the grenades, chanting his prayer over and over again. the force didn’t protect him, it didn’t lessen the pain, but he hid it all behind his smile. he knew better than to make him feel worthless for not protecting him. in the end, chirrut wanted baze to know that he had done enough, so he smiled and whispered his final words; he knew he needed comfort more than humor.
baze had never begged before, but as he saw the life seep out of his lover’s eyes, he felt the strong urge to pray. pray that chirrut holds on to him, that he stays and lives. in the end, baze, who spent most of his life faithless, died with his heart strong and his faith renewed. (look for the force and you will always find me.)
k-2SO knew there was no possibility they’d make it out alive. he had a bad feeling before, and that feeling came back. but he knew they would emerge victorious regardless. in the end, he put up a fight like no other.
cassian wasn’t afraid of dying. no, years of serving as the Alliance’s soldier and spy didn’t teach him to be naive. he knew death was a possibility, and that every day that possibility grew stronger. he was afraid of the pain, though. he was afraid of feeling it; he was tired of it. in the end, he died with the light burning his skin, his soul flying high like a phoenix rising from the ashes.
jyn wasn’t a particular fan of it all: of having to sacrifice your life for something that didn’t concern you. but after spending time with people – these people she called friends – she learned that if she had faith in herself and in others, she could fight. in the end, with her eyes showing the fear and hope and relief inside her, she went along with the force as it guided her home.
a fact: rogue one did give the galaxy another fighting chance, a hope at restoring justice and peace and bringing an end to the oppressive empire. rogue one succeeded in that.
another fact: rogue one lost in the gamble of life. for the sake of the galaxy and the generations to come, they took on this mission, this obligation, knowing the risk of death. we say their names now, as prayers, or in stories, or in casual chat. when we say their names, we carry their sacrifice, their heroism, their legacy with us. when we say Chirrut Îmwe, Baze Malbus, Cassian Andor, Jyn Erso, Bodhi Rook and K-2SO, we feel hope blossom in our hearts, guiding us to victory.
For we are opposed around the world by a monolithic and ruthless conspiracy that relies primarily on covert means for expanding its sphere of influence. On infiltration instead of invasion, on subversion instead of elections, on intimidation instead of free choice, on guerrillas by night instead of armies by day. It is a system which has conscripted vast human and material resources into the building of a tightly knit, highly efficient machine that combines military, diplomatic, intelligence, economic, scientific and political operations. Its preparations are concealed, not published. Its mistakes are buried, not headlined. Its dissenters are silenced, not praised.
I came across what I think was meant to be a throwaway observation in the Rogue One novelization:
Low-level defectors from the Empire weren’t uncommon. They made up half the Rebellion’s foot soldiers, give or take. (p. 18-19 of my ebook edition)
This is Cassian’s POV, drawn from his knowledge. Half the Rebellion’s ground troops. That’s not an insignificant amount.
Bodhi wasn’t the first to defect, and Finn wasn’t the second. There were tens, hundreds, maybe thousands before them. All these people, who risked their lives and livelihoods to fight against a regime they knew was immoral. That’s pretty significant.
Does this get glossed over after the New Republic is established? Or do they acknowledge how much they owe to these defectors and their insider knowledge of Imperial procedures and systems? Do Kes and Shara tell Poe about these people, that freedom fighters can come from unexpected places? How can you just drop something like this into secondary source material and not expand on it?!
Part of my Galra Prince Keith headcanon/AU is that he was originally the kid to a Galran defector and an Altean paladin (hence how he could sense the blue lion on Earth). A bit far fetched yeah, but it’s a headcanon for a reason
why Bodhi should have lived, a comprehensive list:
so he could have met Finn and had beautiful defector bonding sessions, talking about how sometimes you have to do the right thing, when you are scared as all hell
seriously Bodhi was terrified the entire time, wide-eyed and fidgety and KEPT FIGHTING and KEPT GOING
and that’s why I love them both and wish that they could have met because both were scared and out of their depth and did the right thing and that is just beautiful I say
Because yes big swooshy lightsabre fights are fun but my fave bit of star wars is people doing the Right Thing when they are frightened and know that they are staring death in the eyes, and they do it anyway because some things matter more, and the good fight is carried along on their backs, the backs of the men who passed the disc along as Vader massacred them, the rebels who fought and died on the beach, a scared pilot who was tortured and maimed AND STILL WANTED TO BE A REBEL
and imagine him as a Force Ghost telling Finn HOW PROUD HE IS OF HIM and watching over him, the most adorable guardian angel in the history of ever
After two screenings of Rogue One, I’ve been thinking a lot about Bodhi Rook and Galen Erso. Even though we never saw them interact, I feel like this was one of the most intriguing and pivotal relationships in the movie.
There must have been such a great trust between them: Bodhi agrees to deliver Galen’s message without knowing what it says, and knowing full well that doing so makes him a defector/target, after Galen told him he could “get right by himself.” Galen must have know him well enough to know that Bodhi hailed from Jedha and was not loyal to the Empire. And Galen trusted Bodhi with his deepest (and most dangerous) secret, not to mention the most important message he’d ever send, when he asked him to carry the hologram. That strikes me as a profound trust that goes both ways. And, of course, there’s the moment in the battle on Scarif when Bodhi says “For you, Galen” as he summons his courage. I’m just so fascinated by these two incredibly brave characters and what must have been a powerful, if implied, friendship.
I can’t help but wonder how they originally met. We know from the visual guide that Bodhi was making shipment runs of kyber crystals from Jedha to Eadu, so it stands to reason that their paths crossed in some kind of tavern or leisure time, I think? Or maybe they worked together, directly, when each shipment arrived? Anyone else have a different theory?
SOVIET DEFECTOR YURI BEZMENOV'S WARNING TO AMERICA (1984)
People are right when they say the SJWs are brainwashed. People were pre-warned. People know the truth. Government, media, education, business, entertainment are hijacked by this deadly cancerous Marxist-Leninist ideology.