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Stealing the Death Star Plans, According to Legends — A Guest Blog by Jeremiah Stewart

Stealing the Death Star Plans, According to Legends — A Guest Blog by Jeremiah Stewart

Rogue One is out as of December 16; the first spin-off in the Star Wars franchise or “Star Wars Story” as they are being titled. The film is about the rag-tag group of Rebels capturing the plans of the first Death Star (not the 2nd, so no Bothan nonsense). But what did we know about this story before? True, this is a story that itself has never been depicted in any film or TV show. In fact, in current canon, all we know is what the opening scroll of Episode 4 – A New Hope says:

It is a period of civil war.
Rebel spaceships, striking
from a hidden base, have won
their first victory against
the evil Galactic Empire.

During the battle, Rebel
spies managed to steal secret
plans to the Empire’s
ultimate weapon, the DEATH
STAR, an armored space
station with enough power
to destroy an entire planet.

Pursued by the Empire’s
sinister agents, Princess
Leia races home aboard her
starship, custodian of the
stolen plans that can save her
people and restore
freedom to the galaxy….

So here is what we knew before, according to Legends.

First of all we had Dark Forces, the Doom clone by Lucasarts, which introduced Kyle Katarn, who was sent on a mission as a double agent, to capture the plans of the Death Star. In the game, this is just part of the overall plot (about half), and we get to see the event of him capturing the plans. (Look below)

In Legends books, we have the fantastic trilogy by Ann C. Crispin of Han Solo. In the last book, we have former lover, Bria Tharen, leading a band of Rebels on Toprawa, where they end up transmitting the plans of the Death Star on the Tantive IV before all dying and in Legends this is the “first victory” spoken of in the above crawl.

We also get to see the construction of the Death Star talked about in the novel Death Star by Steve Perry (actually leads up tragically to its bitter end). We also get to see a confrontation with Starkiller, early Rebel leaders, and Darth Vader and the Emperor on said Death Star in The Force Unleashed (something that still doesn’t make sense). Heck, even in Star Wars Battefront 2 (the one with an actual campaign) you are the 501st and after a prison break (connected somehow with Kyle Katarn, not sure how with Toprawa), you are sent to get the Death Star plans, stolen during said break and after going to a former Rebel base on Polis Massa, you end up on the Tantive IV to capture them but of course they’ve already been beamed away.

In the Star Wars Radio Dramas by NPR, directed by Brian Daley, we had Princess Leia and her father Bail Organa finding out about the Death Star (due to a talkative Lord Tion) and Leia is sent to Toprawa (after learning they got the plans), and gets the plans beamed to them.

Now want to be confused? Remember Kyle Katarn got the Death Star plans in Dark Forces but in the audio dramas, comics, and even in later Jedi Knight games, Haven Storm got the Death Star plans. In fact, in the radio drama he is the one that says “Come in Skyhook” (when talking to the Tantive IV). In his mission some comrades die and then after the transmission is sent, they escape the base after placing explosives. But wait, didn’t Bria Tharen die and everyone else in that mission? Yes… but apparently this happened too. Oh yeah, he lived and became a Jedi and then died in Luke’s Jedi Praxeum. YAY OLD LEGENDS.

So does that make sense at all? The only thing that all the versions of the story seem to agree on is that in general the plans were beamed from Toprawa and Rebels did the mission. How many died? How many lived? Who did it? No one seems to agree. Thank goodness we have a fresh more simpler take… because honestly, while Legends was great, it had its issues, contradictions, and was a mess, as this story proves.

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