Rogue One A Star Wars Story has blasted into the box office and has become a critical and audience success. The film adds to the mythos of Star Wars universe and does a great job of tying into the original trilogy by leading directly into A New Hope. It is a well put together movie which I will be able to watch multiple times because of the characters and story it tells. It isn’t a perfect film and while I will sing it’s praises one big issue which bothered me is the decision to let Galen Erso intentionally build in the design “flaw” to the Death Star.
I very well may be in the minority on this, but I never thought the thermal exhaust port on the Death Star was a flaw in the design or a plot hole in Episode Four. I did an entire other video on why I didn’t think this was the case. I said in the video if Rogue One shows Galen putting in the flaw it would be a very poorly designed design flaw. He does state in Rogue One that he has to be careful with how he did it, but it still took a person who was exceptionally strong in the force to be able to exploit the flaw. Since Galen intentionally created this flaw he should have made it to wear the Rebellion had more of a shot to succeed in destroying the Death Star.
Having Galen purposely create this flaw opens up more plot holes than if he didn’t in my opinion. If he would have simply known about the weakness in the Death Star and tried to get that information to the Rebels, it would fit the story more. Having the flaw be intentional makes Galen appear incompetent as a character. Since Luke is the only who is able to blow up the Death Star it makes Galen’s flaw an extremely poor one for the Rebels to exploit. This is a plot hole. Having Galen design something no regular person can possibly exploit makes no sense. He would have to have known the Rebellion had Jedi’s on their side which could guide torpedoes into the small opening for him to purposefully implement this flaw.
If Galen would have simply known there was the small weakness in the Death Star or just know where the plans where it would have made more sense for the story. I understand Galen’s character motivations for wanting to help the Rebellion and having him intentionally make the flaw builds on this trait, but Galen’s specialty was harnessing the power of the Kyber crystals, not on the propulsion system. Maybe the thermal exhaust port the Rebellion used to exploit has to do with the weapon system, but I always thought it was tied into the reactor system for the Death Star. Maybe the novelization of Rogue One can clear this up, or Lucasfilm’s canon master Pablo Hidalgo. Galen wouldn’t have had access to the propulsion systems to build in his flaw if this is the case. It would almost have to tie into the weapons system for the story to now make sense. Less questions story wise would have been raised for him to just know there is a weakness and then try to get word to the Rebellion.
This all of course is predicated on if you think Star Wars A New Hope had a plot hole tied to the exhaust port. I never did, and think it’s a plot device used to highlight what Luke is able to achieve. Think about firing a small exploding bomb into the tail pipe of a car. The tail pipe is tied directly to the combustion engine, and this isn’t considered a design flaw for cars. If someone driving fires a bullet packed with explosives into a running parked car it would cause the car to be destroyed. Think about the impossibility of that type of shot, and all it would entail. This is essentially what Luke accomplished, and having the flaw now be purposeful just doesn’t fit for me. Maybe it is all connected to the Force and the Force willed Galen to design the flaw in such a way because it was Luke’s destiny to destroy the Death Star. Weak, but I’ll go with it, because in the end Rogue One is a fantastic movie, even if I had a problem with this part of the plot.