With repeated viewings of a movie, you catch more details that you missed the first time. Or, in my case, the first 8 times. I recently got back from a trip to Malaysia and China, and just for the heck of it I watched Rogue One: A Star Wars Story 10 times on the plane. Don’t judge. It is a fun film and those are some long-ass flights.
Midway through viewing number 5, it struck me. What are those things everyone has on their uniforms?
You know… the things:
Cassian and Bodhi have it, but it can’t be a pilot thing since Bail has it. Can’t be a good or bad guy thing, either, since Bodhi had that from when he was a bad guy.
They’ve been around since the original films, too:
What? (Also, hooray for non-CGI Tarkin!)
I first noticed these things because Krennic gets his promotion, presumably from roping Galen Erso back into the military-industrial complex, and we see an immediate change in his uniform.
As a reward, he gets another row of emergency chest gum (but this time in blueberry!) and MORE OF THOSE THINGS. Except now he’s got them on both sides.
Maybe they’re pens? Can’t be. NOBODY WRITES IN STAR WARS. Am I wrong about that? Plus, they seem to be pretty fat to be pens. Sharpies or paint markers, maybe. But that seems unlikely, too, as the Star Wars universe is spectacularly devoid of graffiti.
But they do look like tire pressure gauges, even though THERE ARE NO TIRES IN STAR WARS.
Right? Everything floats. Luke’s landspeeder. Frozen Han Solo. Even Darth Maul’s floating motorcycle (floatercycle?). And the rare vehicles that don’t hover have tank-like tracks. Jawa SandCrawler, anyone?
I can hear you using your whiny, Tosche Station, Luke voice, “But Paul, what about the Clone Trooper Turbo Tank? Or even the prisoner transport vehicle from Rogue One?” Fair, but their wheels seem like a giant, solid piece without any tire. At best, they would be NPTs (non-pneumatic tires) without any air in them.
So why tire gauges then? I believe something happened a much longer, longer time ago in that galaxy far, far away. Maybe a giant, near-extinction-level event occurred which was caused by under- or over-inflating tires and neglecting proper pressure. And now everybody wears tire pressure gauges to remind themselves much like Christians wear crosses.
Because what do tire pressure gauges measure? Pound-force per square inch. YES, THE FORCE! As Qui-Gon Jinn said, “Always be mindful of the Force.”
Ta da! Mystery solved.
Actually, if you’re a Star Wars fanatic and know the real answer, please let me know in the comments section below.