A Star Wars Mystery

A Star Wars Mystery post image

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.

{ 24 comments… add one }
  • Kento May 5, 2017, 6:55 am

    Rank codes

    • Paul Ogata May 5, 2017, 9:29 am

      Man, I don’t know. Seems pretty unwieldy as rank insignia. Plus, why do non-officers have them? Bail Organa is a civilian and he has a bunch.

  • Christopher Keith Tyler May 5, 2017, 10:12 am

    I would guess they are for their Lazer guns. Reload cartridges …. batteries.

    • Paul Ogata May 5, 2017, 10:31 am

      Maybe. But we never see Grand Moff Tarkin with any handheld weapons, and he seems to have the most of these things. Maybe they are filled with candy?

  • Star Wars fan May 5, 2017, 11:15 am

    Watch Star Wars Rebels Season 3 Episode 17 Through Imperial Eyes
    They are code cylinders.

    • Paul Ogata May 5, 2017, 11:20 am

      I get it, I just don’t believe it. So in order to access top secret material/areas, all you have to do is steal a pen-shaped item which is protruding from someone’s pocket protector. How many times have you clipped a pen to your clothing and ended up losing it? No wonder the Rebels always find the plans to the Empire’s shit and blow it up.

  • Andrew bennett May 5, 2017, 11:19 am

    They are code cylinders. They use them in Star Wars rebels to access computers and doors ( similar to the tool that R2 has built in)

    • Paul Ogata May 5, 2017, 11:25 am

      We never see humans use them in the movies, but we see R2 use his data-dong all the time. That’s what Lucasfilm wants us to think, but I ain’t buying it.

  • Mike Lowry May 5, 2017, 12:38 pm

    They hold tiny syringes full of adrenaline to be used in case somebody overdoses on space heroin while partying with Vincent Vega.

    • Paul Ogata May 5, 2017, 12:39 pm

      Love it. Let’s have a Pulpatine Fiction spin-off movie!!!

      MACE WINDU: Hand me my lightsaber. It’s the one that says “Bad Motherfucker” on it.

      • Mike Lowry May 5, 2017, 3:34 pm

        BEN KANOBI: “The way your Dad looked at it, this was your birthright. He’d be damned if any slope’s gonna put their greasy, yellow hands on his boy’s birthright, so he hid it in one place he knew he could hide something – his ass. Five long years he hid this thing up his ass. Then, he died of dysentery. He gave it to me. I hid this uncomfortable hunk of metal up my ass two years. Then, after seven years, I was sent home to my family. Now, little man, I give it to you.”

        *** Gives Luke the lightsaber.

  • Daryl May 5, 2017, 1:06 pm

    Could be: flash drives.
    Could be: power converters (“But I was going into Tosche Station to pick up some power converters!”)
    Could be: metabolic injections that the characters have to take to deal with all of the different atmospheres and biomes they are exposed to without getting Montezuma’s revenge.

    • Paul Ogata May 5, 2017, 1:11 pm

      I like the injection idea. Very scientific.

      On the other hand, Luke was really whining about those power converters like they were really something awesome. So maybe this one.

  • Rafael Nacle May 5, 2017, 1:35 pm

    Maybe those are Charges for the Lightsaber?

    • Paul Ogata May 5, 2017, 1:47 pm

      Seems like too many non-Jedi have these. In fact, only the non-Jedi. Luke had some, but then became a Jedi and then was never seen with these again. So probably not that. Or maybe it is that, and people are just really helpful. “Okay Mr. Jedi, I’ll fight you, but if you run low on plasma sword sauce, let me know.”

  • Chris May 5, 2017, 4:08 pm

    Sonic Screwdrivers … everyone needs one or more of those.

  • DarthBuster May 5, 2017, 4:23 pm

    Definitely PEZ dispensers

  • Don Mooney May 6, 2017, 11:11 am


  • masa May 8, 2017, 1:05 pm

    It is there so star war nuts who notice the “things” are confused.It is probably a logo type thing to indicate that they are star war characters.

    • Paul Ogata May 8, 2017, 1:57 pm

      Ouch. But not all the Star Wars characters have them. That’s bad branding if that’s the case. And the guys at Jiffy Lube have them, are they Star Wars characters too?

  • masa May 8, 2017, 8:00 pm

    they are wannabes

  • masa May 9, 2017, 10:13 am

    “ball point ” pens. The things are not identical. one is a clip on.

    • Paul Ogata May 9, 2017, 11:12 am

      Well, here’s a shot of USAF pilot Keith Colmer. He’s got ballpoint pens in his flight suit. Curiously, Colmer has joined Virgin Galactic and become the first commercial astronaut pilot in the world. So he’s a spaceman too.

  • Stractor May 17, 2017, 12:06 am

    According to Star Wars Wiki, these are Imperial Code Cylinders.


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