Rogue One Character Trips: Baze and Chirrut

This character trip will not see these two separated because I think their magic lies in being a duo after all; they are introduced as a duo, stay as a duo and ultimately die as a duo, so what more fitting way to talk about them than as a package.

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Baze and Chirrut are introduced as Guardians of the Whills, protectors of the kyber temple of Jedha that has since been stripped and emptied by the Empire. Chirrut is the first one to appear as he asks Jyn about the necklace she holds hidden in her clothes. He asks her is she knows what kyber crystals are used for and when she responds with “the Jedi lightsabers”, Chirrut informs that “the strongest stars have hearts of kyber”. All the while, Baze looms from the shadows/fog, keeping an eyeful on his partner in crime.

The next highlight is Chirrut taking down a number of stormtroopers on their way to apprehend Jyn, Cassian and K2. What really surprised me about Chirrut is his sheer faith and trust in the Force, the way he allowed it to give shape to the world around him; in ways, what he achieves is being more of a Jedi than the Jedi themselves and I think that speaks volumes. He manages to balance out his faith, while also allowing himself to feel and be flooded with emotion, the way he manages to stay pure of heart and still go further than the Jedi ever did in their solving of problems.

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His scene reminded me of another great character from Avatar the Last Airbender, Toph Beifong – a blind girl able to manipulate the earth – and the way she listened to the earth, felt it with her very being in order to be able to see. And just as Ragnar Lothbrok tells his crippled son, Ivar : “I thought your legs were a weakness, and you wouldn’t survive. I was wrong. Your legs have given you a strength, a strength that even your brothers don’t have. You’re like a deaf man whose eyesight is sharper than anyone else. You are special, not in spite of your legs, but because of them.“

Such is the greatness that Chirrut achieves; he cannot see the visible, but he sees the unknown, and that is ever more precious.

 Where Chirrut is the religious, Baze is at the opposite end as the brute force, a man betrayed by his fate that decided to take matters into his own hands. Where Chirrut would trust the Force, Baze would remain vigilant and prepared to act.

Their relationship works like a complete circle, they are the Yin and the Yang, opposites, but together complete. The moment of their deaths is a great statement of that, as their prayers are mirrored, but still one and the same : “I’m one with the Force, and the Force is with me.” / “The Force is with me, and I’m one with the Force.”

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Even though they, as well as the other members of the team, lack a clear character arc, with Chirrut and Baze it’s almost unnoticeable. The way they work in such harmony and unison displays the ultimate, deepest and most profound kinds of love and affection. They care about each other and that is all they need. Everything just works because they make it work : “I don’t need luck. I have you!”

When Chirrut dies, Baze is made to believe again; he believes in the Force because he believes Chirrut is there, and he wants to be reunited with Chirrut once more. Love is what makes Baze pick back up his faith and belief and that is beautifully poetic. He finally embraces death and smiles upon his partner as he is on his way to greet him again, and thus when one died, the other died in a perfectly closed circle – “One cannot exist without the other.” as Raava instructed in The Legend of Korra, proving once again that opposites can only meet to create a perfect union.

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