Software that Could Have Prevented the Rebels from Stealing the Empire’s Plans for the Death Star

Disclaimer: slight spoilers ahead. Additionally, while the tone of this article reads very much pro-Empire, the author wants to clarify that she is firmly on the side of the Rogue One rebels.


In “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story,” a ragtag group of rebels manage to distract Imperial officials and successfully steal the plans for the Death Star. Those plans reveal the Death Star’s single weak point, which gives the Rebel Alliance the means to destroy the horrific superweapon, thereby dismantling the newest and greatest threat posed by the Emperor and Darth Vader’s terrorizing reign.

Incidentally, those plans are not-so-securely locked up in a digital archive that can be accessed by any ol’ Imperial handprint, dead or alive. Further, the plans require the controller to know incredibly private information about the architect to identify the metadata that tags the plans in the system. That’s the extent of the security measures the Empire has outfitted for their asset archive vault, leaving it rather vulnerable. I wager that had the Empire implemented certain crucial software, it could have prevented the hijacking of game-changing information. Below are five tools that the Empire should have deployed to pre-empt this literal poaching of sensitive data.

Field Service Management

Bodhi Rook undoubtedly instigated the events of “Rogue One.” Bodhi was an Imperial cargo pilot—the intergalactic equivalent of a long-haul truck driver — who defected to the Rebellion on request from Galen Erso, architect of the Death Star. His sole mission was to deliver a message to the one rebel extremist who could be counted on to unceasingly wage war against the Empire. Throughout the duration of the film, Bodhi commandeers not one Imperial ship, but two: his own, at the outset of the film, and then the later-christened “Rogue One.” Both the Empire and the Rebel Alliance desperately want to find the defected pilot for their own reasons.

Field service management software provides a centralized digital hub for businesses with a deployed workforce. Businesses that deploy FSM optimize daily operations by tracking job assignments and field service operators; cleaning up the clutter of invoices, inventories and instructions; and increasing awareness and transparency throughout a field-based organization. Imagine the advantage the Empire would have had if only it had used FSM software to keep track of Bodhi’s check-ins, out-of-the-ordinary delivery routes and (lack of) communication. Here are some popular field service management tools:

Identity Management

In all the Star Wars films, the existence of identical Stormtroopers, clones and droids demands the question: How can you tell one apart from the other? In “Rogue One,” we meet K-2SO, a reprogrammed Imperial droid. While he is now loyal to the Alliance, he still looks identical to any other Imperial security droid. He’s able to breach any Imperial outpost and base, despite walking more lightly than his droid brothers. When intelligence operative Cassian Andor and new rebel leader Jyn Erso infiltrate the digital archive research center on Scarif to access the Death Star’s plans, they successfully blend in, thanks to their stolen Imperial uniforms and K-2SO. The trio fight off Imperial foot soldiers before locking down a room with access to every single digital asset of the Empire. K-2SO easily inserts himself into the control console and Cassian merely needs to line up a dead Imperial henchman’s hand to the scanner to open up the archive.

That … is not ideal. And it could easily have been prevented had the research center invested in identity management tool software. Identity management software manages and/or restricts user access to secure and sensitive information and corporate resources. The ultimate goal of identity management software is to improve security and manage user credentials. Identity management software supplies a business with a centralized depository for both users and IT administrators to juggle multiple access privileges. There are different subcategories of identity management software: cloud identity and access management software, password managers, single sign-on software and user provisioning software. Any one of these tools could have built at least one extra layer of security that would have hampered the rebels’ efforts (though, again, I’m glad they didn’t). Here are some popular identity management tools:

Enterprise Content Management

As mentioned above, Galen Erso hid the name of the Death Star plans under “Stardust,” the fond nickname he had given his estranged daughter. Recognizing that name was crucial to uncovering the location of the plans in the archive’s seemingly infinite organizational structure. This plot point, while full of fuzzy feelings and character backstory, actually proves the total and complete inefficiency of the entire Imperial system. (We only need to look at Vader’s pomp and circumstance routine, from bacta tank to force-choking Orson Krennic, to understand how much energy is wasted on facade.)

Enterprise content management software would have housed the centralized platform that stores, organizes and manages company information. ECM tools require the authentication of user privileges which in turn ensures the integrity of data. More importantly, ECM products allow for collaboration and information consistency. Instead of depending on Galen’s existence to ensure access to the Death Star plans, as director of Advanced Weapons Research, Krennic could simply consult the Empire’s ECM system. Here are some popular enterprise content management tools:

Business Content Management

We first meet Director Krennic in Rogue One as he balefully tracks down the location of genius architect Galen Erso. Why? Because Galen is crucial to Krennic’s plans for the Death Star. Throughout the rest of the film, we discover that, to Krennic, no one and nothing is as important as the Death Star. Even the entire group of engineers who helped Galen build the Death Star is dispensable. Nothing infuriates and wounds Krennic more than Grand Moff Tarkin coldly stealing credit for the Death Star. Had Krennic invested in business content management (BCM) software, he wouldn’t have had to grovel at Vader’s feet for acknowledgment of sole ownership of the superweapon.

Why? Because BCM solutions create pre-configured collaborative platforms within a business’ archives, helping the business manage multiple content types via access, file sync, and edit and share capabilities. BCM platforms ease and promote both internal and external communication. Had the Empire invested in a BCM solution, the Death Star plans would have Krennic’s name stamped on them as he shared, from his own archives, the evolving plans and updates on the successful deployments of the Death Star. Here are some popular business content management tools:

Endpoint Protection

Let me backtrack: endpoint protection software isn’t really useful for Scarif’s data vault because the archive requires on-premise activity to even access it. However, that fact, in and of itself, is troubling. Why keep such sensitive data like the Death Star plans in a laughably obvious skyscraper? Why keep those plans on a glorified floppy disk that could be easily removed and then easily accessed with zero encryption? Had the Empire kept the plans in an underground vault or, at the very least, in a less-obvious location than the Citadel, they could have then discussed the logistics of off-site access.

That’s when an endpoint protection tool would have come into play, unfurling its protection platform to secure the archive device from virtual threats. Endpoint protection platforms contain security features that combat viruses and malware, as well as prop up firewalls and facilitate data encryption. The platforms also host intrusion prevention systems, all in an efforts to simultaneously centralize and automate security tasks while monitoring for threats and suspicious behaviors. Had the Empire turned to endpoint protection, they would have been able to do things like use real-time scans to notify administrators of any impending threats and force advanced forms of malicious data breaches to travel through layered protective defenses. Here are some popular endpoint protection tools:

Death Star 1.0 was purposefully built with a weakness, as result of the Evil Empire forcing a genius architect to build a superdestroyer against his wishes. Considering that context, the Empire sure didn’t take necessary measures. Yes, it made sure to build a shield generator around the entire planet, but it didn’t equip adequate physical security effort to the archive that housed the very blueprints of the machine. How unfortunate for them. The rebels’ bombing effectively distracted the 80-something Stormtroopers and boom! Cassian, Jyn and K2 slipped in. On the flip side, each of these software products could benefit not just the Galactic Empire, but any kind of business in a variety of industries trying to keep their data secure and properly sourced. These products resolve concerns about user authorization, remote off-site access, tracking of resources and integrity of data.

Is your software prepped for security? After all, even if you’re not an evil empire hell-bent on destroying any and all existence of your enemies, you’re still concerned with who is accessing what in your company data and how to centralize management and organization of that company data. Find out how your software stack scores with our “Software I Use” analysis and reporting tool.