Monday, December 26, 2016

I Fill My Free Time Reading Other People’s "Rogue One" Blogs

OK, not really. But I figure this is the most fun a fan can have each time a Star Wars movie is released. You know, reading up on fan theories, hidden eggs in the flick, “connecting the dots” between interviews with cast and crew, seeing the links with past movies, books, etc.

This isn’t so much an overdue review as much as it is a backing of the consensus that has developed around “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.”

It’s hard to keep up with the latest theorized and essentially confirmed tie-ins from “Rogue One” (I’ll do my best to spare you clear spoilers): 

*That Supreme Leader Snoke DID cross paths here with Darth Vader.

*There are references to characters and ships from “Star Wars Rebels.” (Well, one character crossover is very clear.)

*The Kyber crystals date back to pre-script treatment for “A New Hope.”

*The Force REALLY HAS been one with the entire rebellion and the entire rebellion has really been one with The Force.

This is just the tip of the iceberg. It all provides hours of thrills for fans whose imaginations are broadened by this expanding Star Wars universe (expanding, finally, on the big screen). 

Star Wars has made me cry three times now: 

*The very end of “Return of the Jedi” when I was age 9 and I truly thought it was - back then - the end of the Star Wars saga. 

*A few tears shed in the end of “Rogue One.” The rebels’ sacrifice is fully realized and it’s a breathtaking, dark affair.

*Jar Jar Binks. Because Jar Jar’s appearance essentially symbolizes nearly all of George Lucas’ miscalculations in the prequels.

“Rogue One” is hope, that this enlarging “Star Wars” cinematic universe will only get even better. It will gives more engrossing characters, incredible worlds, engaging scenes of adventure, romance and drama, and fantastic action set pieces.

Was “Rogue One’s” script sublime? No. By no means did it contain the boredom and clunkiness of Lucas’ writing for the prequels. Nor was it a straight call-back to Episode IV or The Force Awakens. 

And yes, Vox, it is a war movie. Because “Star Wars” is about warfare against the backdrop of glorious, strange worlds. Perhaps unlike past SW flicks, “Rogue One” explores the moral complexity of the Rebel Alliance - that the rebels are practically terrorists who do more than they’re willing to admit for a “greater good.”  

Could there have been stronger character development? Sure. But you could say that for most movies. 

All in all, there’s a tremendous story - the end of which we knew already. But how we get there is thrilling and urgent with a dash of disconsolation thrown in. With its expected - and unexpected connections - to other “Star Wars” iterations, it’s a wonderful addition to the SW cinematic family. 

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