I actually feel kind of bad for the new Star Wars prequel/spin-off Rogue One. Why? Can you imagine having to follow up The Force Awakens whilst also telling an all new story but using elements and a timeline from the older Star Wars movies? It is a bold and ambitious move to have the balls to back up and rewind the timeline to give us some deeper insight into some of the rebel tactics that were used to snag the blueprints to the Death Star during the original trilogy. But for the first time in a Star Wars movies (since the awful prequels which we no longer count as actual movies), this is the first time we are getting mostly ALL-NEW characters telling us a story they have not before. So what should we expect? Something that reminds us of old Star Wars, and something as shiny and fast and fun as the most recent Star Wars? I think if we are lucky and the people behind the wheel are as talented and passionate about the material as us, maybe we will end up with both. At the end of the day, these movies either work or they don’t, and my hopes are very high for this ‘one’. But there is a lot of pressure riding on Rogue One. This is the first official Star Wars spin-off, which means, if it tanks, other future projects that are prequels (i.e. Han Solo prequels) could vanish as well.
See, Rogue One had a lot of pressure on them to break into the Death Star and steal its blueprint, but they are going to feel even more pressure when they realize the rest of the spin-offs probably RELY on this one being good.
But will it be? Let’s discuss.
Some Factors Why Rogue One Might Be Good
The tried and most true Star Wars fans hear the words Star Wars and hear the words prequel and want to curl up into a ball and rock themselves until they end up in their mental “happy place” and who can blame them? From one to three, they were NOT the Star Wars movies the people knew and loved. So when someone mentioned online about there being a new prequel coming out, there was some trepidation, unerstandingly.
Of course, that feeling passed in a lot of fans when they saw the first teaser. Rogue One looks like it is worn out and lived in, yet still manages to incite excitement in us as well. The cast is great (yes, more on that later), the story makes it sound like a bank heist movie taking place on the Death Star featuring good guy pirate types. What is there NOT to love about this, it all sounds awesome?!
But for everything now, there are haters, and Rogue One is no exception. The section below is so they don’t feel left out.
Some Factors Why Rogue One Might Be Bad
The tough thing Rogue One has to do is be the follow-up movie to the Force Awakens (first good Star Wars movie in YEARS) and to follow up that perfection, yet to take away the Jedi might pose a problem for the film. People associate the Star Wars films with Jedi and lightsaber duels, so when we get a Star Wars that (may) not have those (or at least definitely won’t have much of), might be enoughto scare off or piss off the fan base. See, Rogue One has a LOT to live up to.
I, speaking only for myself, am excited about it. Taking less emphasis off the weapons of choice gives us more of a chance to connect with these characters on a deeper level. Make them seem more relatable to us.
The only other problem is how do you make a movie that came out in 2016 look like the 1977 Star Wars world? Do you make it prettier to make it uglier? Use same sets as original? Last thing we want is another prequel like the other three where the tech advancements did not make sense considering it was a prequel. Hopefully that won’t be a problem here.
That Cast, Though
One thing any Hollywood nut and fan of Asian cinema will tell you, the cast for Rogue One has some of the best martial artists in the world on it. Above all, Donnie Yen. The man who taught Bruce Lee how to fight. Even the tingles I got when I first heard Yen was going to be in the Star Wars spinoff left me speechless. I also feared he may be underused (as the Raid guys were in The Force Awakens) but from what the trailer looks like, this will be the Donnie Yen that we know and love, kicking ass en masse and taking names.
On top of that, the buzz surrounding the movie’s lead, Felicity Jones’ is already at fever pitch. You add Forrest Whitaker to that and Mads Mikkelsen and you have a movie cast that is gonna kick Star Wars out of the park (I have no idea why I have them playing kickball with Star Wars in my head, but so it goes).
If that cast doesn’t excite you about this Star Wars spinoff, I know something that will….
Darth Vader Returns
Yes, that is Darth Vader seen above. Also, don’t get suckered into some “cameo just for fanboys stuff” even though that us probably what it will end up being. Regardless, the timeline this story takes place on is familiar to many of us, and to expect to not have at least one encounter with the big bad himself would just be a missed opportunity, but they are going for it with Rogue One, which takes massive balls.
The glaring truth here is, all the pieces are lined up for this to be a different, yet just as awesome Star Wars experience as all the others we’ve had so far.
Rogue One Really Can’t Fail
When you add all the above factors together it is quite easy to see that Rogue One has all the makings of another stellar Star Wars movie. One that may be a part of the herd but is doing all it can to set itself apart, while still (hopefully) keeping us annoying fanboys happy, too. Granted, someone on some corner of Reddit is gonna find some hole in this movie and tear it wide open. But outside of those people, seems like an awesome next step for the series to go. Just another quick step back before taking one forward. Makes sense to me.
Rogue One comes out December 16, and just like The Force Awakens was last year, I am sure Rogue One will be filling movie theater seats packed to maximum capacity for a long time. So yes, the force DOES feel strong in this one.
*Punches self in face for not avoiding that low hanging fruit