Rogue One

I love Star Wars. I even love the prequel trilogy. They are a wonderful chain of films set in an adventurous and interesting galaxy. Disney bringing it back, and in a big way, is exciting to me. I am really pleased to know that I have another decade ahead of Star Wars movies. Having a child reignites this passion as we watched all six of the original movies together before the new one came out last year, and we both had a high excitement level for Rogue One. I like that Disney is more deeply exploring the non-force side of the universe. I watched Rogue One last night, and what I can tell you before I head into spoiler warning territory is that I felt really uncomfortable at the end of the movie. A feeling far different from any Star Wars universe based movie, ever, for me. Now, I am going to put in a “jump” button if you have not already seen the  movie (or care not to, heathen) and I can share more about why I felt/feel that way, and what it all means to me.







Just to confirm my spoiler alert – everyone dies. Everyone. They die quickly and in succession and in a very unsatisfying way. I get that it is a Rebellion and it is meant to show sacrifice. I get that there is no sequel planned – but the whole thing felt rushed. The character development, the story arc, (everyone’s death..) felt so… rushed. It felt like none of those elements were done justice. Honestly it probably could have been a trilogy of it’s own. There was enough there, enough interest in the story and characters that if they would have planned to take their time and make it all a bit more meaningful there is definitely two to three movie’s worth of story to tell here. I sat at the end feeling so unfulfilled in the opposite of a Star Warsy way I usually do.

I am glad I went and saw it. I just expected more from it.

In other Star Wars movies the good guys do not always win, but there is the lingering theme of hope. “Hope” is used often in Rogue One and with focus in major speeches and even the end with CGI Leia. They tried to tie things in tightly heading into EP 4 – A New Hope – but the manner in which they discarded this secondary cast (to the original trilogies) was, in my opinion, borderline shameful. Rogue One could have been so much more. And while the ending and some key scenes spoke of hope and the platform was built to suggest that without this group there would be none in the adventures that occurred afterwards it felt like it was done in such a way as to minimize their sacrifice. It was really sad. These rebels could have been heroes in their own rights equal to Luke, Han and Leia in the SW Universe. Their story just wasn’t told in such a way to make that true.

There is a personal expectation of how I should feel after a Star Wars movie and for better or for worse this left me wanting to feel differently than I did. Perhaps that was the plan all along.

4 comments / Add your comment below

  1. What do you mean “no sequel planned?” This is a prequel that dovetails directly into “A New Hope,” so “not planned” is because the sequel already exists. Episode IV could be show directly after with the caption “five minutes later.” I actually went home after Rogue One and watched Episode IV just to see how well they meshed. They line up very well.

    Okay, yes, I know what you meant, you wanted to see those characters go on to have their own story arc. And maybe it was a dumb idea to make Rogue One be what it was, because for the sake of continuity you had to eliminate any loose ends that might have otherwise influenced the story as we know it or give any overzealous critic a lever to say, “Well, if so-and-so live, why didn’t they just do X?” where “X” is a pretty logical follow on.

    So everybody had to die. Imperial, rebels, probably even a lot of Bothans.

    Still, I liked the movie for what it was, what one might consider a side quest to the main quest line of the plot. But my daughter came out of this asking the same question she did after “Fantastic Beasts,” which was, “Why even make this movie?” From the cynical point of view it is really just filler for the fan base and a chance to milk the franchise a bit harder. More toys to sell!

    And even at its best, because of the constraints put on the movie by the needs of the main story line, it was always going to be a sideshow, a bit of filling in the details. You could not have somebody who was a hero to the rebellion survive this and then never be mentioned again in the main movies, unless you want Disney to go back and re-jigger them again ala George Lucas.

    1. I think that if they did even two movies, you could have done the story far better justice. Then, when everyone died, you actually would have cared a lot more. There were some interesting characters there that we didn’t really get to know well in a movie context.

      I do see your points about continuity errors that could have been worse by letting them live. I think it just would have been nicer to have them live longer, so killing them off meant more. I mean, the whole thing happened in a matter of days.. from start to finish. Seems a bit rushed.

      Aren’t rebellions better planned? =P

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