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.
WARNING : BIG SPOILERS AFTER THE JUMP (to Lightspeed)….
STOP READING RIGHT HERE OR BE SPOILED!
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.