It was too cold to fish yesterday, and I found out there was an early premiere for Rogue One. If you like Star Wars you’re gonna love this movie.
In 1977 a ten year old kid sat in a movie theater on opening night and had his mind blown by special effects unsurpassed for the times. Star Wars left a lasting impression. Last night that impression was reborn in the form of Rogue One. The story in the story, that sets up the rest of the story we now know as the Star Wars franchise. I also learned why storm troopers still shoot like shit.
Seriously, who would have thought the empire would have a recall. Apparently it never happened. This is my only spoiler, and if you aren’t paying attention you will miss that because it is funny, or at least it was to me.
Rogue one is the story of how the rebels steal the plans for the Death Star. In the original Star Wars, yes I call it that because I am that old, the audience is told about a pilot who risked it all to get these plans. That small description is the entire Rogue One movie, but the description in those few lines does not do justice to what was required for those plans to be stolen. The audience is given the perspective that this is all about that pilot, it’s not, it is much more. I am not going to ruin that story for you either, I am simply going to explain why you need to go see this movie, especially if you loved the original movies. Everything in Rogue One is Star Wars; the characters, the ships, the uniforms, the scenery, … everything.
They didn’t skip a beat making this movie, and didn’t miss a detail. The computer graphics on the ships are still Pong meets Atari. Rogue One is 1977 all over again. You don’t get into the characters as much as you do in most movies, and you aren’t given the chance. We are introduced to everyone, you see how they kind of “are” or could become, and then the movie goes straight into hyper-drive with action. There isn’t any time to build the characters. You do get a tad lost wanting to know who these people are, but it doesn’t matter, the story line starts rolling hard and fast. These people are on a mission! There is a mission within the mission too. At the end of the movie you understand why setting up the characters’ backgrounds is unnecessary, I won’t ruin that either.
Everything I imagined that the original Star Wars could be in these modern times of CGI and special effects is in this movie. You see the same ships in serious dogfights, there are teasers of characters you want to see and others that are a total surprise, but you remember them from the first movie. A new tag line emerges … “I am with the Force and the Force is with me.” You will hear this repeated constantly and it is the only reference to the force. The good side of the force doesn’t exist in Rogue One, it is but a memory, a shadow of the past, buried in myth and legend, or as Han Solo said in the original a “hokey religion.” But yet it is there, it is spoken of, hinted to, whispered about, but it does not exist like we see in the all the movies.
The Jedi have all been destroyed, nothing but the remnants remain. Except for Darth Vader. In Rogue One the Death Star was just finished being built, so old Darth is in his prime evilness. Vader is the only sign that the force exists and of course it is the dark side, but that fact is not even mentioned, because we as the audience are already in the know. For the rebel characters in the movie the force is something of old, or legend. Some of the higher ups in the empire know about it all too well, thanks to Darth, and whether you liked him or not Vader is still a total badass. So are many of our other new characters.
Rogue One’s perspective is different then all of the Star Wars movies. I think that is what makes the movie so unique, and fresh. We are shown the empire through the eyes of the rebel forces, a loose alliance that has hardly gotten organized or an identity. Not the leadership’s perspective of the main characters in all the other Star Wars movies that this story sets up. Rogue One is before there was a totally united rebel alliance, this is when the rebellion starts to take on its true form or purpose. There are groups within groups and sanctions within sanctions,that fight among themselves. Everyone is a rebel, but fighting the oppression of the empire for different reasons.
Of course Rogue One has all the typical Star Wars attractions. Ships, lasers, light sabers, storm troopers, imperial walkers, tie fighters, the death star, star destroyers, aliens, and some of the characters of old. This is before Star Wars happened, it is necessary to have some of these characters. Even though we know these characters from thirty years ago, this is a whole new perspective. Some characters of old’s roles are even hinted at in the new characters, though we never actually see them, like Yoda. I’ll let you figure out who that is on your own, and that may just be my perspective. We meet the reprogrammed imperial droid K-2SO. This droid has a lot of character for something that is supposed to have zero personality. There are heroes in all the Star Wars movies, and K-2SO is one of them, whether it intended to be or not. The ships are ten times bigger, I didn’t know they made star destroyers that big. Seems every movie they get at least one ship that is bigger than the last movie, or is it the first movie?
Take the kids, they will love it. The action is a little intense and the soundtrack is “Star Wars” with some added flair. I will say after seeing the first ten minutes of Rogue One, that any day now they can take the original Star Wars and put the scene back in where Han Solo shoots the bounty hunter Greedo first, because that is what you do. I always hated when they added that “self Defense” shot in the Mos Eisley Cantina scene. Because if people hated that and wanted it to be “politically correct” then they don’t want to see this movie. I can’t wait to see this about fifty more times and in 3D, I saw it in 2D first. Watch the original Star Wars before you go or don’t, it won’t matter. If you loved the original movies as much as I did, you will flash back to the past, which for Rogue One is actually the future. That in and of itself makes this a fun movie to watch.
When I left the theater I overheard someone in my age group say they didn’t identify with the characters. You aren’t supposed to, the identity is the story in and of itself.
I am with the Force and the Force is with me
One of the new features we will be adding to DSF is movie reviews, because I like movies and so does a good friend of mine. I hope we get to introduce you to him soon.