December 23, 2016
I finally saw Rogue One earlier today. This is a spoiler for some so I suggest those that haven’t seen it yet stop reading now.
I understand why they had to call it “A Star Wars Story” and they did not have the usual scrolling introduction as it happened between Episodes III and IV. It was a much needed explanation and closed the loop as how the Rebel Alliance acquired the schematics (and more importantly the in-built and purposely engineered flaw) of the Death Star.
Chirrut is more than a token character with a disability (which is an indicator of how far society has come – there’s still a way to go but the “representation” may have not been that welcome a few years ago). It isn’t surprising that he was blind (echoing the parallel when Luke was training to use a light saber onboard the Millennium Falcon). It reminds me of Erannon of the Blade, a character I concocted back in college for an Advanced Dungeons & Dragons campaign after reading the Rogue’s Handbook. I even wrote a monologue for him – sheesh!
Rogue One as a title seemed arbitrary to me – it’s just anything penciled in by the writer in the script could have been used. I was just hoping it was more meaningful (and not as serendipitous as it seemed).
Star Wars is ostensibly a space opera (as previously described). It may not be everyone’s cup of tea (oh, the sacrilege!). It personally means something to me (as I suspect it’s held deeply by others) but I know enough that it holds no significance for others (no matter how hard you try to convince them). IMHO, it’s a binary fight between good and evil – just like The Lord of the Rings series – so I understand why it doesn’t appeal to some. Ever notice Sci-Fi does have penchant for dystopian futures (a lesson that we have the power to choose to avoid this bleakness)? Star Trek seems more hopeful to me – I don’t mind it but I prefer Star Wars (does it surprise anyone that Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back is my favourite one?). And I always felt there was an “artificial” dichotomy but I digress…
The “main” characters had to perish because they aren’t part of the storyline. It was finally good to see some diversity on screen but I’m not a real PC stickler – with the changing demographic in America it’s no real surprise although women seem to be visibly underrepresented. In any case, does it advance or is necessary in the grand scheme of things? In my mind, it may have not been the greatest Star Wars film (it was certainly better than all of the prequels) but it’s a story which definitely needed to be told. This isn’t really a review but just a few of my thoughts.