I’m going to be catching this one on the weekend, once the crowd has (relatively) died down a little bit.
Part of me regrets not seizing the chance to see a midnight screening (a friend of mine was on a generous bend and decided to buy a fistful of it and doled it out to mates). By all accounts it’s real good, so I’ll save that one for next week (which by that point would be a bit late, so I’ll take different spin on it).
Rogue One takes the focus away from the typical heroes of Star Wars movies- and fills in the gap about how the Rebel Alliance got the Death Star plans (I mean we have to find out if they get it right?). That’s all about I would say at this moment.
These aren’t technically part of the main movies- these movies are sub-titled with “A Star Wars story.” These stories expand the universe and explore the world from the perspectives of less than usual heroes- we all get sick of lightsaber wielding guys stealing the show all the time.
These individual Star Wars story, sort of forms the “Expanded Universe” for the new Star Wars canon- as most of the old Expanded Universe got wiped out like the Death Star’s thing, after the franchise’s acquisition by Disney- that monstrous leviathan behind a cutesy smiley face that will surely consume us all. These stories are self-contained, all wrapped up in one movie, without the need to ever visit them again. In that sense, they are like the Culture series of novels (by the late Iain M. Banks), though the latter does not come easy to read and digest (which is why the Culture series is highly unlikely to get a televisual adaptation of its own)
The old Expanded Universe had a lot of stories and arcs that were just plain terrible, so only the good ones were kept, like the Clone Wars (both the Gennady Tartakovsky’s 2007 animated series or the more recent 2012-13 one suffices), one of the universe’s most important conflicts between two armies that had the means to rapidly replenish war-related losses, which led to the whole Galactic Empire and Rebel Alliance thing down the track. The Clone Wars had plenty of perspectives from those whose boots are on the ground, exploring the more ambiguous aspects of Star Wars that the main storylines usually shy from.
So what do I hope of Rogue One? It’s got Donnie Yen. That means it’s already awesome regardless of how the rest of the movie is. This is his first major role in front of a Western audience, discounting hardcore martial arts afficionados who saw all the three Ip-Man movies (seriously check out that shit- where he plays the eponymous martial arts master and teacher to Bruce Lee). The last time a Star Wars movie brought some foreign martial arts stars, Iko Uwais and Yayan Ruhian in Episode VII- we only got to see 10 seconds of them before they shortly got gribbled up by that tentacle monster- a great waste considering their amazing performances in the Raid: Redemption and Raid 2 (both of which are on my top 10 movie lists).
I mean after all, I really am dying to know if they get the Death Star plans or not.
(Some of you readers may have already caught this film ahead of me)