By Joshua Lucas
Will Rogue One Be Any Good?
In just a few short weeks, we will be viewing the first Star Wars Story film under the new Disney era ownership of our favorite science fiction fantasy. Rogue One will be the first non-episodic film to come out other than the Clone Wars animated movie. The film’s production has been closely followed by Disney and the media, and it has seen many ups and downs. Fan anticipation is high, but it remains unclear if this film, which attempts to forge into unknown territory, will be a success or not.
I’m going to use the verbiage that makes everyone nervous, but is none-the-less true. This film is a prequel. I know, it kind of incites a certain reaction for people, but the fact remains that we are once again being shown a story that takes place before A New Hope. Now, the ending of this movie is supposed to run right up to ten minutes before Episode IV, but it will tackle something that was barely touched on in the original film. This is, of course, the attainment of the plans to the Death Star, which was a single line in the opening crawl of the original film. The hope that Disney has is that this “Tarantino” type of storytelling will be met with higher praise than Episodes I, II, and III.
For my own part, I’m not convinced that the marketing department working under the Mouse has done a good enough job to hammer this point home. I’ve personally heard far too many people asking if this will continue the story of Rey and Kylo Ren. Hard core fans knew about this movie around the same time we learned of the title to Episode VII, but the hard-core fans make up a very small part of the movie going audience. The financial success of this film depends upon its ability to reach a wide audience. I’ve talked about his at great length on my YouTube channels and on social media in general, but the truth is that we as fans NEED this movie to be successful more than we need it to be good.
I made it a point to bring this up around the time that we started hearing about the dreaded re-shoots. Now, every major blockbuster film has scheduled re-shoots built into their production, but don’t be fooled. The re-shoots for Rogue One were a bigger deal than what happens on most movies. I don’t want to dive down this rabbit hole right now, but just look at the schedules for the actors and the fact that the film is now scored by a different conductor. They took a lot of time to make it more friendly to a wider audience, much to the hard-core fan’s chagrin. When the internet erupted in protest, I told my nerdy brothers and sisters to calm down, because if the brand can sustain big profits on movies that don’t have the main characters we will be rewarded with harder edge content in the future. As I said earlier, this is the first attempt to do such a thing under the Disney flag. For now, it is in all our best interests to have this movie make boat loads of money.
Now, it may seem as though I’m coming down hard on Rogue One, and maybe I am to a degree, but it’s time for me to share my raw optimism about this film. I truly believe that Rogue One has the potential to be the coolest friggin Star Wars movie OF ALL TIME! Seriously, I believe that. The war like nature that Gareth Edwards set out to capture seems on point. The utilization of familiar ships and soldiers in unfamiliar settings seems intriguing to no end. The expansion of the lore around Jedi, the Force, and the Rebellion has me foaming at the mouth. These things could add up to a movie that will make a lasting impact on my fandom and better inform the canon that I think is the best attribute of the post-George Star Wars era. I. Am. Pumped!