On New Year’s Eve, Anne, Joanie and I storm-trooped up to the Esquire to see the latest Star Wars film, Rogue One. I liked it and recommend that you go see it. If you haven’t though, beware! Because matey, there be spoilers down below.
Anne wasn’t quite as enamored of this latest offering as I and felt that it wasn’t as good as the original Star Wars, later retitled A New Hope or Episode IV in the vernacular. I cannot disagree with her in that. None of the subsequent movies have been as good as the original and many of them have been awful. Yeah, yeah, I know The Empire Strikes Back is generally considered to be the pinnacle of the Star Wars universe, but is also just a sequel. Nothing can match the jaw dropping surprise that I experienced watching that first movie in 1977. Once I saw it, I couldn’t un-see it and it changed cinema forever.
Rogue One is kind of a one-off from the usual Star Wars fare. Since, none of its principles will likely reappear in subsequent shows. To place this movie in the Star Wars universe, you might call it Episode 3.5. It is a prequel to the original movie and sets up that drama by giving us the back story on that show’s McGuffin, the battle plans to the Death Star. It also departs from the usual formula in that it emphasizes the war aspect of Star Wars more than any other film in the series. The director chose as inspiration for this movie the battle scene on Hoth in Empire. That scene lasted only a few minutes, while in this movie the fighting goes on and on. After a while this film’s frenetic pacing becomes a little tiring. All of its violence also earned Rogue a PG-13 rating, which make it another outlier.
What I really liked about this movie was all of its Easter eggs. They really tied the movie into the rest of the franchise. In this category I also include the more than a few actors that appear in this movie, but didn’t really perform for it. Peter Cushing, who has been dead for twenty years is the most obvious, but Carrie Fisher reappearing in her New Hope guise was certainly the most touching. The recycling of these actors’ images has raised new questions of copyright law.
Around the corner from our house there appears to be our own little local Star Wars going on. In the front yard of this building are two inflatable Xmas ornaments, Yoda and Darth Vader. Both have a seasonal motif going. Yoda is wearing a Santa’s suit and Darth has wrapped presents. Both are also wielding light sabers. Also in the front yard are two yard signs. One sign says, “We Support Our Officers”, while the other sign says, “Jesus Is the Reason for the Season”. The only way that I have been able to reconcile the dichotomy of all of these displays is the fact that the property is a duplex. Happy New Year!