Still a great Star Wars story

Five years ago, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story movie theaters hit like a bullet train. The public was still buzzing about JJ Abrams’ The power wakes up of the year before and was eager to see what Kathleen Kennedy would do with George Lucas’ galaxy far, far away now that she had essentially an endless supply of resources and a book full of blank checks.

Despite expensive – and well-documented – re-recordings, Rogue One, directed by Gareth Edwards (Godzilla) and, to a lesser extent, Tony Gilroy (who more or less oversaw the review sessions), garnered excellent reviews, with an 84% critical score and 86% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes, and had a cool $ 1,056 billion at the global box office earned at a massive $ 220 million budget. The photo remains the third most deserving Star Wars movie behind The power wakes up and The Last Jedi domestic, when inflation is not taken into account.

Rogue One is an almost perfect example of a successful spin-off. Of course, the characters are a bit flat, certain storytellers feel a bit forced, and the harsh handouts / recalls to previous ones Star Wars entries cause occasional eye roll. But the movie’s flaws are overshadowed by its many strengths and a crowd-pleasing, action-packed and emotional third industry that successfully delivers everything fans of the franchise want.

Of course, given the current state of Star Wars today, at least on the big screen, the only thought I had after a recent review of Rogue One was: “Stop overcomplicating this franchise.” Star Wars movies should not be difficult. After all the movies, TV shows and video games, audiences have a very clear idea of ​​what they want and do not want in a Star Wars film – light swords, space battles, exuberant heroes, cunning villains and simplistic stories of good versus evil.

The power wakes up understood it mostly, and therefore fans and audiences went crazy for the picture despite the shameless “remixing” of A New Hope. In the end, it was an exciting experience filled with interesting new characters, amazing special effects and a great dose of cute fun.

Rian Johnson’s, on the other hand The Last Jedi, despite his lofty ambitions, interesting ideas and fascinating character arcs, tampers too much with the Star Wars formula. Suddenly we have far too many shades of gray, insignificant villains, and an infusion of not-so-subtle politics. As an independent film, The Last Jedi works as a meta-commentary on the nature of Star Wars and the cyclical pattern that frames the never-ending battle between good and evil – all fascinating, exciting ideas that have no place in the eighth entry of a franchise whose characters are more or less defined by the color of their laser value.

Rogue One understand it better than most Star Wars entries and presents a very simple story with clearly defined heroes and villains fighting over a rather simplistic goal: the Death Star plans. Edwards, who is working on a screenplay by Chris Weitz and Gilroy, is definitely trying to fill the plot with a little more plot by suggesting Cassian Andor (Diego Luna) as a non-nonsense rebel pilot / intelligence officer whose emphatic allegiance to the Rebel Alliance leads to the occasional difficult decision, such as when he kills an informant early in the film and almost executes Galen Erso (Mads Mikkelsen) despite his better judgment.

For the most part, however, Rogue One play like a relatively simple Star Wars story. His heroes, namely Jyn Erso (Felicity Jones), K-2SO (Alan Tudyk), Chirrut Îmwe (Donnie Yen), Baze Malbus (Wen Jiang), and Bodhi Rook (Riz Ahmed) are thinly drawn characters who possess one characteristic trait that let them stand out above the rest, while villains like Orson Krennic (Ben Mendelsohn) and Governor Tarkin (Guy Henry, hidden under low CGI) twist their mustaches, bark orders and deliver grand speeches in a way that would make Hitler blush.

Perhaps the only truly dimensional character in the bunch is Saw Gerrera (Forest Whitaker), an extremist who performs his own shady deeds to bring down the Empire – though his impact is taught by Whitaker’s strange actions, and which Bor Gullet though.

Anyway, look at the opening scene after Rogue One, who sees Orson execute an innocent woman in the name of the Galactic Emperor. If this is not already clear, the good guy is the sympathetic guy who just wants to live on his farm in peace. The bad guy is the man who swings a cape and is flanked by emotionless soldiers adorned in militaristic black outfits.

Do you see it? Simply. Good versus evil. Now audiences can sit back and watch the good guys s- like the Death Star blow up without worrying about the absurd death toll or whether the massive, lunar base contained innocent civilians and / or individuals or not. want to work for the emperor.

On the other hand, once we hear that there are actually Stormtroopers like Finn (John Boyega) being kidnapped and forced to work for the New Order, scenes like the Battle of Takodana are a little harder to appreciate because you are constantly wondering whether or whether not the bad guys really are so erg.

Now, I’m not saying you can not have nuances in Star Wars, but to do so, you essentially have to rebuild the brand from the ground up. The Mandalorian does so essentially by introducing darker, sharper characters and ideas into his weekly episodes; one can reason it The Clone Wars and Star Wars Rebel had achieved this feat a few years before.

All that to say, Rogue One does his job and does his job well. Gareth Edwards and Kie delivered a spectacular Star Wars film that gives audiences everything they expect from the long-running franchise. No, the photo does not move the needle in a specific direction, but, technically speaking, the fourth film in a series, it is not necessary. And so we get a lot of help from well-performed action …

… And maybe one of the coolest fights in all Star Wars via The Battle of Scarif…

… Filled with one of the best Darth Vader moments ever…

… Which all contributes to an exciting film experience Star Wars fan can enjoy.

Again, I do not say Star Wars can not be new. The franchise should indeed strive to be the best cinema, but not at the expense of its thematic roots. No, we do not necessarily need constant tributes and fans in our films (as the failure of Solo: A Star Wars Story will testify), but we also do not have to shatter our expectations of oblivion.

Five years later, Rogue One stands as an example of how to do this kind of thing right. It may not be a big deal movie, but it’s definitely a great Star Wars story.

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