December 19, 2016

Rogue One: My Review

Last night, the family saw Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. If you have not yet seen the film there are two things I need to tell you:

1) Go see it.

2) Don't read any further.

I loved it! I am on record for being a huge fan of Star Wars, so this does make me a bit biased. My deep nostalgia for all things Star Wars brings glee just at seeing the words, "A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away ..." As these words came on to screen, my two oldest kids leaned into me and whispered, "Please don't scream!" I take great pleasure in embarrassing my kids in public but I was not provided the opportunity as Rogue One did not open with the predictable, orchestral blast while the Star Wars logo suddenly appears on screen. The musical score from start to credits was similar yet distinct from the traditional themes. From the very beginning, both visually and musically, you were informed that this would be a different kind of Star Wars film.

And yet it was incredibly true to the Star Wars story line.

The worlds, vehicles, creatures and costumes all felt like they fit in the Star Wars theme even when they were new. The actors were fantastic and endearing, which makes it hard to know that we will not see most of them again. At the same time, known characters from the Star Wars universe were used in both subtle and bold ways that I felt worked. The CGI used to recreate both Grand Moff Tarkin and Princess Leia were really impressive. The film tied together Episode 3 and Episode 4 very well. I was surprised by how close we were brought to the opening of A New Hope! I wanted to go home and watch it right away (which I didn't).

This does make me wonder what they will do with the Han Solo film now in development. Will it build in the same kind of anticipation? It's marketing genius, if you think about it; telling a great story that will make a generation of parents, like me, want to go out and buy the original series again and again in order to show their kids what follows these prequels. Episodes 1-3 didn't do that for me. As the saying among dads like me went, "You always start with Episodes 4-6." You wouldn't start with 1-3. That was just bad parenting. The last two movies may be changing that. I have to wonder if that was part of the hopes of bringing us these new films. Episode 7 and Rogue One have, for the first time, made me interested in sitting down with my kids and watching them all in order.

Marketing genius!

Nonetheless, I love it!