ROGUE ONE REVIEWED
“Rogue One” has stayed in the back of my brain longer than “Moonlight”. There’s not a joke there, so much as a reassessment of my Middle 5 of 2016. As I stated previously, the film is undermined by its short life. Jyn Erso exists to die. The same goes for the warrior monks, the funny droid and Diego Luna. When finite existence exists alongside new characters, the ability to bond doesn’t exist. So, what does that mean? Well, you’re spending two hours watching a cinematic version of a Let’s Play unfold.
The shadow of the Prequels weighs heavily upon this movie. “Rogue One” represents a lot of breakthroughs for the Star Wars Universe. But, it needs the lingering doom from the Prequels and the distant hope of Episode IV to keep things moving. When moving backwards in an established series, the ability to break new ground is limited. The creative team is requiring an audience to accept short-lived characters in an ancillary plot. If an audience can’t do that, the film falls apart.
But, that’s the beauty about ancillary plots being given the chance to grow over time. Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are dead, but did they mean anything to the Prince of Denmark? It’s a question I ask myself when binge-watching “Rebels” or trying to make sense of my old Expanded Universe novels. There was a time where you’re a kid making up adventures for an Imperial Royal Guard, a Snow Trooper, Bespin Gear Leia and Ponda Baba, but do you need to make any one else watch these adventures? Yeah, you can answer minute details and several questions about a greater story. It’s just that why bother?
Fandom is a tricky thing. It sticks to larger properties and creates beacons that easier to follow and allow the audience to project onto them. Generations grow up with them and later creators feel almost indebted to the project rather than innovation. The documentary featurettes on the second disc of the Rogue One Blu showcases how director Gareth Edwards pulled down some incredible shots for his new world. It still doesn’t change the overall feeling of apocrypha.
Many readers have asked if I hated this film and I don’t. I’m quite fond of Rogue One as a Star Wars fan. It’s just that I shouldn’t have to pair it with A New Hope as some sort of Coppola cut to get value from it. As it is, I’ll continue to grow with my viewings of “Rogue One” moving forward. I’ll inevitably compare it against the Han Solo standalone movie and whatever comes next. In time, I suppose the cinematic DLC feeling will shake it. But, I’ll enjoy it for the Battle of Scarif alone. My 5 year old self is screaming at me for even considering a world with too much Star Wars. But, that’s where we are.
- Several lengthy documentary featurettes
- 2.39:1 1080p transfer
- DTS-HD 7.1 master audio track