Tuesday, 13 December 2016

Rogue One, I'll Pass.


I remember when the trailers and so on for The Force Awakens began to pour over the internet, my excitement was added to many others out there. I took my two eldest children to see it at the cinema and we all enjoyed it, I'll even go as far as to admit that I felt a lump in my throat when the iconic theme tune burst onto the screen. As the time drew near to the release of the DVD/Blu-Ray, my wife and I rented it via Sky and we watched it for something to do. Sadly I realized that the film did not hold up so well on second viewing, a lot of the flaws or questionable moments in the film stood out and I found myself frowning more often than I liked. An an example or two, it still bugs me that Rey not only seems to master and use the Jedi Mind trick in one film (as opposed to the three it took Luke) and manages to beat Ren in combat with a Light Sabre even though he is much more skilled than she is. It also made me wonder why it hadn't been Finn that had turned out to be the Jedi, he got his ass kicked numerous times and had a much more interesting character in my opinion but hey, strong empowered female character and all that I guess.

Now we have Rogue One on the horizon and it is a prequel film in the series, I did think about it for a moment but then decided this film really wasn't for me. Storytelling these days doesn't seem to be doing so well in the film industry, it boils down to superhero films, reboots, remakes, and very little in the way of original content. I give TFA its dues for moving the series forward with a new story but did we really need another prequel story in the Star Wars universe? If it had been a story in the new universe and had introduced some new characters, maybe I might have been swayed but Star Wars didn't really need any more prequel films, especially after the last three films.


The prequel films did have a couple of good moments here and there, especially the climactic fight between Obi-Wan and Anakin, but it also contained some of the most horrid writing and acting I have ever seen. With those in mind, I still wonder how they all managed to make a profit but of course it always comes back to the name. I dare say that if Disney made a series of bricks with Star Wars stamped on them, people would buy them. I watched them with my wife back when she was my girlfriend and when I think of them it often reminds me of those early dates we had together, but the flip side of that coin is that they helped put me against prequels. Why do we need to tell a story that we already know the outcome? You knew when watching the prequel trilogy that Obi-Wan and Yoda would live through it, you knew Anakin would become Darth Vader, you knew the Jedi would be killed off, anybody else was fair game to be killed.

I thought about this with Rogue One and came to a similar conclusion. It's fair to say that the main character, Jyn, will probably survive as Disney wants to push for more female characters in the universe. Most of the other characters in it are men so it's fair to think they stand a good chance of being killed off, Darth Vader is in the film (probably to get bums in seats) and it's obvious he will not die. Why make this film? The cynic in me comes to the conclusion that Disney wants to get as much money out of this franchise as possible, make as much merchandise for it as they can, and keep churning these films out for years to come.

That doesn't interest me in the slightest.

It is a story that doesn't need to be told, simple as that. Prequels are something that I now lump in with reboots and remakes, there is no point to them except to make easy money or that they are a result of a lack of good ideas. It's a real shame to me that this appears to be what Star Wars will become; I think this is where I will jump off and watch it go off on its merry way as it rakes in the profits. If my children want to see it or the next one, I'll offer the wife the chance to take them as it usually falls to me to carry out this task, I'm happy with a good book these days.

I would be happy revisiting the original trilogy if I can find a version without all the added effects and scenes Lucas for some reason, thought were needed. That scream Vader makes at the end of ROTJ that was added in was cringeworthy as hell.

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