‘Rogue One: A Star Wars Story’ Delves Into A Nuanced Star Wars Universe – Director Caters To Old Trilogy Familiarity

8 Overall Score
Special Effects: 8/10
Performance: 9/10
Storytelling: 10/10

Great storytelling that connects to the extended Star Wars universe

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
Director: Gareth Edwards
Starring: Felicity Jones,
Diego Luna, Alan Tudyk,
Donnie Yen, Forest Whitaker
Walt Disney Studios
2016

WARNING: Minor Spoilers

Rogue One debuted this past Friday and it was well received by Star Wars fans of old and new. It brought in $71 million on that day, according to Forbes. On the weekend, the numbers totaled to around $155 million.

Some non-fans may not be too thrilled with flick as they may not necessarily get certain nuances from within. Star Wars Rebels Easter eggs made their appearances as well as other references to certain lore that may have gotten overlooked  by regular movie goers that aren’t keen to the canon’s specifics.

Opinions can vary as some may dislike a certain aspect of Rogue One while others may have adored the very same thing that wasn’t well received by other members of the audience.

Jordan Hoffman of The Guardian expressed his love for the flick and may have as well been biased in his reception as he referred to non-fan friends in a superficial light. He likened it to that of going to a concert where some comrades were only interested in the common music and not the deep tracks and then coming out of it dissatisfied when most of the tunes were not the familiar ones from the Top 40.

Is Lucasfilm doing the world a disservice by not catering to non-fans or would this motivate non-fans to further become familiar with the Star Wars franchise? Marvel Studios seems to have done their fair share of appealing to non-hardcore comic fans, so perhaps this space opera will follow suit as they create these side stories?

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story doesn’t open with a crawl or the all too familiar music only because it’s an anthology film not part of the mainstream saga, but does serve as a great launching point for the Rebellion in order to establish a foothold in its resistance against the Empire.

Perhaps some people may need to refresh their memories by rewatching A New Hope to see where its beginning ties into Rogue One’s ending. Darth Vader gave an astonishing performance prior to boarding Princess Leia’s ship in Episode IV as she nearly escapes in Rogue One.

Familiar faces were abound as cameos by R2D2 and Luke Skywalker’s future bullies on Tatooine make an appearance. Only the latter criminal duos were trying to pick a fight with Jyn Erso on Jedha. Would this be the 12th system where he’s wanted for murder?

Director Gareth Edwards made it a point to even ask actors to grow out their sideburns and the like for a 70s era effect reflecting the old Star Wars Trilogy, according to Polygon.

Would the latter criminal duo cameo even trigger a familiarity with non-fans? There’s even a reference to the books via the character of General Sindoola who was called on an intercom system twice.  According to a Polygon commenter, the film was loaded with book lore.

“I noticed on the intercom in the hangar they called for “General Sindoola” who appeared as a Twi’Lek resistance leader on Ryloth in the Lords of the Sith book and Clone Wars. The movie was rich with book characters like Kroenig who I think was in Tarkin.”

All-in-all, the film appealed to me and even though it ended with a bang with expendable assets, for some reason it would’ve been expected as there was a sacrificial element to the salvation of the resistance/Rebellion. It was spot on with familiarity and nostalgia as the project paid homage to the 70s/80s old trilogy and could act as a launching point to the rest of the Star Wars canon.

 

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Author: Tony Smejek View all posts by
Tony is fanatical about his geek pop-culture passion. He specializes in the Marvel Cinematic Universe as well as the DC Extended Cinematic Universe. When other shared universes start to jump on the band wagon, he may even push the envelope into those worlds as well.

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