Tuesday, January 31, 2017

3 Thoughts on Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

1. The story - So big news, you guys.....this is the first Star Wars movie that I've seen in a theater!! I KNOW RIGHT?! And you know what? It was AWESOME. The sheer scope of the universe is so much more striking. Now I wish I had watched all of them on a big screen, but alas, I'm sure there will be opportunities. I absolutely loved Rogue One. Probably more than The Force Awakens. It's amazing that they can create a whole movie out of one line about the rebels risking their lives to destroy the Death Star, but they did an amazing job of keeping me investing even if it wasn't all that complicated (and overly contrived). I think it's kind of funny that some really ignorant people are *just* now realizing that the Star Wars movies are an allegory for defeating Nazis. Maybe the story is just more in your face because of the current state of the world, but they all seem pretty obvious to me.

2. The cast - The reason that I enjoyed this so much is definitely because of the cast. I know diversity is a big issue within the entertainment industry right now, and sometimes I understand the frustration from both sides of the spectrum. Recently, I saw that the BAFTAs are not going to consider a film unless it is diverse and I had to take a deep breath. So if a white male has an incredible story to tell and tells it brilliantly within the film medium, it shouldn't be considered? This is why the issue gets so muddled. Excluding something because it isn't inclusive is mind-boggling (and IRONIC). The problem is that the entertainment industry is inherently racist, sexist and ageist - and the only thing that is going to change that is the head-honchos who make decisions really analyzing what people want to see (they only care about $), so if you want to see diversity then start going to movies that are diverse. It will take a while, but we can get there if we are conscious of including EVERYONE. Rogue One is the exact kind of movie in which diversity is not only important, but essential. I applaud the casting of this movie, because it is a movie in which a group of rebels (of all backgrounds) fight for one cause - so it makes sense to have people of ALL BACKGROUNDS. I also applaud the casting because it is filled with talented individuals, therefore the group feels natural instead of individuals added for the "token" minority roles. Diego Luna is proven talent; he was due a role like this a long fucking time ago. Riz Ahmed has received a lot of attention lately for The Night Of (I haven't seen it yet), and I can see why. Add in, Martial Arts master, Donnie Yen, and the always spectacular Mads Mikkelson and Ben Mendelsohn, and you have yourself one hell of a cast. Would it have benefited from another female in the group? Hard to say for sure (but it would be nice to see), but Felicity Jones definitely held her own and made a very strong impression as a heroic figure.

3. The other stuff - I know that I can't really judge this movie as intricately as people who have been fans of Star Wars for the past 30+ years. There are things that I just won't get because I haven't invested as much time into the stories. However, I like that I can watch this movie without really knowing that much, and still enjoy it. I do still agree with critics that it felt a little recycled - and ultimately, we already know how it will end, so it's not all that exciting. I also think that the CGI character(s) were super creepy. It's very good CGI, but it's still distracting and....yeah...I can't think of any other way to describe it other than super creepy. If you haven't seen the movie The Congress, I highly suggest you watch it, if the idea of CGI actors interests you. The other criticism that I've seen is that it's too serious, which I don't agree with at all. I think I laughed more in this one than in any of them - K-2SO provides plenty of comic relief. And Chirrut had the best line of the whole movie ("Are you kidding me? I'm blind!"). I laughed for like 20 minutes.

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