Sunday, May 07, 2017

[Movies] Rogue One

It is the most adult of the Star Wars films; less cartoonish characters; a good solid action flick (but not on a Marvel Studios level). Interesting -- a friend of mine doesn't want her Star Wars obsessed 7-year-old to watch this because she thinks it's too dark, which I suppose it is considering what happens to all the characters.

It is admirable, however. In A New Hope we were given the macguffin of plans to the death star which Leia hides in R2D2 -- "Help me Obi Wan Kenobi, you're my only hope" -- eventually leading to Luke's trench run in his X-Wing. Rogue One the story of how those plans got to Leia. Admirable because, there was a great cost in life to be payed for them. Unlike other Star Wars films where the good guy deaths are of characters to which you have no attachment or ones who for whom it is obvious their time has come, in Rogue One the ultimate sacrifices are on a relatable level, which is why you might want to think twice about letting a 7-year-old see it. It's nice to see someone looking at the cost of things. I'm reminded of George R. R, Martin's motivation behind the gritty reality of Song of Fire and Ice.
"You see that at the end of the ['Lord of the Rings'] books, when Sauron has been defeated and Aragorn is king," Martin told the Advance. "It's easy to type, 'he ruled wisely and well,' but what does that constitute? What was his tax policy? How did the economy function? What about the class system?

"The orcs," he continued. "There are still tens and thousands of orcs at the end of 'Lord of the Rings.' Did he pursue a policy of genocide toward them? Or did he reach out and try to educate them and bring them into the mainstream and civilize them? We never get answers to any of these questions. We just get 'he ruled wisely and well.'"
Thanks to Rogue One you've now got more than "Rebel spies managed to steal secret plans."

Unlike the other films, these characters are shaded grey, not mythical constructs of good and evil. The android comic relief is actually funny this time, and uniquely, there can be no sequel (although I suppose a prequel is possible). There is some silliness, of course, for merchandising purposes and the callbacks to the trilogy are awkward and unnecessary, but apart from that, it is one of those well-crafted, entertaining action films that this era of civilization will one day be famous for. Worth seeing, even if you're just lukewarm on Star Wars.