Monday, January 16, 2017

The Song Remains the Same

Enough time has passed that I think I can write a non-spoiler-free post about a recent movie. If you haven’t seen the movie, and you don’t want to have your visual experience tainted, stop reading. If you don’t really care, go ahead.

I guess I should start off and mention the movie. The official title is “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story”. The concept of this is that this is a movie that is not part of the current Star Wars storyline, but actually an offshoot in the same universe.


Here are the two Tweets I sent immediately after leaving the theater:

Just saw #StarWarsRogueOne
Two things: Is this now the new Episode IV in the sequence? (1/2)

Not saying it's good or bad. Just that it did not pass the pee test.

Let’s address the first one.

Again, based on the title, this movie was supposed to be a separate story from the Star Wars we’ve all grown up with (regardless of which trilogy was YOUR trilogy). Except, it wasn’t.

My wife and I love going to bookstores. Especially small town bookstores. I love the big chains too, but there is something about that mom ‘n pop atmosphere. Same for restaurants. When in a bookstore, one of the areas I check out is the Home and Garden section - Nah! Just kidding. I check out the Science Fiction and Fantasy section!! Yeah baby!! In that section you will usually find a bunch of novels grouped together: Star Trek and Star Wars. I’ve read a couple of Star Trek novels, mainly because of my infatuation with all things time and time travel related. I haven’t read any Star Wars novels yet, but usually they way outnumber the Star Trek novels on the shelves.

When it came out that there were going to be these one-off Star Wars stories, I had really hoped that we would reach into that vast universe and pull out some really cool stories. Nope. What we got instead was yet another story of the SAME universe. I hear that the next Star Wars Story may be about a young Han Solo.

Just goes to prove that the studios are too scared to try ANYTHING new! (C’mon, you didn’t think “The Force Awakens” WASN’T a rehash of “A New Hope”?!?)

My first Tweet above asked where in the sequence Rogue One fell. Some fanboys pointed out that it didn’t fall anywhere, because it was a “Star Wars Story”. EXCEPT, this particular movie fell JUST BEFORE the first Star Wars movie (“A New Hope” or “Star Wars” as it was originally released.) It was more of a prequel than the prequels. Not only did it encompass the plans to the Death Star, but it included Grand Moff Tarkin, Darth Vader, Princess Leia, and several other cameos from the “real” Star Wars storyline.

So don’t tell me this was an offshoot. It wasn’t. It fell directly in the main storyline. As a matter of fact, the movie ended right before “A New Hope” started. Princess Leia was even wearing the same outfit.

Speaking of Princess Leia, let’s get to brass tacks here. We’ve come a long way from the erie looking kid in the original “Toy Story”. But to be honest, we’ve a LONG way to go before we can escape the uncanny valley of a CGI Princess Leia and Grand Moff Tarkin! That CGI work may “pass” now, but give the movie ten to fifteen years, and those characters will be the downfall of the movie. “And can you imagine them trying to pull off a CGI person back in 2016? You might as well have been working in 8-bit!”

Okay, the acting was really well done. Though, to be honest, I couldn’t give a rat’s ass about any of the characters. KNOWING this was a prequel to “A New Hope”, I knew that none of the main characters were going to make it out of the story alive. So I didn’t get emotionally invested in any of them - even the lead. Though to be honest, the movie didn't give us much to be invested in as it was.

The music was REALLY well done. That’s one thing I hope never becomes missing from the Star Wars movies, whether in or out of the main Skywalker/Vader/Solo storyline. Love, love, LOVE that music!

As far as my second Tweet, I judge movies on a basic scale. I call it the “Pee Test”. You can probably guess what I mean by that. I can’t remember the last movie I walked out on to empty my bladder. I usually just hold it until the credits end (thank you Marvel Studios for extending THAT bladder ache!)

As far as “Rogue One” goes, the morning coffee was more compelling than the movie.

(The title for this article comes from the song of the same name by Led Zeppelin.)

©Emittravel 2017

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