Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

Rogue One is a type of story previously confined to Expanded Universe novels taken to the big screen. This is not a story of great heroes capable of feats beyond normal people. These are the normal people. They are the soldiers, spies, and other rebels who spent years fighting the Empire. The original trilogy is certainly an epic story with Luke and co. being the center of many turning points for the Rebel Alliance. But it is important to remember that they did not act alone. Smaller acts previously confined to briefly mentioned exposition now get their own moment in the spotlight.

The opening crawl of A New Hope mentions that a secret Rebel fleet stole the plans to the Death Star. Likewise, the original movie mentions that the team who stole the plans died in the process. So it is not secret what this movie will be about or how it will end. Now the story does start out slow as the character introductions are made. The main characters may not be the A-team, but they are some of the best the Rebels have to offer. It is somewhat hard to judge the characters individually when they are, by and large, inconsequential. They are not the heroes of the story as a whole, just this one small piece.

Some people have said that this is the best Star Wars film since The Empire Strikes Back. While Rogue One is a good movie, it is not even close to that. If anything Rogue One did very well because it is unique. The other films are more epics, adventure stories, than anything else. Take the original movie, for example. A black knight captures a princess, who sends her servants to an old knight for help only to find aid in the unlikeliest of people, a farm boy and a scruffy looking scoundrel. From the big evil Empire to the storming of a fortress, the story had tons in common with old medieval type tales.

Rogue One, by contrast, is a war movie. The film shows a darker side of the Rebellion and a (comparatively) more human side of the Empire. These people are doing somewhat questionable things and sacrificing themselves for a cause they believe in. Are these characters on par with Luke, Han, and Leia? No. Are they supposed to be? Again, no. Rogue One is a back story; it is not meant to be at the forefront. And while the film in and of itself is somewhat lacking, fans who have read the books and seen other pieces of the Expanded Universe will know the “missing” pieces are out there.

December 25, 2016

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