Friday, December 16, 2016

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

Just got back from Rogue One. Ye gods, I've been seeing Star Wars movies for nearly 40 years now. Short version: It's good.

Rogue One is maybe the first Star Wars movie that really makes it obvious that this is //war//.  War is ugly. War is full of moral compromises, a race to the bottom of the end justifying the means, and the "good guys" may be the last ones with //some// humanity standing. How's that for vague?

I like that it's told in a visual language much like footage from the Vietnam war, with a strong dose of the atomic bomb test at the Bikini Atol. Yes, those of you too young to remember the former will have to look that up. The latter was before my time too.

I like also how the Rebel Alliance is portrayed.  This is really the beginning of their history, and remember, they came largely from the Old Republic's Senate. They're not the single minded, dedicated Rebels we come to know in Ep 4 and later.

Above all, this is a movie about an intelligence mission surrounding the launch of the Death Star. The whole movie comes from the first two lines of Ep 4's crawl, (full text here.) The setup is so up my alley it hurts.

Flaws?  Sure. Sometimes it's overdone how much the Rebel fleet gets involved, but it's not a Star Wars movie without at least one space battle, right? The action sequences stretch out, sometimes drearily.  There were non-battle scenes I still wonder why they were there, and I wish they'd cut them so I could get to know some of the main characters more than I did. And what //is// it with the Empire and building everything around multi-hundred-foot drops? The usual complaints.

But seriously. See this movie. It's the best Star Wars movie of the last five, and far, far better than J.J.Abrams' mess in The Force Awakens. See it. And think about it.


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