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Rogue One

Posted December 20 into Movies by John Birmingham

Took the fam to see this last night. Can't recall when I've enjoyed a Star Wars film as much. This being the end of civilzation, there has of course been a manbaby backlash to the penis shortage in the ensemble cast. It's only like 95% male, which is very misandrist.

But being an utter cuck, I fucking loved it.

I thought it meshed with the overall narrative much more smoothly than any of the rebooted and mostly reviled 'prequels' and it gives me real hope for where Disney might go with the franchise over the next decade or so. There's a lot of narrative infilling they could do.

I wont get into spoilers here, but anyone who hasn't seen the film should avoid the comment thread below.

Non spoilery reflections. The storyline was a deft melding of revenge motifs, a coming-of-age tale and a star spanning caper flick. The violence was much more instense than the original series, but not as bloody as last year's Force Awakens. It was still pretty intense though.

The cast was well balanced and the performances mostly great.

I thought the exploration of the 'dark side' of the rebellion was fittingly modern. It recalled the insurgency series of Galactica.

Effects? Top shelf, although I had a few uncanny valley moments with Moff Tarkin.

Script. B+

Rewatch value. Very high.

19 Responses to ‘Rogue One’

Chris Salmon is gonna tell you...

Posted December 20
Great story, acting, effects. Thought the music was a but over done at times but still very much in the spirit.

Nice to see the galaxy so far away without so many super doopers, royalty, and associated wunderkind. These are the real folk of the Alliance. People not afraid to get their hands dirty.

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MordWa mumbles...

Posted December 20
Funnily enough, the Tarkin effects didn't bother me at all; Peter Cushing was always a creepy looking dude. I though Leia was more distracting, and (sorry to moan) whoever in the Vader suit was damn near dancing, he was so spry-! I liked it, make no mistake...

Can't wait for Rogue Two, aye *wink wink*

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Stephen swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted December 20
Saw it on release day Liked it mostly more of an adult focus, some of those inspirational speeches were cringeworthy though. Seemed like someone had decided to add them after the main shooting, apparently a lot of reshooting and re editing was done, new scenes added some dropped to change the tenor of the film.
Worth seeing but not a great film but certainly better than the prequels, and also better then last years film The force Awakens

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tqft mutters...

Posted December 20
SPOILERS
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Donnie Yen almost wasted in this, pity he won't be back for more

Gilligan swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted December 22
I respectfully disagree.

I know Mr Yen is usually a leading man (he was simply *epic* in Ip Man), but within the ensemble piece I thought Chirrut and Baze were an awesome double act. Yen's Force-sensitive nature was a great way of including the mysticism of the original trilogy without adding yet another "one of the last Jedi" character to the universe.

I also loved how he cleaned up the squad of Stormtroopers. Would've like a few more mid- and long-shots with a locked-off camera, but I got to see some solid wailing on dudes, and even the signature foot shuffle/plant thing from HK cinema.

I think he was used much more effectively than, say, Jackie Chan in Kung Fu Panda, who really only had a couple of lines so why bother?

Of course, YMMV.

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Vovchara puts forth...

Posted December 20
yeah, agree completely. The dark side of rebellion was spot on. Surprisingly funny jokes. For a rather dark narrative.

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Don Bagert asserts...

Posted December 21
Lots of nice places with info on cameos and Easter eggs about Rogue One, although one I haven't seen yet is about that temple that Chirrut Îmwe was part of - whether it was related to the Jedi temples, one of which was seen in the "Path of the Jedi" episode of Star Wars: Rebels. (It was used to have Yoda - voiced by Frank Oz! - communicate with the Jedi Kanan in that episode.)

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Kristophr reckons...

Posted December 21
Thanx for the review. I think I'll go see it.

Yea, the virgin-TOWs ( the neckbeard crazy wing of the MGTOW community ) panned it. Which was a good review by itself.

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Blarkon ducks in to say...

Posted December 21
First Star Wars film that I won't see a second time in the cinema - and I think the minimum number of times I've seen a Star Wars film in the cinema (Caravan of Courage and Ewok Adventure excluded) is about 5.

Visually amazing, but a bit soulless. It's odd that there was all this stuff I wanted to see, but came out of the experience feeling a bit empty.

Rebellion comes across more in this film as a bunch of amoral ideological terrorists than freedom fighters - which I guess explains why the galaxy seems to be in a substantially worse state by Episode 7 when they are running things than it was when the Empire was in charge or even when things were failing during the end of the republic era. Revolutionaries who are willing to kill anyone to achieve their goals don't make great governments - and that's how the rebellion now comes off - just another faction lusting after power, not a group of selfless heroes overthrowing a tyrannical regime.

No wonder Luke fucked off after Jedi and didn't tell them where he was going. After Rogue One, it's pretty clear that unless you're already one of the elites like senator Mothma or Organa, the new regime won't be substantially better for you than the one with the old guy who can shoot lightning bolts from his fingers. Wonder how long the guy who ordered Jyn's dad's death waited before he set up some gulags and started the purges of people who may have worked with the imperial government. I'm guessing not very fucking long.

Would *love* to know what the original cut was like.

John Birmingham asserts...

Posted December 21
These are all valid points, but another of seeing R1 is as the series growing up. It simply much more realistic than the original kids movies.

Blarkon puts forth...

Posted December 21
I grok that - though wonder if a series ostensibly about knights with magic powers and laser swords is an appropriate canvas for a gritty grown up or realistic approach.

As many documentaries and reflections on the phenomenon that is Star Wars have suggested, ANH was a breakout film in the 70's specifically because it was unashamedly optimistic and simplistic in an age when other filmmakers were going for gritty realism.

I recall an interview with Lucas around the time they were making "Attack of the Clones" where he was asked why Star Wars wasn't grittier like The Matrix. He said he'd love to make a film like that, but it wouldn't be Star Wars. That audiences wanted the franchise to grow as they had, but that at its essence it was a story aimed at 9 year olds and that straying to far from that simplistic view of good and evil would compromise the essence of what made Star Wars different from a million other SciFi and Fantasy properties.

There probably is a balance that can be found between what is essentially a silly idea and gritty realism. It's just that a series where an overriding narrative philosophy was "once you start down the dark path, forever will it dominate your destiny" doesn't seem to be too compatible with the idea of moral shades of grey.

"Give in to your hatred" doesn't seem like such a danger if the narrative ruleset is altered to allow more moral ambiguity.

I dunno. Isn't it possible that a theme or universe is more than just the art direction and internal history, but also about the narrative and moral rules put in-place by the creators - and that if those rules are broken in the wrong way, the integrity of the fictional setting itself "collapses"?

Gilligan is gonna tell you...

Posted December 22
I've had a few friends come out of the film a bit cold, liking the individual bits/beats but not having the whole really gel for them. Me? I loved it. Much Rogue, would Rogue again.

As for the morally ambiguous Rebellion, I think JB's on the money when he talks about the series growing up.

I thought the attack on the hover tank had a very roadside bomb/IED feel about it, and I'd like to think that couldn't have been by accident. And if we are maturing the series a bit, the truth is that the Rebellion would've needed some straight up wetwork black ops guys and gals willing to do whatever if they wanted to defeat the Empire. One imagines that if you fully explored the activities of the Resistance in occupied Europe, probably not the entirety of the group covered themselves in whitehat glory.

It's almost like (acknowledging that he was working for the baddies) the Operative in Serenity. He knows he's doing, and is willing to do, terrible things to achieve his side's aims, and that in so doing there's no place in the New World for him. And he's OK with that. Cassian... similar thoughts, but maybe a little less at peace with it.

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Coriolisdave has opinions thus...

Posted December 21
Enjoyed this, but found the music very distracting.. didn't seem to fit half the scenes, had absolutlely no subtelty (Vader on screen? QUICK, DEATH MARCH!).

Really hoping we get to see the original cut one day - judging from the trailer breakdowns on youtube it was a significantly different film.

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JBtoo is gonna tell you...

Posted December 21
Agree with the criticisms of the music - it was terrible.
The film was a lot bleaker than I was expecting. Felicity Jones was very good - pity we won't see her again.

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Murphy_of_Missouri has opinions thus...

Posted December 22
I'll see it this Friday but I have seen the CGI Tarkin and Leia clips via YouTube. I thought they were well done. It is interesting that they can digitally resurrect someone from the grave, and technically, Tarkin wasn't dead yet by this point in the series.


I think the ethics hand wringing is probably just another sign of the ongoing panic fest in the wake of recent events in November. I find myself chuckling heartily and moving onto the next train wreck.

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Paul_Nicholas_Boylan mumbles...

Posted December 22
I haven't seen the film, I read the comments thread above, and now the film is ruined for me. I know I can only blame myself, but I am still bitter about the whole thing.

John Birmingham swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted December 22
Welcome back, 007. I hope we can look forward to some gratuitous sex and violence.

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SZF reckons...

Posted December 28
Loved it. It's very much a "war movie" in the style of The Dirty Dozen or Where Eagles Dare. More than anything, I came out of it struck by the thought that after growing up with the original trilogy, THIS was the sort of Star Wars movie I wanted to see as an adult. I've seen plenty of objectively better flicks, but very few that were as much fun to watch.

My only regret is it's a bit too Rated M for me to take my 6.5 year old (yet)...

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