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Rogue One

Rogue One

Today’s guest post (first one actually,) comes from the Dark Lord of the Sixteenth District in Nashville.

A long time ago, in a galaxy far far away, a story that makes absolutely no difference to whatever the next Star Wars movie will be was set. Spoilers below that were not covered in Star Wars: A New Hope.

Now, let me preface this with I enjoyed the fuck out of this movie, but it’s completely and utterly useless to the Star Wars Universe unless you’re just particularly wanting to start caring for a character and then watch them die. Spoiler alert – nobody new lives.

If you want to know why there was a design flaw in the Death Star, this is the architectural disaster movie for you.

I’d originally gone in wondering if the new female protagonist would somehow end up being Rey’s mom (episode VII,) but am left with the assumption that’s not the case as she was basically there ready to die on the beachfront. Oh yeah, did I mention everyone new dies in this movie?

Rogue One TarkinYou’ve got your non-gratuitous cameos by C3P0 and R2D2, there’s CGI Leah that doesn’t look horrible, and then there’s Grand Rendered Tarkin. Potentially the worst CGIed human I’ve ever seen. You can’t stop looking at him. Every detail is sketched to make him look nefarious. The amount of detailed movement on his face is unsettling. I had to go and watch Episode IV just to verify he was not a man of constant facial spasms.

The body actor appeared to be very much attempting to emulate his movements. I applaud that, but man. Over everything. And it’s not evident until you see the movement. Stills actually look great.

The Story

Death StarEver wonder why there was an exhaust port than could blow the whole Death Star up? Yeah, that was put there by a rebel sympathiser, or perhaps he’s just a guy who didn’t want there to be a moon-sized battle station. He created a giant hole that lead right to the explody bits of the Death Star. That’s it. No more needed. Nothing you’ll learn from here on out matters.

Now, the several thousand people who worked on its design and the eight or so designers nobody seemed to double check and say “hey dude, let’s make this straight shot to the reactor core slightly curved,” but you know, realistically who expects a space wizard to shoot a 90-degree turning torpedo down an exhaust pipe that then travels several miles without accidentally bumping into a wall and detonating.

The daughter is recruited by the rebellion in an attempt to lure the dad out for slaughter. The dad sends a hologram via a USB stick and an imperial pilot that tell her there’s a weakness and that she can locate it if she goes to this heavily shielded planet, infiltrates a secure tower, recovers a data tape, and gets it to the rebels. Oh yeah, we’ve been reminded that her nickname is stardust like fifty five times by this point. Guess what the data tape is named?

Now, I’m no space surgeon, but it seems like in a society capable of interstellar flight, light speed, holographic images via USB stick, and the like, that you could transmit the plans via that USB stick or … I don’t know… say “using the center of the divot and the trench as midlines, go 180 degrees around, 22 degrees down, there’s a hole. Shoot it. Things will blow up.”

Or perhaps rather than recruiting your daughter for a suicide mission create something that caused the cooling systems to break on the third firing of the Death Star and overheat the reactors, thus junking the Death Star. I don’t know.

A mind capable of building a moon sized death machine seems that sabotaging his own work would be a little less risky than trying to pass off a giant unguarded many miles long hole, convert an imperial operative to his cause, mail a USB stick in the hopes that his daughter would get it, not send the very minor info required but instead require many Bothans to sacrifice themselves to break a shield while basically sending his daughter to die on a random planet.

Me, I’d have chosen to sabotage the thing, or included the message “hey, send someone who knows what your nickname is because you’ll need that information to grab the tapes.”

The way daddy set it up there was only one path for his daughter, and that was straight to a deathtrap.

Vader

Darth Vader
Return

“I hope you don’t CHOKE on your ambitions.” This should be enough to derail the movie. Someone’s smoking something and thinks they’re funny. Better line would have been “I find your ambitions are hard to swallow, don’t you?” or anything that doesn’t directly call attention to the force choke.

Vader’s battle scene was good. Felt right. Except that he evidently knew what he was chasing and let that guy give it to another guy who gave it to another guy who gave it to CGI Leah.

Something was off with the neck to Vader’s mask though – it just seemed out there and odd looking. Like the neck was too shiny. Ah well, no big.

 

 

Robo Forest Whitaker

FW in that L Ron Hubbard movie I can't remember
Battlefield Yavin

There’s a scene in which he’s tired of fighting, running, etc. I can respect that given that I know next to nothing about him. What I can’t respect is his method of announcement.

When you want your friends to live and you want to just lay down and die there are ways to do this such as straight up lying to them and saying “you go on, I’ve got a one-seater stashed in the garage.” or running behind them and sealing them into the ship by blowing up a keypad or something stupid like that.

You don’t stand there and say you’re just going to hang out.

Retrieving the data

I’m amused at the very 70’s attempt to retrieve data. It fit perfectly. Big old data tapes that had to be retrieved using remote arms. Looks good for then. Audiences then would have loved it. Now it sticks out like a sore thumb. An attempt at what an older audience would have wanted when they were kids.

Fan service to the extreme.

Many Bothans died…

Bothans are furry creatures and no, they’re not the Mon Calamari you’re thinking of. Bothans were credited with dying to bring that information. If they did, it was fairly forgettable in this movie.

That or the death of a Bothan is actually cigarette time (six minutes). So when they’re saying many Bothans died to bring this information they’re saying let’s get a move on this info is getting old fast.

Overall?

The first review of this I read was that it played like a Jihadist training film with “hope,” as the slogan. I went in expecting to disprove that review and unfortunately it was not possible to shake. Perhaps the pre-loading of that information has pulled a Pontypool on my brain, but it was next to impossible to not feel like every step was leading to a suicide run.

Loaner with no attachments picked up by group to use to get her father out in the open for assassination instead gets recruited by the cause, takes on a suicide mission, and then everyone dies.

It was enjoyable screen fluff, would watch again, but it sucked.