Monday, December 19, 2016

I Rebel (Not a film review)

(If you have yet to watch the original trilogy, then please don't read this. Tons of spoilers here. But then, again, if you haven't watch the original trilogy, I'm sure you are not a Star Wars fan and this post has nothing to do with you.

If you are a Star Wars fans but unfortunately still not able to watch Rogue One due to circumstances, I share your pain and I'm so sorry for you. There are no spoilers here, unless you haven't watch the trailers. Well, then again, if you haven't watch the Rogue One trailers, I'm sure you are not really a fan and this post has nothing to do with you either)

If you grow up watching the original trilogy, THIS is the prequel that you actually wanted. (Well, maybe "prequel" is now such a bad word for Star Wars fans, Disney decided to use "spin-off" instead of "prequel" in all their marketing efforts). Rogue One ends a mere 10 minutes before the opening of the original Star Wars movie. It gives more depth and strength to Star Wars (those younger generations call it "Episode IV: A New Hope"), it makes me appreciate Star Wars more, it gives more weight on that opening crawl that caught our attention almost 40 years ago......If you always wonder about the exhaust port, the lack of Rebel Alliances as you grow older, Rogue One gives you the answers.

With "A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away....." and not following by the iconic opening crawl, we fans were transported into something familiar but different.

First of all, there's no John Williams. It is not a Star Wars movie without John Williams. Period. (John, please live long and prosper). No, don't get me wrong, it is not that Michael Giacchino is not qualified, but John Williams IS part of Star Wars universe. (Luckily Giacchino still using the Imperial March and the cascading brass motifs).

Though Star Wars is always about "war" but Rogue One is the real war movie in the Star Wars universe. The final battle shows the real capability of Gareth Edwards. The stakes are higher, its battles are more violent and militaristic. The scope of the mass casualties incurred in ground and air assaults makes us cry for every unsung heroes in human history. The final battle makes Rogue One a Star Wars story worth telling.

Though I really enjoy watching Rogue One (it made me so excited that I have to do the original trilogy + The Force Awaken marathon a few hours after watching it), and I'm sure it will always be included in my Star Wars Marathon (be in original trilogy marathon or full marathon), it lacks of the joyous spark between characters that defines the original trilogy. Most of the new characters in this movie seems interesting but underutilized (except for K-2SO). Worse still, they don't spark the kind of chemistry between Luke, Leia, and Han, or between Rey, Finn and Poe. Well, they are not Hayden-Christensen-and-Natalie-Portman kind of bad chemistry, but you don't fall in love with the ensemble. The way they interact on screen make you suspect that they are not friends off screen.

Rogue One is darker and grimmer, but it is still a nostalgia piece to Star Wars fans. And by now, I'm sure you already know that Darth Vader is in Rogue One. If Darth Vader used to give you nightmares as a kid, wait until you see Rogue One! I am sure thousands of Star Wars fans secretly cried tears of joy! If you only knew the power of the Dark Side! Darth Vader alone worth the price of the ticket. So Star Wars fans, if you are still skeptical, don't be. Go watch Rogue One NOW!

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