I wanted to take today off from the blog, but that would be counter to the goals I set out in Daily December, so here I am.
Anne and I went to the world premiere of Rogue One last night, because we apparently live in a world where we get invited to the world premiere of a Star Wars movie, which I still can’t believe actually happened.
I wanted to experience a Star Wars movie the way I did when I was a kid, so I deliberately avoided everything about this movie. All I knew was that it was a stand alone story that involved the plans for the Death Star that were such an important part of Star Wars. I didn’t even know that one of my friends was in the freaking thing!
I’m not going to discuss the film in depth, because that would be cheating, so I’m just going to repeat the title of this post, which is what I said on Twitter last night: The last time I loved a Star Wars movie as much as I loved
#RogueOne, it was 1977.
Yes, I know that Empire came out in 1980. I chose my words carefully, and deliberately.
I’ll say a little more on the other side of the jump, so those of you who want to avoid hearing a little more until you’ve seen the movie can do that.
I didn’t expect to like Force Awakens as much as I did. In fact, after the prequels (which I hated so much I wanted to Men In Black my memory of the one and a half that I saw), I felt like maybe Star Wars had moved on from something I was going to love and want in my life. And, honestly, that was okay. I’ll always have my original trilogy, my despecialized editions, and the memories of playing with Star Wars figures, playing Star Wars games, building Star Wars LEGO, and all of that stuff that was such an important part of my childhood.
So I didn’t even try to see Force Awakens until it had been in theaters for like 8 or 9 weeks. I also went into it knowing as little as I could, and I ended up really liking it. I’d probably give it 4 out of 5 lightsabers, and I recall thinking that it was what I’d hoped the prequels would have been.
I give you that background so this comes in context: I give Rogue One 5 out of 5 lightsabers, and a 99%. It would get 100% if not for a single (very small) thing that I understand was put into the film on a reshoot. I don’t need to see Force Awakens again, but I will go see Rogue One as many times as I can before it is out of theaters, and the day I can buy it to add to my collection, I’ll be in line to make that happen.
I’m going to quote Hardwick’s Instagram from last night:
Rogue One is a STUNNING film. I cannot recommend it enough. It’s dark, beautiful and satisfying. If you didn’t know Star Wars you’d love it, and knowing it makes it that much better. The references to things you recognize aren’t just member berries, they are justified and strengthen the story. Gareth Edwards has created an absolute gem in the Star Wars universe that will blow your brain out of your head. By the time the end credits hit, the theater was SCREAMING with unbridled excitement. See it as soon as you can before anything gets spoiled!!!
The most important part of that, I think, is “if you didn’t know Star Wars you’d love it, and knowing it makes it that much better.”
I want to add a couple thoughts to Chris’s: Rogue One is not just a great Star Wars movie, it’s a great movie. If Star Wars were being made for the first time, right now, in 2016, Rogue One is the movie they would make. It isn’t just that Gareth Edwards put together an amazing cast and shot this film in exactly the right way. The visual effects team will win every award possible, and they will deserve it. There are things done in this movie with visual effects that fundamentally change the rules of filmmaking. The script is brilliant. Gary Witta’s story is relatable on so many different levels, and it is beautifully told.