Wednesday, May 24, 2017

"Rogue One" (2016)

When I finally get around to making my 2016 list in film, “Rogue One” is pretty much guaranteed a spot on the most disappointing list. When we heard that we were getting more stories in the Star Wars saga, most people likely had a response that was a mixture of excitement and apprehension. Star Wars has given us some of the best and the worst stories in recent decades. The continuation of the main Saga has been acceptable so far. (But I reserve the right to hate it if things go the way they appear to be going.) But this “Star Wars Story” is quite the opposite case. It is a waste of everyone’s time.

First off, it is a story that didn’t need to be told. It was completely contained in the opening scrawl to the first Star Wars. There is no mystery as to what is going to happen. We know the outcome. We know that almost no one of significance from this story will ever be seen again, so we know their outcomes. And, there is no real mystery as to how the story went down.

Therein lies the second, bigger, problem. If there ever were people pondering how the events of the prologue to “A New Hope” occurred, “Rogue One” offers no good answers. All we get here are bad ideas that threaten to ruin the stories we do care about. The most important being: why did this story have to happen in the first place? When the message gets snuck out of the Empire and into the hands of the Rebellion, everyone is surely asking themselves: “Why didn’t the plans get snuck out too?” And, once we see the size of the plans, we find no plausible reason for them not to have been delivered up front.

And, much like the ill-conceived prequels, this movie only serves to further ruin a villain who used to be the epitome of cool-but-creepy. Only here, instead of making Vader a pathetic, whiney, brat, it has him so agile and mobile, we find ourselves wondering how he can become so stiff and slow what amounts to a few minutes later.

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