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Reviews Comments: Innocence Lost (Spoilers!) Rogue One film/book review by Tempest Knight

Rogue One is what happens when you decide to take a gritty, cynical take on what started out as an innocent, light-hearted Space Opera.

No, I\'m not here to tell you that this film doesn\'t need to exist. Technically, no work of fiction ever needed to exist; it exists because its creators (A) got some benefit from it, (B) wanted to create it. That\'s not what this is about. No, this is about how Rogue One changed my outlook on Star Wars forever — presumably for the worse. And I say that as someone who is absolutely obsessed with this franchise.

Rogue One was advertised as gritty, grey-on-black war film with little to no mysticsim. That\'s exactly what it is. Whether or not that\'s a good thing is up to you. Before seeing the movie, I was pumped at the possibilities. In hindsight...not so much.

SPOILERS!!!!

Ready?

Okay....

The Death Star plans, the reason this film (and A New Hope) exist in the first place, were shown in a new light in this film. Or rather, the way they were obtained was. TL;DR: Every one of the major characters dies.

Every.

Single.

One.

Forget the innocence of A New Hope. Forget the mysteries of The Force. Forget the awesomeness of seeing the good Rebel Alliance go up against the evil Galactic Empire. This movie shows the Alliance as being willing to commit terrorist acts against nameless Imperial grunts who may or may not have been conscripted. I actually thought that Saw Garrera\'s insurgents (I hesitate to call them \"Rebels\") drew (unintentional) comparisons to ISIS. (The fact that they look like Islamist terrorists doesn\'t help.) The only reason we\'re still rooting for the Rebels at all in this movie is that the Empire is worse than they are — Cassian Andor outright says that everyone involved has committed acts they\'re not proud of in service to the Rebellion.

Now don\'t get me wrong. This movie is at the very least a 7/10. Star Wars fans owe it to themselves to see it at least once. Just know that the movie will change your outlook on the franchise forever. It\'s the cinematic equivalent of, well, being raised by your aunt and uncle and going on to join the military, upon which you wind up saving the lives of elementary-school kids and get a medal. Then your aunt and uncle tell you that your parents weren\'t married when they gave birth to you, and they died trying to obtain fascist secrets that were only possible to get because they joined forces with an international drug cartel. In other words, it\'s...rather sobering.

Comments

  • Theokal3
  • 9th Jan 17
I honestly don\'t really have a problem with this approach personally, because I actually felt like earlier Star Wars movies were pretty manicheans. Still, nice analysis.
  • Epicazeroth
  • 9th Jan 17
While I disagree with your specific opinion, this is (as has been pointed out) a great analysis of the film. However, to add to this discussion (if a discussion does ensue), I think it may be worthwhile to consider Rogue One not just in the context of the Star Wars franchise, but in the context of 21st-century film.

As I said, Rogue One is not just a Star Wars film; it is also a film in a universe. It illustrates the trend that large, commercial film (and to a certain extent other media) franchises have taken: namely, epic-scale cinematic universes. To use the MCU as an example (yes, I know it\'s a bit cliché), the Captain America, Thor, Iron Man, and Avengers film lines all feel very different from each other – to say nothing of the standalone films. Disney has to build a franchise and a universe that will last, and the \"strictly Good vs Evil, Good always wins\" tone that Star Wars had before will only last so long before it gets old. In order to build Star Wars into a lasting franchise that can sustain the one film per year they have planned, Disney needs (or at least wants) the franchise to branch out and become larger than one fairly linear story cycle. So, while Rogue One is very different thematically from other Star Wars films, I believe this is deliberate.
  • KarkatTheDalek
  • 10th Jan 17
"This movie shows the Alliance as being willing to commit terrorist acts against nameless Imperial grunts who may or may not have been conscripted."

...Weren't they always kind of doing that? I mean, it depends on what you call "terrorist acts" (I'm not really sure what you're referring to here), but they were always killing nameless Imperial grunts, and while I don't recall conscription coming up before, I don't recall it coming up here either, unless I'm forgetting a scene or something.
  • TempestKnight
  • 10th Jan 17
@Karkat The Dalek:

I\'m referring to the assaults that Saw and his partisans launch in the streets of Jedha. He doesn\'t seem to care about any civilians who get caught in the crossfire.

As for the conscription, I said may — it\'s not said that they are, but knowing the Empire, I wouldn\'t put it past them.
  • JapaneseTeeth
  • 11th Jan 17
Well, Saw is labels as a dangerous extremist even in-universe, so it\'s not like they didn\'t acknowledge that.

  • KarkatTheDalek
  • 13th Jan 17
Yeah, Saw's supposed to be an extremist.
  • IndirectActiveTransport
  • 28th Jan 17
Change my view on Star Wars? Hardly. The movie may have fleshed out a conflict we already knew the outcome of, but that\'s all it did. Don\'t planets ever go to war among themselves? What about countries, cities, gangs? Not only was it Empire vs Rebellion again, it was a specific event that we knew could only go one way? To make the Death Star more ominous? It\'s already a mobile planet killer, this didn\'t cut it. To emphasize getting the plans was hard? The opening of the very first movie already established that the plans barely escaped. All I really gathered is that the galaxy got better at soldier droids and that the Jedi were smart enough to hire security, not that it did them any good in the long run.

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