A first look at Rogue One:A Star Wars Story

Like every Star Wars fan, we were excited by the prospect of a standalone Star Wars film. This was a project that lived in the realm of a galaxy far, far away but was free to explore a plot that was not linked to the rise and fall of the Skywalkers.


Director Garett Edwards had very big shoes to fill. How does one pay homage to the biggest film franchise in the world yet create a brand new storyline that could gather new fans? Rian Johnson did a commendable job with The Force Awakens but it is our opinion that Edwards did not.


Sure, the movie was great as an action flick. It had witty one-liners, fantastic camerawork that let you feel like you’re part of the action (we might actually consider watching this on a D-Box), and so many cameos from A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back that would bring any fan of the original trilogy back to their childhood. And its end provided a direct link to the beginning of Star Wars, the movie that started the craziness.


But it didn’t capture the mood of Star Wars. Maybe it was because fans were already vested in the characters of the Original Trilogy, the Prequels and the Sequels. In the Prequels, you had the origin stories of Anakin Skywalker, Obi Wan Kenobi, Yoda and Palpatine. In the Sequels, you were reunited with Han Solo, General Leia and Luke Skywalker, old heroes of the Original Trilogy. These characters provided continuance.


Not so here. Even as the cameos brought sparks to the timeline, they were not enough to lift the movie. The characters Jyn Erso, Captain Cassian Andor, Chirrut Imwe struggled to find a voice – quite literally in Saw Gerrera’s case, the rebel militant played by Forest Whitaker even had a low-cost version of Darth Vader’s ventilator.

(Potential spoiler if you haven’t read anything before the movie premiere)

rogue-one-ghost

We knew the rebels were not getting home alive (even though these are not the Bothans – they’re the ones who delivered plans for the Death Star II). We knew who designed the Death Star. There was no plot twist going in. This was the perfect opportunity to turn Star Wars on its head. We could not help but feel a better script with more convicted acting could have drawn out the human (aliens too) emotion of the rebellion. Their struggles under the Empire and what made them rebel. A more convincing story could have the franchise more legs to crank out TV series, comics, novels or more standalone films.rogue-one-a-star-wars-story-diego-luna-as-cassian-andor-felicity-jones-as-jyn-erso-wen-jiang-as-baze-malbus-header

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story could have moved away from the comic, action genre into a whole different world but it didn’t. In the end, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is like a distant relative you meet at Chinese New Year. You see the family resemblance but you’re not interested enough to want to meet them more than once.

Rating: 2/5

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Things you learn from blogging

As much as my friends would disagree, I wouldn’t call myself a Star Wars fan. At most, I like it very much. Even though I have the Imperial March as the soundtrack to my life, I did not get very much into the Expanded Universe — a crime serious enough to revoke my membership to the Star Wars fan club. Which is why I love to blog about Star Wars. It is an opportunity to learn more about the made-up universe that I love so much. For example, while guest blogging on the new Star wars Lego sets for the geekerati, Geekculture.co, I was reminded that Luke Skywalker had played with a model of the T-16 Skyhopper in a scene from A New Hope, while a background matte painting of his actual craft was displayed in the window! I had totally forgotten about the craft if I hadn’t researched it.

Luke Skywalker playing with T-16 model. You can see the engine of his craft peeking in the window.

Luke Skywalker playing with T-16 model. You can see the chassis of his craft peeking in the window.

You may be the hottest bush pilot this side of Mos Eisley, Luke, but those little skyhoppers can be dangerous. They move awfully fast for tropospheric craft—faster than they need to. Keep playing engine jockey with one and someday, whammo! You’re going to be nothing more than a dark spot on the damp side of a canyon wall. – Biggs Darklighter

Another lesson I’d learned from writing the same blog was Ralph McQuarrie had designed a series of Star Wars greeting cards in the late 70s, which were later turned into Holiday Edition collectibles by Hasbro. Hello, #mindblown! If I had the capacity, I’d hunt down those figurines for my display shelf. You can also get the Lego versions of this adorable set in the 2015 Star Wars Advent Calendar 2015.

C3PO Santa and Rd@D Rudolph as Hasbro toys. Picture: Starwars.com

C3PO Santa and Rd@D Rudolph as Hasbro toys. Picture: Starwars.com

But the biggest lesson I’d taken away from this experience is I’d love to own the Star Wars Lego The Death Star Final Duel (75093) set if only to have a Darth Vader minifig that opens into two parts, just like in the movie. Nah, I’m just kidding. The biggest lesson is to know that only by improving what I know, only then will my love grow.

75093 The Death Star Final Duel 3

75093 The Death Star Final Duel

I hope you’ll continue to teach and guide me along, and I hope I have been able to offer something new for you to learn.

[Recap] Star Wars: The Force Awakens leaks

It’s mid-January. The start of a glorious Star Wars imbued year. Since the release of The Force Awakens trailer on Nov 28, 2014 — a lifetime away, it’d seem — many blogs, websites, fansites have unleashed a torrent of leaks. As people who are way too into Star Wars (as our spouses would espouse), we’ve scoured the interwebs for the latest, and the coolest leaks.

Alert: This post may not be for the faint-of-heart or people who want to avoid spoilers. Luckily for us, we have the memory of goldfish.

So, where were we? It’s mid-January. The start of a glorious Star Wars imbued year. Indeed.

[spoilers start after read more]

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