Rogue One: A Nostalgia Story
Gareth Edwards’ Rogue One: A Nostalgia Story
Long ago (1977, to be more precise), in a galaxy strangely similar to our own… George Lucas’ cinematic lovechild A New Hope jumped into picture houses at light speed, transforming the nature of the high budget science fiction flick as we know it. Making the peculiar directorial call to start the franchise with Episode IV, the somewhat bewildering mentality of the genius behind counter culture classic The Godfather was not to be challenged lightly: whatever Lucas says, goes. Still building skywards from the foundations of his now greatly esteemed career, the success of genre-definers of Raiders of the Lost Ark and Jurassic Park’s calibre were still four and sixteen years away respectively, making the line between madness and marvel somewhat indistinct.
In an experimental era of Bowie (his classic Heroes track released in the same year), the crucial musical moment in which Morrissey met Marr and extra-terrestrial fantasy epic Close Encounters of the Third Kind marking its debut at the same point in history, Star Wars was conceived in a time in which the avante garde of fantasy film-making was first finding its feet. With even the actors themselves bewildered at Lucas’ four-decade plan – Mark Hamill revealing all in a late seventies interview, that Lucas did indeed have a long term plot in mind, with a prequel trilogy elaborating on the origins of Vader and the sequel trilogy of which Disney Pictures are now piloting the helm – no member of that original rag tag motley crew of a production team could have predicted that thirty-nine years later, intermediary prequel-sequel-spinoff Rogue One: A Star Wars Story would be dominating box offices internationally.
While maintaining a spoiler free backdrop, the involvement of Darth Vader (with a reported ten minutes of captivating screen time) has been revealed to the mainstream media, while the key players in this intergalactic game of space chess have also seemingly been unveiled: while The Theory of Everything’s Felicity Jones plays reforming semi-criminal protagonist Jyn Erso, Bond villain and recent Doctor Strange antagonist Mads Mikkelsen of Hannibal fame dons another ambiguously slimy persona, his role in constructing the trilogy-defining Death Star (revealed in one of this year’s earlier teaser trailers) unnervingly balanced between imprisoned hero or traitorous “bad guy”.
Occupying a standalone anthology series of three films, little is known about Rogue One’s autonomous, freely-linking sequels, many theories and teasing pre-production tweets seemingly alluding to either a Han Solo origins extravaganza, or alternatively a Ewan McGregor involved Obi-wan Kenobi storyline… or perhaps even both! Regardless, by the time the lightsabre-wielding multi-platform phenomenon has come to an end, a total of twelve movies will exist within the Star Wars canon, split evenly between four trilogies: the original classics of the 1970s and 1980s, the cringe-worthy prequels of the noughties generation, Daisy Ridley’s Force Awakens flagship (Episode IX to be unveiled in December 2017) and finally this trio of independent movies, growing out from the core spine of the nine others, like an outer space spider web of money-grabbing movies.
Having only been out for a slim number of days, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is bound to engulf the same Cursed Child-style #KeepTheSecrets mentality as 2015’s The Force Awakens, a release which sees Harrison Ford’s beloved Han Solo murdered by his son and main dark side villain, Kylo Ren (played by Adam Driver, who stars as one of the two main Christian missionaries alongside Andrew Garfield in the hotly anticipated Martin Scorsese evangelist drama, Silence in the new year)… If you were unaware of this spoiler in the wake of a year’s worth of comedy gifs and self-deprecatory memes floating around the sphere of social media, then the fault is solely your own! It seems that, should Rogue One hold any melodramatic twists or universe-expanding secrecy, the lips of those who have already witnessed the two-hour and thirteen-minute motion picture will remain as tightly bound as those of the cinema-goers who first saw The Force Awakens over a year ago…
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, directed by Gareth Edwards, is currently showing in cinemas nationwide.
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