Tales of the Rampant Coyote

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Rogue One: My spoiler-free impressions

Posted by Rampant Coyote on December 19, 2016

Years ago I complained about how the sequels to The Matrix were so bad that they went back in time and injected suck into the otherwise stellar original. I think I went back and re-watched The Matrix maybe once since the sequels came out, and it was sad, knowing how stupid everything turns out and how awesome it could have been. That was really when I realized how poisonous the sequels were (up until then, I told myself they weren’t that bad). Maybe one day, when my memory of the sequels has faded, I’ll be able to go back and watch it for what it is and truly enjoy it again. Maybe.

After seeing Rogue One, I feel like it has managed to do the opposite. In my view, it has reached back into time to make the original (AKA Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope) an even better movie. That’s something that the “special edition” (which is now the only commonly available edition) didn’t quite accomplish, although it did clean things up.

All Rogue One does (hah!) is chronicle the events described in two sentences in the opening crawl of Star Wars ep 4. It’s a side-story… in this case, a war movie set in the Star Wars universe.  Imagine an entire movie devoted to the Battle of Hoth, as told from the perspective of a bunch of soldiers on the ground who weren’t named “Skywalker,” “Organa,” or “Solo,” and the best any of them could hope for would be to buy time for an escape, and maybe even survive to hop the last transport out of there. Actually, that could be a hella cool movie. I’d totally want to see that.

Well, that’s kinda what Rogue One is. However, in spite of the grittiness and a darker theme, there are still heroics, explosions, and comic moments aplenty. It’s still a Star Wars movie, and leads right into the opening of A New Hope, and also manages to explain (or at least strongly suggest an explanation) a few of the plot-holes in the original. Plus, it establishes a cinematic precedent for what has already been established by the novels and animated series: This is a vast universe full of storytelling possibilities that don’t directly involve Skywalker family drama.

In a nutshell – it’s great. It really is the Episode III that was supposed to be, IMO, and easily fits in with the original trilogy not only in content, but in quality. Finally.



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