Who needs luck? – A Star Wars Story

I feel a little bit old, I must say. I feel a little bit old because I can’t help but thinking that I preferred when Star Wars was something mythical, something you couldn’t get everyday, a whole infinite universe inside George Lucas’ mind, a tangle of stories made up of vague references and allusions. This is what makes a […]

I feel a little bit old, I must say. I feel a little bit old because I can’t help but thinking that I preferred when Star Wars was something mythical, something you couldn’t get everyday, a whole infinite universe inside George Lucas’ mind, a tangle of stories made up of vague references and allusions. This is what makes a universe so special: the abundance of work behind it makes it plausible and charming, but things stay this way only until you break the toy, until you open the box to reveal what’s in it. Because the marvels you can imagine will always be better than the ones you can see. And I do feel a little bit old in saying that this Star Wars Story scares the hell out of me. Are we going to tell everything? I had never bothered to imagine how things went, when rebels stole the Death Star plans in the first place, but what will happen when they will tell a story I actually bothered to imagine? I already know how that feels: I had imagined the fall of Anakin Skywalker, and trust me when I say it looked a lot more epic in my mind.
In short, I guess I’m scared.
Scared they will spoil the universe and they will fill it with Disney princesses and good feelings.

Having said that, let me also add that I don’t think this Star Wars Story entitles me to be scared.

Rogue One is a good movie, actually a better movie than what was shown in the trailers. Or maybe I found it to be a good movie because I expected it to be really really bad and I can never admit when something Star Wars sucks. Even if it sucks bad. Spoilers ahead, so don’t you dare whine if you keep on reading.

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Rogue One has a good story, and basically speaks about this guy. You’ve been wondering about him a lot, especially if you’re in my line of work: who, in his right state of mind, puts an exhaust channel leading straight to the main reactor? Well, Rogue One offers an explanation: the guy wasn’t an incompetent jerk, the equivalent of a Stormtrooper when it comes to engineering. It’s a start. It’s a good start, actually. On one hand, it shows the will of building these new stories on plausible foundations. On the other hand, it shows a will of fixing certain ingenuities of the original Trilogy, and I think this arrogance might eventually lead to the Dark Side.

Anyway, what happens here is that we have a good setting and decent foundations for a story.
Also, we have good new additions like the desertic moon of Jedha, integrated with old references like kyber crystals. Settings are rich and varied, almost overabundant: in apparent response to some critiques moved to The Force Awakens, during the first ten minutes of the movie we jump planet at least five times. Then again you don’t seem to be able to have a desertic planet that doesn’t loke like Tatooine and you just can’t have a fortress on a volcanic planet that doesn’t look like Mordor, but these are different stories.
Characters also are varied and cleverly harvest from topoi of other genres, the blind monk being the most obvious of them. You need to have heroes that don’t overshadow the original ones and yet remain interesting and compelling. Heroic. Then again, you have major flaws in writing and their evolution is shallow. One minute people could care less about the revolution and the other minute you just have to fight. One minute everybody is so wound up about rebels being killers and ten minutes later nobody gives a shit about it. I would have appreciated a little less change, more justified, instead of going to lengths you are unable to justify in two hours of movie.

Also, I would have preferred to suspend my disbelief about Moff Tarkin just as we did about Mon Mothma. Genevieve O’Reilly resembles Caroline Blakiston enough to make us understand what character is that. That’s enough. The CGI version of Peter Cushing, modelled around Guy Henry, was just too damn difficult and the result is just depressing. Too much of him. Too many imperfections to recreate.

So, in short, what do I save of this movie?

1. I don’t need luck: I have you.

Probably the best quote, and bound to become one of my favourites of the whole franchise. Who needs luck, when you can have an angry friend with a huge blaster?

2. Everybody dies.
I said it. I just loved the fact that this movie doesn’t fall short of drama: rebels win in the end, of course, but everybody dies as you would expect and the dark side of being a rebel is shown in full. The movie starts with a rebel murdering an informer. It takes guts to write something like that. It takes even more guts when you work for nowadays Disney. You have to give them credit for that.

3. Darth Vader.
Ok, I know, the first time you see him he’s taking a shower and I just wanted to punch the screen fpr all that stretched unnecessary dialogue. But afterwards he doesn’t talk and in all his majesty he sends shivers down the spine.

All the rest is decent and enjoyable. The reprogrammed droid is interesting enough, there’s no Poe Dameron and these rebels will probably soon be forgotten. But not their effort. As it was in the original story.

And, just as princess Leia, I feel that these rebels brought me a new hope.

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