Friday, February 10, 2017

Rogue One and more Star Wars

Just as the Harry Potter and the Ranger’s Apprentice books are well loved in our home by Miss 11 and Mr 13, the Star Wars franchise is also highly treasured.   It’s been a drip-feed approach to now – they have been able to watch Episodes 4, 5 & 6 from about age 10, and they both saw Episode 7: The Force Awakens last year.  

So, with Rogue One on the horizon, expectations and excitement levels were again high.   Husband and I went to see it – because really, once a Star Wars fan, always a Star Wars fan.   As expected, it was pretty good.   It’s set just before Episode 4 (it’s ‘Episode 3a’ if you will).   Much has been made of the fact that it could be stand-alone story.  I personally struggle to see how it could be because allusions to the trilogies on either side are peppered throughout, with the same actors or computer adapted versions of the same characters.   It’s always interesting to see how one creates the same (younger) character when the original was shot 40 years before hand!   Anyone who is already a fan knows the premise – in Episode 4 they need to blow up the Death Star.   Rogue One is the account of how the Death Star was made and how the plans were stolen.

As with all Star Wars movies, there is action, fighting, humour, and a clear distinction between good and evil.  The final scenes always have multiple major battles being played out – on land, on space and on space ships.

With the release of The Force Awakens and now Rogue One, you appreciate how the early movies were shot well before their time.   The same tried and true formula still works 40 years later, and computer generated imagery has finally truly caught up with the imaginations of the creators.   

After that Miss 11 and I watched Star Wars (A New Hope) again to see how closely it linked in.  Then we agreed Mr 13 and Miss 11 could watch Episodes 1-3, and I was the ‘designated adult viewer’ with them.   There was no surprise or suspense for them, having read numerous books about the episodes and played all the Lego Star Wars Xbox games.

For me, it was interesting to return to those movies after only having seen them once 10-15 years ago.   They received such bad reception at the time, and we never had any real desire to see them again.    On reflection, they weren’t as bad as I recalled – yes, Jar Jar Binks is annoying, and yes, the love story is appallingly unrealistic, and Anakin’s anger issues make you ponder Padme’s life choices – but the rest was fine.   Same essential story of good vs evil every time.

Now my head is completely fully of Star Wars, having seen five movies in 3 weeks (strictly six as I saw Rogue One twice!).   Time for a break from the Republic, Galactic Empire, the Jedi and the Force for a while!

Now that there are 8 movies in total, and at least 2 more to come – it does make it a major exercise to revisit the story when you want to.  Serious fans on Star Wars day (May the Fourth) will have their work cut out for them – with about 20 hours of movies to get through!  I might note here that while we are definitely fans, that is not something we do!

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