Wednesday, November 30, 2016

A peak at Entertainment Weekly's "Roge One: A Star Wars Story" article

A mysterious thing happened over the summer.

I was checking the mail with my dog when I saw an issue of Entertainment Weekly in our mailbox. This is surprising because my fiancee and I don't have a subscription to Entertainment Weekly. This may shock most of you, but all of my entertainment news I get from online sources. I never read many magazines or newspapers. Maybe if I have an appointment somewhere, I may crack open one, but I never subscribe to anything. I found this to be odd, and I asked my fiancee if she started a subscription with the magazine and she declined. Weird, I thought. But there was a cool story about "Suicide Squad" in it at the time, so I gave it a read.  Soon, these issues of Entertainment Weekly came week after week after week. My fiancee has checked her banking account and I have checked mine religiously since then. We don't seem to be victims of identity theft. Hey, I don't mind if Entertainment Weekly is giving away free magazines, so I have had these to read each week.

There was a great article in this week's issue about "Rouge One: A Star Wars Story" and I wanted to write about it today.

I don't think I need to make any clearer how excited I am about this movie. More so than any other "Star Wars" movie. This is Disney's big gamble with this popular saga. Entertainment Weekly calls it "the most daring Star Wars yet," no shit. Finally, we have a story that goes astray from the Skywalker family. We are going to witness this universe expanded. And since these movies are officially cut off from the larger Star Wars expanded universe, filmmakers don't need to be tied down to details found in books, comics, games or the like. We are seeing original stories unfold, with characters we haven't met yet.

One thing the article brings up is "can a movie full of new characters engage fans?" Well, I think that question was quasi-answered last year. Sure, Han Solo, Luke Skywalker and Leia all appear in episode VII, but they weren't the leads. Heck, Skywalker was barely in it at all. This new trilogy is going to exclusively focus on Finn, Rey, Poe, Kylo Ren and the other new characters and our old friends will remain in the background. "The Force Awakens" made a huge profit last year, and yes, much of that profit is due to the fact that "Star Wars" is int he title, but there is no doubt how these new faces of the franchise stood out last year. Its a given. I get it though, "Rogue One" is going to be entirely new ground. We will have Darth Vader in the background, but the article assures us that Vader is going to be in the background. I don't know how large of a role Mon Mothra will play in this or Forest Whitaker's character, who apparently is a classic character from one of the cartoons. But "Rogue One" will be made up of entirely new faces. But this is healthy for the franchise to expand its universe.

The article runs through Disney's plans for the franchise. We know Episode VIII is coming next year. We know the Han Solo movie is coming in 2018, then in 2019 Episode XI. The article then says that nobody knows what really comes next. But its pretty clear something will come next. Its just up in the air at this point. So I guess the rumored Ewan McGregor Obi-Wan movie is still a rumor at this point. Finding out what will come next is based solely on the green "Rogue One" brings the studio this December. The article could be deceiving, but I don't think it is. Depending on how good "Rogue One," does will determine how far and deep this universe can go. So please folks, see this movie. I know all of you were probably planning on it anyway. But please, go. See it sooner rather than later. Let's see Disney go as far off-the-rails as possible. The article discusses how the plot for "Rogue One" is designed so that even casual fans can follow. But, I'd love to see a movie that didn't spoon feed the details. Let's see how far we can push story, character and theme. That can only happen if we show them that this is the storytelling we want. Speak with your wallets. As cool as the "Han Solo" movie sounds, and as excited as I am that Alden Ehrenreich is playing Han and Donald Freaking Glover is Lando Calrissian. I already have a sneaking suspicion that "Han Solo" is just going to be a Greatest Hits CD. Every mystery about Solo's past is going to be revealed. Do we really need a movie to do that for us? I could be wrong, I hope I'm wrong but right now, I harbor the suspicion. I want more movies that deter from the main cast. Open this universe up to us!

The article touches on some of the hardware seen in the movie and its all really cool. It looks like the ships will slowly turn from the Clone War era to the Empire era. That's pretty cool. But the article doesn't get too far into it. I didn't read into too much of the plot details. I don't want to spoil this for myself. I want to go in as spoiler-free as possible. I know its about stealing the plans for the Death Star. The plans Leia hides in R2-D2, the thing that helped Luke destroy the Death Star. Cool. But that's all I want to know. I want this movie to ride over me, to thrill me and surprise me.

I really, really can't wait.

See you there?

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