Movie Reviews: Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is for folks with an IQ of One


Directed by Gareth Edwards and Tony Gilroy

It’s not surprising to find why Rogue One needed to pay another director $5 million bucks to swoop in to “save” the film. Simply put, Rogue One is a very PG story that is essentially what you get when the focus is on mindless diversity for the sake of diversity to execute a very basic plot. There isn’t an ethnicity not filled here, almost in a Hollywood way to say the strongest teams is when everyone is different (despite the only asian guy in a galaxy far far away doing martial arts, the leading lady being a spunky white chick, the black guy being crusty and angry, the middle eastern guy being resourceful, etc). As we learned from the last election, people are tired as fuck from getting social engineered by the media and Hollywood that only diverse teams and harnessing everyone’s unique talents that impossible obstacles can be overcome.

I say bullshit.

Go to the majority of high school cafeterias, restaurants, churches, small businesses around the world and you’ll see this simply doesn’t exist in 90% of culture. People tend to stick to people similar to them, unless forced into some sort of draft or military conscription. But we are talking about Rebels here. What rebel group in the history of the world been this diverse? (Study history, because none of these writers/execs do) Usually rebels have narrow sets of ideals. In A New Hope, almost everyone on Yavin was white. Everyone in the Empire was white and spoke like a Brit. I don’t know, maybe everyone different were busy doing the real missions. (And yes, I know, in ROTJ, the rebels even has fish admirals against the white imperialists in the Empire).

I’m not totally against women leading the SW universe, but at this point, it feels forced as fuck. At least Captain Janeway had a purpose as the leader, and was legitimate because she rose up the ranks through hard work. Commander Sisko survived Wolfe 359 and was eventually assigned to Deep Space Nine to oversea a giant wormhole. Neither of them were artificially contrived for their roles because they were the son or daughter of anybody. Why couldn’t she have been just a badass? Maybe the baddest of the bad.

Despite very nostalgic visuals that are cool to see and a story where we know the ultimate ending, the story itself is made for 12 year olds. I guess they know who will buy the video games and see it 3 times over christmas break and will ask for the toys for Christmas … despite all the marketing toward girls.

Where is the Intergalactic Saving Private Ryan we were promised? Where is the darkness? Why do people talk in short sentences as if the film has to be dubbed in 38 languages? Why is the dialogue so damn simple, and frankly, dumbed down as if there can’t be any confusion to offending the “fake outrage” groups.

Fucking Disney, come on.

I sensed things had gone to shit when I saw all the action figures filling up the shelves. This is The Force Awakens Fiasco all over again. At least the overall plot here isn’t as batshit stupid as Episode VII.

The film is better than any of the prequels (except for the Darth Maul vs Qui-Gon/Obi-Wan fight, and the Jango-Obi-Wan fight, and the first 2 minutes of Revenge of the Sith).

I recommend you see it, because if you read this far, you’ll see it anyway. Just post a comment how you agree that Disney is turning Star Wars into a marvel universe where everyone is so damn likable that they want fanboys and fangirls to cry out for six thousand spinoffs so we can explore each backstory so that eventually we’ll have a thousand different characters to know and love. How can they not? Nobody says anything offensive as a rebel fighting for the galaxy. Few characters act like they have a braincell, including the oh-so-tough leading lady.

Please GRR Martin, don’t ever sell the rights to Game of Thrones expanded universe to Disney. I couldn’t imagine the “reimagining” version they would do to Westeros.

Rogue One Trailer Analysis

If you have not seen the 90 seconds of the epic Rogue One trailer, it is mandatory viewing for any Star Wars fan. Some of you might say, “Hey, trailers ruin movies” and for the most part I agree with you. The vast majority of blockbusters show all the good parts to get people in the seats. Some of the few directors that do trailers right include JJ Abrams and Christopher Nolan. It provided just enough of a glimpse without ruining the surprises. And I’m with the other group of you that want to have the fresh Star Wars experience. I did the same thing with The Force Awakens. I avoided all trailers and went into the movie with only a few stills that were unavoidable on the internet. The feeling I got when I saw STAR WARS flash on the screen and the music pounded and the first 40 minutes of the film jumped scene to scene so fast, I was in awe. It was simply breathtaking. For the first time since The Matrix, I saw an awesome movie without knowing anything about it and it put me on the edge of my seat. I mean, when the camera pans over to see the “piece of garbage” and it’s the Millennium Falcon, I think my body actually electrified. (For a discussion on the middle of that story and the Dumbo-Finn, Starkiller-Stupidness, and First Order-YA Edition, see my other blog on the 57 plot holes of that film)

For Rogue One, I wasn’t sure if I would take the same approach. After hearing banter about it both online and at work, I decided I would take a peak since I was told it didn’t reveal too much. I put on my headphones, put it on full screen, and felt the power of this franchise rip alive. I was always unsure if this movie could stand alone. They’ve advertised it as Saving Private Ryan in space, and from the preview, I believe them. Simply put, the trailer was amazing.

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Like the frame above. I was like “Holy Shit” that looks like A New Hope. They are putting some heart and soul in this thing. Copying the look of it and adding a spin adds nostalgia and hope to the story. I mean, just look at the trashcan bot! Look at those helmets. Yes! Where have they been? Aerodynamic and awesome. From the picture, I am not sure if she is captured or not (from the red light), because for a woman who lives by no rules, she sure seems to be following Aerodynamic-man.

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I just about lost my damn mind when I saw this. I don’t know how many Bothans died to get a Mon Mothma lookalike, but it was worth it. Just look at her! She looks like a clone. And look at the cheesy screen behind her! That is so damn classic from the 1977 look and feel of A New Hope. I didn’t have much faith from the director of Godzilla, but wow, this tells me that he cares about the fans and franchise and want to do it right.Screen Shot 2016-04-08 at 11.31.15 AM.png

We get a close up of our heroine, Felicity Jones, and damn she looks serious. Nice touch with a simple shot of the cheesy glass chart behind her, and thank you thank you thank you for not putting some dumb cameo like JJ Abrams did with Greg Grunberg photobombing the second half of The Force Awakens.

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I have no idea who this is, as I’m still in the dark with the script leaks, but I assume he is against this whole idea and doesn’t trust Felicity Jones. Perhaps he will at the end of the movie.  What I’ve noticed so far is everyone has a “proper” accent. Hmmm…..

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Then BOOM! The trailer money shot. Just look at that Star Destroyer. Why are fans going nuts over this?  It’s because it looks so much like A New Hope. I’m not sure if it’s a model or not, but damn it looks good. Screen Shot 2016-04-08 at 11.31.41 AM.png

Then to give you some scale, they give you context. It was the final installation of the laser array. Wow! I was surprised they added such an epic shot like this in a trailer, and to me, either shows confidence or might have been showing too much. I don’t know. It got me pumped up so it did its job.

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Now Felicity Jones is a woman that follows nobody! Look at her walk in front of Diego Luna. (Not side by side, but in front). Even the X-Wing pilots are avoiding her. And no, I don’t think there is an alarm going off in the movie because the people in the background don’t seem too engaged or worried. Screen Shot 2016-04-08 at 11.35.32 AM.png

This is probably a good time to introduce Diego Luna, who oddly has the a similar intro shot as the first 4 characters (By the blue-ish green glass). Look at his gaze. He knows something. Is it good? Is it bad? Who knows. I think maybe he just digs chicks that say “I rebel.” (I have a thing for it too)

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We see what Felicity Jones can do. (Shoot the ground? WTF?) I guess this works. I don’t know why I never saw Han Solo do this wonderful trick, but I guess I’ll turn off my brain. (It looked cool, so who cares…I dunno) I am assuming this is the beginning of the film when something goes wrong and she gets sent to the rebel base. This is a POV shot of someone watching this thing, so maybe she had to be captured.

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Holy fucking shit. I don’t know who this guy is, but he looks confident and menacing and awesome. The director didn’t put some 25 year old tweener-screamer like Hux in the film. He put Ben Mendelsohn who looks so damn swag in that white cape and Grand Mof uniform holding a gun that I truly feel I would just watch 90 minutes of him. Since I was a kid I always wanted to see Grand Admiral Thrawn in a movie, but if we can’t get the blue skin and red eyes, that’s okay with me after Dooku and Grevious and Hux and Snoke. This feels like Star Wars.

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After some battle, maybe in the tropical climate, we see this Mof walk to the aftermath of the battle like a badass. Look at him. He doesn’t give a shit there are dead stormtroopers everywhere. He is a man on a mission. (Real men walk towards explosions)

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How many of you lost it with this shot? Is that Lord Vader’s chamber? Look at those guards. I thought they protected the Emperor, so I am confused by the shot. Who is the guy in the cloak? He is about to kneel (A concept lost in The Force Awakens plot mess) which makes me happy.  Like in Game of Thrones, people bend-the-fucking-knee to their master. Screen Shot 2016-04-08 at 11.32.24 AM.png

We get a close up of this guy. I have no idea who he is. The picture has been used on a few marketing promos, so I can only assume Mads or something we didn’t see in the preview is beneath the helmet. Who knows. Maybe it’s Felicity Jones. Maybe that is how they sneak on board.

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In the preview it looked cool. On the frame, it does appear a bit CGI-ish, just like a cartoon. Pretty shitty. I hope they clean this up before the film release. Screen Shot 2016-04-08 at 11.32.43 AM.png

Hi, it’s me, Felicity Jones again. I’m a hardcore fighting woman, yet, I’m running away from something. And a robot can keep up. Are they in NYC? Is that a subway? I was a little confused, but who knows. Maybe that is a heist in the beginning of the film. Or in the Death Star. Who is she looking back for though? Screen Shot 2016-04-08 at 11.33.00 AM.png

Now we get to the cast. We have IP Man, Donnie Yen, but somehow in a long time ago in a galaxy far far away, Asians can only do Kung Fu. (Maybe in Rogue Two, Donnie Yen will be visiting his parents Liquor store or Laundrymat) I rolled my eyes a little at this clear stereotype, but who knows, if Disney wants to give an Asian a role in any film, they might as well take it. I was confused why the storm troopers look around and watched instead of just shooting him. (Any why the hell is the stormtrooper leaning over and pre-twisting in order to do a real good flip as if he was hit by the 3000 tons of force? … what the hell is that armor good for?)Screen Shot 2016-04-08 at 11.31.58 AM.png

Forest “You are my most trusted Advisor” Whitaker is in this thing. He has a limp and is bitter as hell over something. Was he maimed? Was there a failed Rogue Zero mission? I have no idea, but did enjoy his voiceover. There seems to be so much damn weight to the movie outside the Hunger Games/Divergent/YA Dystopia feel to it. I don’t know why only pretty girls with British Accents can save the universe in the Disney versions of Star Wars. Maybe it’s the whole Disney Princess obsession. Screen Shot 2016-04-08 at 11.33.34 AM.png

The shot everyone is talking about is the AT-ATs back in action.  Look at them in a tropical climate! It looks blue screen CGI as hell, but still looks pretty awesome. Maybe only the explosions just corny. I have no idea why these rebels are charging on foot toward the walkers. Is this like a Dirty Dozen type thing? They are so crazy and bold, they get lucky? (Sort of like Han Solo in charging in the Death Star)

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Then we end with our Disney Princess Katniss Felicity Jones looking serious like she is about to do something bold. Notice there isn’t a guy in front of her. She knows about the bechdel test and is gonna go save the universe in the imperial uniform. I assume based on how clean the uniform looks, this is before the mission.

Overall, how was the trailer? It was so awesome that I watched it 20 times plus some reaction videos (and made a reaction video for the future post) and looked through all the frames. The trailer did its job. I’ll be there on opening night with a big tub of popcorn. Who’s coming with me?


Hey guys and thanks Matt for letting me write on your blog. Ever since I was little, I loved Star Wars, not because I shared the same initials as them, but because I loved going to a galaxy far far away. At school lunch, I often had to sit at the table far far away from the cool kids, but that’s ok. I got the last laugh. Star Wars is cool again. The Jar Jar embarrassment is gone. And now, with The Force Awakens and Rogue One, girls even like it! Boy, there is no better time to be an OPEN Star Wars fan. Yay.