“I Rebel!” – Jyn Erso (ROGUE ONE)
Get ready to return to the world of the galaxy far, far away. The world of Jedi, light sabers, Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, etc. But wait… this Star Wars story doesn’t have any of that! If that’s the case, why then should we be excited about seeing ROGUE ONE: A STAR WARS STORY?
The universe is a vast place, but the Star Wars saga films have largely been myopic, in that these films have solely centered around the heritage of the Skywalker family (Anakin ‘aka Darth Vader’, Luke & Leia and maybe (?) Rey). Ever since Disney acquired the rights to the Star Wars mythos, they have been slowly disseminating and expanding the stories shared about this universe, and on their own terms (sorry fans of the old republic stories).
So the story entitled “Rogue One” is a very simple one, which finds its roots within the opening minutes from the original movie “Star Wars.” One of the iconic traditions from the films is the opening crawl – which has become the most famous form of exposition in film history, as it explains the state of affairs of said universe and informs the audience what happened since the last adventure.
In the original “Star Wars,” the opening crawl had within it the composition,“Rebel spies managed to steal secret plans to the Empire’s ultimate weapon, the Death Star, an armored space station with enough power to destroy a planet.” “Rogue One” is the story of those rebels who stole the plans to the Death Star.
Now that we know that, what else do we need to know to fully enjoy “Rogue One?”
- No Crawl – this is the first movie produced by the Star Wars franchise that won’t have the legendary beginning crawl. They have chosen this path to try to differentiate between saga films and the new story films.
- No sequel – this is not a follow-up to Force Awakens so there will be no Rey, Finn, or Kylo Ren. The time frame of this movie is more of a prequel to “Star Wars” because it takes place prior to that movie. “Rogue One” will end 10 minutes before the movie “Star Wars” begins.
- No Jedi – After “Revenge of the Sith,” Yoda goes into hiding, Luke and Leia are born and Obi Wan Kenobi leaves to protect Luke. We are also led to believe that all the other Jedi have been killed by the Emperor and Darth Vader. So until Luke comes of age, there are no active Jedi.
- Which Death Star? – in the saga films we have had 3 different Death Stars. The original Death Star in “Star Wars”, the second in “Return of the Jedi”, and Starkiller Base in the “Force Awakens.” While Starkiller Base was powered by the sun, the other Death Stars require Kyber Crystals to power their destructive laser. “Rogue One” deals with the first Death Star and the powerful Kyber crystals.
- Who’s Back? – we will see some of the leaders of the rebellion – Mon Mothma, Admiral Ackbar and Leia’s adoptive dad, and leader Senator Bale Organa serve as some of the connective tissue to the previous films, so that we still feel like we are in the “Star Wars” universe. Saw Gerrera returns from the Clone Wars, and the baddest villain of all time, Darth Vader, “force chokes” his way into this movie as he hunts down the thieves who stole the plans.
- What’s new? – Jyn Erso, like Rey from Force Awakens, is the protagonist of this film and the person chosen to lead the rebel’s mission because her Dad, Galen Erso, is the expert in Kyber Crystals – which are needed to power the laser on the Death Star. Orson Krennic is the middle management commander fighting up the Empire ranks who is the main villain and the overseer of the Death Star’s construction.
And what would “Star Wars” story be without new planets and droids to learn. K-2SO is a former empire robot who is reprogrammed for the rebels efforts. “Jedha” the magical and spiritual home for followers of the force and the main planet in “Rogue One”.
Lastly, what makes this film a must see and differentiates itself from the other films in the saga is this essentially is a war film. While the others have focused on the travels and conflicts across the galaxy, “Rogue One” will mainly focus on two planets and the ground force battles seeking to control the happenings on these worlds.
As such with war films, some live, many die and “Rogue One” is the movie worth experiencing so we know what took place before Vader comes through the space ship door in “Star Wars.”
No light Sabers… no Jedi… no Luke Skywalker or Han Solo, what’s a person to do????
ROGUE ONE: A STAR WARS STORY opens in theaters everywhere December 15.
Darryl King is a video director, film writer and avid Marvel comic book/movie lover. Check out his review of Star Wars: The Force Awakens and his primer guide to the film right here on MMT.