Welcome back, lovers of nerds. As promised, the release of Star Wars: Rogue One on blu ray means that we will be discussing the latest Star Wars movie installment. I’m sure your Star Wars fan has already seen this movie at least once, but there is nothing like a blu ray release to give someone an excuse to watch a Star Wars movie again.
Star Wars: Rogue One takes place before the original Star Wars movie that came out in 1977 and shares the story of the team that stole the original Death Star plans. The main character Jyn Erso is the daughter of scientist Galen Erso who is apprehended by the empire and forced to help them develop their weapon of mass destruction. Galen uses his position to design a fatal flaw into the weapon, and then to get a message out to the rebellion so they would know to come look for it. Jyn is part of the team that then successfully steals the plans for the rebellion, leading to the events that take place in Episode 4: A New Hope.
Moments from the Movie
The movie has several moments that fans have been talking about:
- Darth Vader makes a cameo. In the first scene, he makes a ridiculously bad pun, showing that although he is more man than machine, he still can deliver crappy dialogue with the best of them. The second scene, though. Oh, my. The second scene is Darth Vader at the height of his badassitude as he completely annihilates a group of rebel soldiers attempting to hold a corridor. It is by far the coolest Darth Vader sequence in any of the films (although in the comics, Vader has some even badassier moments. Note: If your fan hasn’t already, suggest picking up the Vader comics. There are 4 volumes that contain the entire series run. Or you could just pick up the Vader Down crossover, which contains the badassiest Vader sequence).
- CGI characters. The movie resurrects Grand Admiral Tarkin (or rather Peter Cushing, the actor who originally portrayed Tarkin and who died in 1994) through the use of CGI. While certainly an impressive technological feat, the character looks just off enough to be a little weird. Still though, it’s pretty cool. And later in the movie, we get a brief scene featuring a CGI younger Princess Leia.
- The Battle of Scarif. The movie climaxes with a battle on and over the planet of Scarif in an epic fight sequence. The action switches from troops on the ground and ships fighting in space and is everything right about Star Wars.
How it changes the Trilogy
The release of Rogue One changes the way the Original Trilogy is viewed now in subtle ways.
- The first and most obvious way it changes the Trilogy is that it turns out the weakness in the Death Star was put there by the design of Galen Erso, and not just as a ridiculous oversight. This plot point explains one of the biggest issues fans of the original have had with the plot for years, and makes jokes like the following now irrelevant
- The rebellion feels more desperate in A New Hope. The revelation that the rebellion had nearly decided to disband, before eventually risking everything in a desperate fight at Scarif to secure the Death Star plans adds context to the state of the rebellion in Episode 4. Whereas before, it was easy to imagine the rebellion as a well-organized group who had had some measure of success prior to the movie, now we know that the rebellion was literally days away from falling apart and were desperate. It also makes the fact that they were able to take down the Death Star all the more miraculous.
- The opening scene where Princess Leia lamely tries to pass off her ship as nothing more than an ambassador ship on a diplomatic mission to Alderaan is rendered all the lamer given that Darth Vader had been pursuing her ship since she escaped the Battle of Scarif. Still, kudos to her for shamelessly trying to sell that lie. Vader also seems more menacing now that we know the damage he is capable of.
Tidbits and Tie ins
Here are a few more random things you can bring up when talking about the film.
- This is the first Star Wars movie without the traditional opening scrawl.
- This is also the first stand-alone Star Wars movie and the first Star Wars movie not scored by John Williams. Given this movie’s success, there will now be many other stand-alone Star Wars movies. Thank you, Disney.
- Saw Gerrera, a character who premiered in the Star Wars: The Clone Wars cartoons, and then who later showed up the Star Wars Rebels series, makes an appearance in this movie. He raises Jyn Erso and later is the rebel who receives the warning message from Galen Erso.
- In the Battle of Scarif, the ship the main characters in Star Wars Rebels use (The Ghost) is present, indicating that at least some of them participated in the battle. The movie also contains many other Easter eggs, including the thugs that appear in the Mos Eisley cantina in Episode 4, and original (and unused footage) from A New Hope used in the Battle of Scarif.
I hope this helps you talk Star Wars with your nerd this week. And because Star Wars is the greatest thing ever, next week Let’s Talk will be going to Star Wars Celebration in Orlando. So, expect a bunch more Star Wars stuff is what I’m saying.
Image courtesy of starwars.com