The new Star Wars movie; The Rise of Skywalker is about to come out and I feel the need to once again point out that The last Jedi was a good Star Wars movie and meant to subvert your expectations on purpose. If you didn’t like that, then that’s more on you than it is on the movie.
No spoilers, you’re welcome.
Rogue One is the first attempt at spotlighting a side story to the normal Skywalker storyline in a major release. The teasers allowed us to see that it took place around the time of the first Star Wars movie, A New Hope, and that it would involve something to do with the rebellion and the construction of the first Death Star.
Wyoming in the 1870s. A stagecoach is heading towards the town of Red Rock with two passengers onboard. One is John “Hangman” Ruth (played by Kurt Russell), a celebrated bounty hunter. The other is Daisy Domergue (Jennifer Jason Leigh), his prisoner and wanted for murder. Along the way they pick up another bounty hunter, Major Marquis Warren (Samuel L Jackson), and Chris Mannix (Walton Goggins). Due to a blizzard they are forced to hole up in a store some way out of town with the occupants of another stagecoach. Suspicions commence and Civil War enmities are reawakened.
When critical information is placed into a simple droid, both the evil First Order and the heroic Resistance go searching for it. Then something neither of them planned for happens: Rey, a scavenger from the planet Jakku finds the droid and keeps it as her own. Finn, an ex-stormtrooper who hopes to leave his past behind him, crosses paths with her and breaks the news of what exactly the importance of the droid is. Next thing either of them know is that they are on the run in order to withhold the droid from the First Order. They meet a pair of old buddies and after a few skirmishes between them and the determined First Order, the droid is brought to the Resistance base. There, multiple plans are hatched against the First Order while the secret information on the droid is slowly and surely working itself out…
Earth’s future has been riddled by disasters, famines, and droughts. There is only one way to ensure mankind’s survival: Interstellar travel. A newly discovered wormhole in the far reaches of our solar system allows a team of astronauts to go where no man has gone before, a planet that may have the right environment to sustain human life.
Robin Wright plays a fictional version of herself, an aging actress with a reputation for being fickle and unreliable, so much so that nobody is willing to offer her roles. Her son, Aaron, suffers from Usher syndrome that is slowly destroying his sight and hearing. With the help of Dr. Barker (Paul Giamatti), Robin is barely able to stave off the worst effects of her son’s decline. Robin agrees to sell the film rights to her digital image to Miramount Studios (a portmanteau of Miramax and Paramount) in exchange for a hefty sum of money and the promise to never act again. After her body is digitally scanned, the studio will be able to make films starring her, using only computer-generated characters.
“You can’t stop what’s comin’. It ain’t all waitin’ on you. That’s vanity.”
The movie ends and you are just left there trying to figure out what the path you had just been taken on, was supposed to have meant. It’s interpretive, many people left the cinema a bit confused and mocking the final scene if not the entire film. I was trying to let it soak in, I like Coen Brothers movies and I was really trying to get this one, but it was rough. It was an intense chase scene drawn out over most of the movie.
Okay, I’ll admit it, I was biased to liking this movie on several fronts before I ever saw it. It’s a story about a father and son, it has a quest to find Sydney, Australia, and it’s an animated movie by those awsome people at Pixar. Any one of those reasons would have gotten admission price from me at the very least.