Star Wars: Rogue One is going to be the greatest nostalgia trip for anybody who grew up watching the films. It’ll also be completely pointless.
The latest trailer for upcoming Star Wars spin-off Rogue One looks incredibly badass. It’s got all the things you love: AT-ATs, Imperial Star Destroyers, Death Stars and Darth Vader. It also has a strong female lead, a grizzled Forest Whittaker and Donnie Yen as basically a Jedi version of Ip Man. What could be more hype, right?
Fans have a lot to be pleased about, and it looks like the production has been made with a lot of love for the source material.
Except beyond all the characters and the special effects, there’s a nagging feeling that none of this matters. It’s a similar problem to the George Lucas prequels; any tension around Anakin’s character development was sapped by the knowledge that he has to turn bad at some point.
However, while Lucas set out to tell the tragic tale of an iconic villain’s fall from grace, Gareth Edwards sets out to tell the exciting tale of the off-screen throwaway characters who obtained some plans for the real main characters you know and love.
Of course, we already know they get the plans and we know that SPOILER ALERT the Death Star gets blown up (twice!) already. There’s no tension when the droid tells them there’s a 96.7% chance of failure, because we know they’ll succeed!
Disney paid a lot for the name, and they’re going to make as much as they can releasing a series of refined nostalgia products until it stops being profitable. If audiences don’t spontaneously revolt, then by 2020 the blockbuster schedule will be entirely occupied by Marvel, Star Wars, and other companies making similar kinds of films.
And yet we’ll still go see them, because the films aren’t actually that bad.