Disney just recently dropped what is supposedly the last trailer for Rogue One, but the way we are bludgeoned to death with movie previews these days, I am sure there will be more stories, footage, behind the scenes and rumors to will the room right up through the release date. As with The Force Awakens, at this point I am opting out of anything new and am just waiting for the movie. I wish I had done so about one trailer ago, as the last one told me more story points then I needed. I already had a good feel for the tone of the film.
Rogue One represents a risk for Disney and the Star Wars film franchise. This represents the first on screen departure from the Skywalker saga. Sure, the ‘expanded universe’ has been well fleshed out in comics, novels, and video games, but none of those mediums have as wide reaching audiences. It is going to be a challenge to convince audiences that this is not another sequel and that you don’t need familiar characters to enjoy this universe. So to that end, here are 5 things I’d like to see from Rogue One.
- Don’t be a sequel/prequel. I know that it already is connected to the events leading up to A New Hope, but hopefully that is just an anchor point to the connect this to the larger universe. The use of cameo’s from known characters like Mon Mothma and Darth Vader can either weave this into the larger mythology or undercut the independence of this film.
- Not too much Vader. Yes, there is such a thing in this context as too much Vader. Vader creates fear and is one of the most ominous villains ever put on screen, but the bigger story of the Skywalker saga is what fleshes him out. When we get Vader, it needs to be in the spirit of A New Hope, not Jedi. I hope they handle this character well, it will be a tragedy if they do.
- Stylistically consistent. This is really tricky, because the backdrop needs to look enough like a movie from 1977 to be consistent, but enough like a movie from 2017 to be appealing. They run the danger of undercutting much of the original trilogy, and its visual break throughs, if not handled appropriately.
- More John Williams. While everyone knows Williams score by heart, it is not often discussed how brilliantly he tells the story without words. Some of the best scenes in the Star Wars movies have no dialogue (Maul/Kenobi fight, Luke in the cave, introduction to Rey). I always want more of that amazing visual story telling.
- Don’t do too much world building. Fans know and love this universe for any number of reasons. We know hints of this story from past movies and other source material. Please don’t give us new planets, species, droids, ships, clans, and other stuff to complicate things. I’m not really hopeful on this one. The independent movie lover in me just wants a really tight story set in the Star Wars universe.
What are you looking for out of Rogue One? Do you think it will continue in the vein of what has come before or will it be its own story? How can they screw it up? Let me know in the comments below and let’s keep the conversation going!