A Rogue One Review

This film could best be described as Katniss Everdeen In Space.

While this prequel is light years (and a galaxy far away) of an improvement over the New Hope reboot aka The Force Awakens, it is not the second coming of Christ fanboys are making it out to be.

Katniss Everdeen in Space is not so much a good movie as it is a good Star Wars movie by Star Wars standards.

Disney committed the cardinal sin I called them out on when Captain America: Civil War was released, they regurgitate the same plot, outline, and devices in the same movies.

One of Marvel/Disney’s biggest cinematic sins is that they go to the proverbial well to often for the same setup that may have been a hit in a previous chapter. For example: one of the most popular scenes in season one of Daredevil is the hallway scene that’s a throwback to Oldboy. So they recreate the same scenario in the stairwell scene in season 2. Hulk pummeling Loki senselessly during the first Avengers film was reiterated with the gamma radiated behemoth doing the same to Ultron in the sequel. The opening of Civil War was a throwback to the first 10 minutes of Winter Soldier. It’s a reflection of Marvel resting on their laurels and not a good look.

Iron Man 1-3, Guardians of the Galaxy, Antman
, and Dr. Strange are all the same bastardization of Joseph Campbell’s Journey of the Privileged White Male Douchebag.
Once again in Rogue One, we have a space opera about rebels fighting the galactic empire and stopping them from using their McGuffin of a planet destroying weapon.

As a character, Jyn is essentially a blank slate who is both boring an uninteresting. Again Katniss Everdeen sans the character development.

A major letdown from the fleshed out heroines Padme, General Leia and Rey.

While conversing with my buddy Christopher Chinn, he made an excellent point on why Jyn’s privilege and attitude is a reflection of white fauxminism:

“So the biggest issue is that Jyn’s storyline is supposed to be this awesome heroic story, but it really reads as “All the problems of white feminism” to me. She goes from “I don’t care about politics (even as my father is working to help the space nazis with genocide, and I was raised by a militant Black rebel)” to ‘Don’t you see? Everyone has to listen to me because HOOOOOPPPPEEE.'”
This film also wastes, the magnificent tour de force that is Forest Whitaker who plays Saw Gerrera, Jyn’s militant Magical Negro mentor/pappy.

Chinn also made another profound point about Gerrera and the rebellion.

“The other unintentional narrative they end up producing is that white folks basically won’t step in until their own lives are at stake: Saw Gerrera, the Black “extremist” so far is only doing two things different than the Rebellion – a) Actually fighting back, and b) has a lie detector creature that apparently scrambles up your head for a day or two (which, bad, but when we compare the fact the Jedi High Council used their Force powers to rip info from a prisoner’s head, knowing it could kill him, we’ve already painted the line way further down than this…). The rest of the damn Rebellion doesn’t even start to step up UNTIL the Death Star…. so….”

In other words, white liberal fauxgressives finally acting brand new and shocked that the world is full of injustice only after Donald Trump is elected president.
With that being said, Rogue One offers some high points.

Some surprisingly witty dialogue pops up throughout the film. Much of it is courtesy of
K2, the snarky and possible offspring of our favorite robots (C-3P0 and R2-D2) threw shade with all the dark side of the force, played wonderfully by the ever delightful Alan Tudyk.

Along with K2, Donny Yen stole every scene as Force-sensitive Chirrut Imwe. He rocked it and needed more scenes. He needs a spinoff film. His character managed to execute the blind mystic trope without being cliched.

Is it hot in here or is it just Yen?

Speaking of hawtness, the Dilftastic Jimmy Smits makes a cameo and the delectable Diego Luna and his pornstache continuously distracted me from the film.

This was me every time they were on screen:

And they weren’t the only ones.  The rumors are true. The Dark Side does indeed have cookies and other delicious yummies.

Darth Vader managed to maintain his pimptastic edge in his brief scenes.

Truth be told I almost skipped Rogue One for a couple reasons which unfortunately proved themselves to be true.

I was disappointed yet again for the lack of women of color in the Star Wars films. There seems to be this trend now of white narratives having men of color fawn over white female protagonists much akin to Snow White and the Seven Dwarves.

The other major issue is that when it comes to diversity, these newer Star Wars films consistently pull a bait & switch, as we witnessed with the buffoonery of Finn in 12 Years A Stormtrooper.

This is also why I’m skeptical of these repeated “boycotts” by white nationalists which suspiciously resemble a corporate engineered publicity stunt to boost ticket sales.

I wondered why Disney had no issue signing off on such a diverse cast, by the end of the film, it was very apparent.

Not to say the conclusion wasn’t bad. In fact, I’d say it was a killer ending. But it was also very obvious what was at play.
All in all not a bad flick. It’s the quality prequel that Episodes 1-3 should’ve been.

However #Hoshino was a far superior Star Wars movie and one of the best films released this year, period.

Rogue One gets a C/C-.



Speculative Fiction Novelist. Author of Hollowstone, West of Sunset and other cool stories. Wordsmith, activist and nerd seraph. Saving the world and/or taking it over. http://www.dennisupkins.wordpress.com