Saturday, December 17, 2016

ROGUE ONE: Second screening download…

Another ramble of movie thoughts after a second screening of ROGUE ONE. Beware—SPOILERS!

Oh, I don't think I actually said this in my earlier post, but I LOVE IT! Probably my best time at a STAR WARS film since ROTJ.

Okay, rambling on…

On second viewing, Tarkin is definitely CG, but looks really good. I think I might've believed it was a human actor w/some good makeup if only the eyes were done right. There's something off in how they focus (or don't, properly) and dart in a couple of moments.

Leia *is* flesh and blood (or if she isn't, well, frickin done, ILM =). Just slightly off in a look-alike way. My first screening was a late show and maybe my eyes were going and I think that seeing CG Tarkin prejudiced me when spotting other characters from ANH. Red and Gold Leaders, along with Biggs (the second Blue pilot to sound off after Blue Leader), all look like actors, probably ADR'd/overdubbed with autotuned dialogue from ANH. In any case, I love seeing these "old friends" on screen again.

After her first interaction w/Chirrut and spotting Baze in Jadeh City, Jyn asks Cassian who they are and he calls them the Guardians of the Whills. They protected the temple when there was still something to protect. He also makes a remark about how they're still around, just causing trouble. That seems odd/unfair, no? Or is he answering a different question?

I never quite got who/what the "Whills" are in Lucas lore. The entire epic is supposed to be from the Journal of the Whills. I always pictured these tall creatures with gangly limbs and wizened faces. Can't remember where that comes from, but probably a McQuarrie painting. =)

The music hit me better in some spots, but I guess I just don't love the main theme for of this film, the fanfarey one that plays with the title card.

I know there's no crawl, and that makes sense to me, comparing the nature of this story vs. the nine episodes, but I wish there was some way to work in the original theme. It *does* belong with the crawl, tho. O well.

Random thought that struck me about this film vs. the Skywalker bloodline story—this, and maybe other such films in the SWU, are like side missions in a game. I really do hope that Lucasfilm allows itself to explore the SWU at different scales and in different genres and tones once it gets a fix on the interest and success of this and the Han Solo film. I'd love to see a film about the acquisition of the Death Star 2/Endor intelligence before/during events of ROTJ, but have it be more cloak-and-light-dagger spycraft than military espionage and assaults. Of course, sadly, in the end, that information was meant to get into the hands of the Rebels, right? But the movie that tells that story will end with mission: accomplished.

Definitely felt the deaths more this time around. K2, we hardly knew you. Or did we know you better than most, actually? Except for Jyn, the character building is done in quick and pretty broad strokes, strong strokes, and successful for the most part, but whatev—friendships/brother/sisterhoods forged under fire, right?

K2's passing probably hit me hardest, softening me up for Chirrut, Bhodi, and Baze. Although, with Chirrut and Bhodi, their deaths were sort of transmogrified into Baze's last stand/march, when he wades into the remaining troopers blasting, taking hits, and then accepting his end in the detonation of a trooper's fallen grenade. I wish that march had been longer. It really felt like it was building to a Toshiru Mifune samurai-esque last stand, body riddled with arrows—well, tagged with blaster marks, I guess, but cutting down and then thrashing at anyone who attacks/approaches, until he takes everyone he can with him.

Or something.

Make ten men feel like a hundred! Would've liked for "ten" to have been an accurate count. I thought there might've been just ten on board the shuttle, but once they drop and roll out to light up the Citadel, it looked like there had to be maybe twice that. Maybe make twenty men feel like two hundred?

Don't know when I'll have the time, but I'd really like to watch/re-watch CLONE WARS and REBELS (only watched WARS on Cartoon Network back in the day and missed a few and never got to final season online, blerg) to connect some dots for myself. I'm sure that some of those project code names in the Scarif Citadel were callbacks to episodes, right—Black Saber? And I gotta see Saw in the CLONE WARS era. I honestly can't remember, but imagine him being a great character for Anakin foreshadowing of course.

I was hoping to catch Krennic babying his shoulder in present day, a sign of the lasting mark Lyra Erso left him with before she was struck down.

The effects of Saw's brainsucking lie detector creature definitely wear off. I wish there was a line or two about that, from Saw, or Bhodi, or maybe Force-sensitive Chirrut. Saw's losing-one's-mind remark made it sound like he'd effectively be lobotomized or amnesiac.

I like Jyn's no-nonsense speech to the Rogue One troops before leaving the shuttle on Scarif. About taking that chance, then the next one, and the next one, until we win or until we run out of chances. It's somehow hopeful and yet realistic. Boils the impossible mission down into the simplest bite-sized morsels, challenges that can be taken, met, and won, then on to the next.

Find a way.

Her "May the Force be with us" was great, as was Admiral Raddus's "May the Force be with you, Rogue One" from orbit.

On Yavin-4, when Bail explains to Mothma that he's sending someone he trusts with his life to recruit his old Jedi friend, we hear Captain Antilles paged. That timing makes me want to connect the dots, Captain Antilles, Artoo and Threepio's master before Luke, is charged with delivering Leia to Tatooine. However, the assault on Scarif diverts him, placing him, the Tantive IV, Leia, and the droids right where they need to be to make STAR WARS happen. Nice and neat. =)

Can anyone tell me if "Captain Antilles" and "Wedge Antilles" are the same guy? Is "Antilles" like "Smith" in the SWU? REBELS introduced us to Wedge this season, right?

Keep on keepin' on~

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