Rogue One is the first Star Wars movie truly worthy of all the hype.

I have zero doubt that there will be plenty of people who’ll disagree and would be willing to argue with me all day long.  Those same people will never be convinced otherwise. It won’t matter to them that I was one of the original fans, standing in line for 3 hours on a hot summer day (more than once) to see Episode IV (A New Hope) or that I’m certain I’ve watched it more than 100 times since.  In other words, I consider myself a real fan of the series.We loved that original movie, but why? It had great characters, cool character names, incredible sound effects, and music, it was really neat to watch such a futuristic movie about events that took place “

We loved that original movie, but why? It had great characters, cool character names, incredible sound effects, and music, it was really neat to watch such a futuristic movie about events that took place “a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away…” but mostly, Lucas went somewhere no one had gone before (on that level) with the special effects.

If the original Star Wars had all the same characters, actors, story line, etc, but had been produced with Flash Gordon style special effects then we wouldn’t even be having such a discussion now.

Ironically, George Lucas wanted the rights to Flash Gordon so he could remake, and it was because he couldn’t obtain the rights that he decided to create his own space opera (The Star Wars).

There have always been things which have bothered about the original movie.  There’s probably an answer for this, but in what sort of time frame did Episode IV (A New Hope) take place? It was a fast timeline… maybe three days? Luke gets minimal training and is able to go from farm boy to tapping into the Force and destroying the Death Star that quickly? When Obi-Wan was struck down by Darth Vader, Luke acts as though he just lost the most precious person in his world… I mean he seemed to pretty quickly get over the slaughter of his uncle and aunt (who raised him) and their deaths the day before. Luke must have been awful lonely on the farm; even though he just paid a known smuggler (Han Solo) to transport him, he acts like Solo is his best friend within a day or so. I mean, that would be like hiring a shady taxi driver for a long trek across the city and being all like, “Hey man, really enjoyed the ride and the conversation. Want to get together for drinks later?” AND, you had this great big Death Star that all someone had to do to destroy it was to fire a blast down small hole? So, at the very least, there’s a timeline and some relational issues that just don’t seem to work out.

So why, after 40 years, do we still like the original movie? The same reason we like other great old movies or old music; nostalgia. It became a part of growing up, a part of who we are, a part of our culture.

When Disney took over and produced Episode VII (The Force Awakens) it was almost too much like Episode IV (A New Hope) and in many ways in now seems as though Disney were paying tribute to the “old” Star Wars before they recreate it as it’s begun with Rogue One.

Rogue One answers the question regarding the vulnerability of the Death Star. This Star Wars Story takes place across a generation. It shows just how important and the highest of prices paid to obtain the Death Star plans.  When Vader indiscriminately kills one after another of the rebels with no hesitation or mercy, you realize THIS is what Vader was meant to be. Beyond Vader, there is more bridging of the episodic series in Rogue One with Bail Organa from the prequels II (Attack of the Clones) and III (Revenge of the Sith) played by Jimmy Smits and the wonderful use of CGI to recreate Grand Moff Tarkin (played by Peter Cushing, who died in 1994) as well as the young Princess Leia for the grand ending of the film.

Our main hero in Rogue One,  Jyn Erso played by Felicity Jones, is a battle-hardened gal to start with (as opposed to going to farm boy to warrior is three days) having been raised by militant Saw Gerrera (Forrest Whitaker) which is a character tie-in from the animated series The Clone Wars. She doesn’t care about the fight between the Empire and Rebels but gains an opinion after being drawn into it and then watching both the militant father-figure who raised her be killed by the Empire and then subsequently witnessing her real father sacrifice his entire life to protect his daughter and the galaxy from the Empire.

Click here for a great list of “Easter Eggs” in the film.

Great character development and much better quality actors than previous (Lucas) Star Wars movies. It follows a reasonable timeline of events and character development. The special effects are great and I know we’ve had some CGI characters in other movies but Disney did a phenomenal job, especially with Grand Moff Tarkin, as you could tell he was a CGI character most of the time, but if you didn’t know it, you wouldn’t know it part of the time. I realize the previous sentence may sound a bit convoluted but it remains exactly as I meant it! 🙂

I’ve always (also) been a big Star Trek fan, but there was a time in my life where I was a “Captain Kirk and Spock purist” and resisted the change that came about with Picard and Riker.  I just don’t feel the same about Star Wars… I love it and all… but I’m looking forward to Star Wars – The Next Generation