Now that we’re in range of its December 2016 release date, Disney and Lucasfilm have begun pre-production and the hype campaign for Star Wars Anthology: Rogue One, so should what are we expecting from this? Should we be excited for it?
Rogue One will be the first film of Star Wars’ Anthology series, meaning that it’s separate from the main trilogies (or “Episodes”) of films, but will pull from and take place within the established Star Wars canon. The film will be directed by Godzilla director Gareth Edwards, and will star Felicity Jones and Ben Mendelsohn.
The plot of the film will mostly revolve around a rogue squadron team stealing the plans of the Death Star. Yup, that’s right, the film is basically the opening crawl of Star Wars Episode IV (and is basically the singular event that triggered the main trilogy), so you know how it turns out, but you’ll definitely want to see the intense and thrilling events that’ll lead up to it.
I haven’t seen the film, but I already know that’s how it’s going to turn out with Gareth Edwards directing. You should really put your faith in Edwards, because, kid, he made the Kessel run in less than 12 parsecs. Kidding. He’s a phenomenal director that knows how to deliver an incredibly beautiful and satisfying blockbuster, so of course, get him onto Star Wars. He’s tackling the property of the rogue squadron (outer space fighter pilots, for you padawans), which may seem weird at first, but it totally fits. Edwards has a very keen sense for scale and perspective, (shots that make you go, “look at the size of that thing.”) so imagine him tackling a grand outer space battle. It’ll be the opening of Star Wars Episode III, only, you know, more epic and well-directed. Also, Edwards knows how to weave relevant themes into his blockbuster narrative. He took on the self-centeredness of humans facing worldwide destruction in Godzilla, which was really developed in the military storyline of that film, and it seems as though he is developing another military story for Rogue One, so this turns out to be the ideal Star Wars property for him.
Edwards is reuniting with Godzilla composer Alexandre Desplat, fresh off two simumltaneous Academy award nominations and one win. Rogue One will be the first Star Wars film not composed by John Williams. Judging by his previous work, if anyone should have the task of carrying on the music of Star Wars while still bringing his own unique flavor to it, it’s Desplat. Edwards has also brought on Chris Weitz (who wrote this year’s Cinderella, which I love) to pen the script and cinematographer Greg Fraiser (of Zero Dark Thirty) to bring in that war thriller feel and hopefully a few terrifying shots of the Death Star, reminding us all that is no moon.
“It’s the reality of war. Good guys are bad. Bad guys are good. It’s complicated, layered; a very rich scenario in which to set a movie,” Edwards stated (The Verge). An engaging war drama is a great way to kick off Star Wars’ brand of diverse films.
Kathleen Kennedy spoke of diversifying Star Wars more, by bringing in more strong female characters. You can see Daisey Ridley as one of the main stars of Star Wars Episode VII, while Felicity Jones is set to be the lead of Rogue One. Jones is a wonderful actress, totally capable of bringing a powerful presence. Jones playing the lead and a Rebel Alliance character is something I think will really suit her.
The sort-of teaser they played at Star Wars Celebration hinted that the heroes of story will be formed entirely by the rogue squadron that seize the Death Star plans – truly the most underappreciated heroes of the entire Star Wars canon, really (I mean, hey R2D2 and C3PO got the plans to Obi-Wan, but those pilots who risked their lives to get them, not worth mentioning). Knowing their wont be Jedi Knights in the film makes me happy. We can keep them in the main saga, but for the spin-off, I’d like to see different kinds of heroes and a different aesthetic that shows how far they can stretch themselves, creatively, within this shared canon.
Without the battle between Jedi vs Sith, however, what will we be left with? Well, obviously, we’ll have the Rebel Alliance vs the Empire, which has already proved to be intense and breathtaking, non-lightsaber-y action with the finale of Star Wars Episode IV. Now, this part is just speculation, but I do have a feeling that Bounty Hunters will appear to some extent. Bounty Hunters would certainly fit in well within rogue sqaudron territory. The film will stay on target, and focus more on the Rebel Alliance fighting against the Empire, with a plot that’s about stealing something as valuable as the Death Star plans, I can’t help but think Edwards uses Bounty Hunters as another faction working against the rogue squadron.
Consider me already standing by for Disney’s second installment in the Star Wars universe as they have offered nothing that’ll make Darth Vader disturbed by my lack of faith – because I’m purely confident that this’ll turn out to be good.”Man your ships, and may the Force be with you.”