My gosh, we really are getting a Star Wars movie every year, aren’t we? I mean, sure, we were told this was going to happen, but until that Rogue One trailer hit, it hadn’t really sunk in yet. The Force Awakens was a huge event – and one that happened only three and a half months ago, somehow – yet here we already are, with a brand-spanking-new Star Wars movie to look forward to. (Sure, we will never know how Star Wars ends before we die, but it’s all going to be fun until then.)
This really is uncharted territory. In the past, we waited 3 years, 3 years, 16 years, 3 years, 3 years, and 10 years between each film. The Force Awakens was just released on Blu-ray earlier this week, but it’s already time to look forward. Or backwards. Or whatever. It’s all a little confusing.
Anyway: Rogue One! In no particular order, here are some reactions I had while watching this trailer.
1. I’m getting the impression the word “prequel” is verboten around the halls of Lucasfilm. Technically, Rogue One is a prequel to the original Star Wars, but you will never hear anyone with any kind of authority say that. It’s “A Star Wars Story.” Okay then! Regardless, Rogue One is really driving that nail into the prequels’ coffin. I wrote about this before, but I believe it more today: A few years from now, the prequels will be some weird outlier movies that look and feel absolutely nothing like any of the other movies. (I can see them becoming “cool,” in a hipster kind of way.) Watching this Rogue One trailer, it struck me, “Oh, yeah, that’s how you make a movie look like it took place before the original Star Wars.” I think this trailer made me retroactively more displeased with the prequels.
2. AT-ATs are fun! It’s hard to believe over the course of seven Star Wars movies, we only saw AT-ATs in action one time. (In the Secrets of The Force Awakens documentary that’s on the Blu-ray, J.J. Abrams pronounces them “at at,” as opposed to “a tee a tee,” and this makes me happy.) Yes, there’s a dead one that Rey uses as her home in The Force Awakens and we sort of see one walk by in Return of the Jedi, but here they are again. On the beach! And they are scary! (I’ve been playing a lot of Star Wars: Battlefront and any mode with AT-ATs are great, mainly because they look so imposing. Sometimes the game allows a player to pilot these things and it’s the only time in the game you are pretty much invincible.)
3. Before the prequels were released, I always just assumed that Grand Moff Tarkin and Mon Mothma would be major characters. Because, you know, that would make a lot of sense considering how important they both seem to be in the original trilogy. Instead, Jar Jar Binks turned out to be a major character while Tarkin got about 10 seconds of screen time at the end of Revenge of the Sith. And poor Mon Mothma was relegated to the deleted scenes. But hey, Genevieve O’Reilly gets to reprise her deleted scene role in Rogue One. How great is that?
After ten years of knowing you were almost in a Star Wars, now she gets to be in one that will most likely be a lot better anyway.
4. One thing that always struck me about the original Star Wars is that we meet the Rebellion early in the film aboard the Tantive IV, but then we don’t see them again until the Millennium Falcon lands at their base on a moon of Yavin. It’s at that point you realize they have a whole big operation going on. I love that quick shot outside the base, right before all of the “here’s how to blow up the Death Star” meetings start. We are introduced to so many characters so quickly; I always wanted to know more about them. I hope General Madine and General Rieekan are in Rogue One. I hope Jan Dodonna is in this movie! I hope Wedge is in this movie! I hope Captain Antilles is in this movie and brags about how he has a strong neck. This is all very exciting.