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AndrewJ

Rogue One Spoilers Discussion: I Am With You, Jyn Erso

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There were like 80 Star Destroyers in this movie,  and they were all awesome.

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10 minutes ago, Arch-MaesterPhilip said:

I haven't seen it yet but I'm dying to know if I'm right about how it ends. 

Tell us how you think it ends. I won't verify. 

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15 minutes ago, Arch-MaesterPhilip said:

The flip side of how Star Wars starts, with Stormtroopers preparing to blow the door to enter Leia's ship. 

Ends better. That's all I'll say. 

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People in a Star Wars spoiler thread, deliberately asking to be spoiled? What madness is this? :lol:

 

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So the vader scenes were my favorite!  Especially the 2nd one!!

Who knows what planet vader was on in his first scene? It wasn't mustafa was it? The whole thing seemed familiar perhaps from the eu or legends books with a castle like lair on a lava type planet..

Anyone have screen shots also of his scenes?  The bacteria tank B)wat a great shot

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The whole battle on and above scarif  (where the death star plans were) reminded me alot of ep 6 endor etc.

I loved the Yavin scenes and seeing more of the temples there etc.

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I liked how they intercut footage of Red and gold Leaders from thr orginal film - also seeing Luke's Red 5 predescesser.

 

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The Galactic Empire is constructing a weapon of mass destruction with the help of a weapons expert named Galen Erso. The nascent Rebel Alliance has heard rumours of its existence but little more...until a defecting Imperial pilot goes to ground on Jedha with an extremist named Saw Gerrera. The Rebels dispatch intelligence agent Cassian Andor to Jedha along with Jyn Erso, Galen's daughter, with orders to discover the nature of the Imperial threat and uncover its weaknesses.

When is a Star Wars movie not a Star Wars movie? That's a difficult question to answer. For hardcore fans, the franchise has always been about the depiction of a vast galaxy with lots of stories to tell about characters and worlds unrelated to the Force, the Empire or the Skywalker family, across comics and video games and animated TV series, but for casual movie-goers it's a more complex question. Rogue One is the first live-action Star Wars film not to be about the Jedi or the machinations of the Skywalker family tree, but it still has X-wings, TIE fighters, droids and villains with perfectly-clipped English accents. Disney seem to be kidding themselves that they are taking a risk with this movie, although it's still a fine slice of action blockbuster entertainment that will have adult fans and kids queueing up to see the movie in droves (although no-one is expecting it to repeat the business of last year's The Force Awakens, it should still be one of the biggest films of the year).

Those same kids may be leaving the cinema in floods of tears though. I've seen some people saying that Rogue One is the "darkest Star Wars film except for Sith and maybe Empire". That's lowballing it. Rogue One is easily the most ruthless and bleakest Star Wars movie to date, dispatching characters with such murderous and sometimes offhand efficiency that even George R.R. Martin might rise an eyebrow at it. An insurgent bombing of an Imperial convoy in a desert town feels rather uncomfortable to watch given contemporary events in Syria and the concluding tropical battle, which starts off feeling like a cheerful CGI shoot 'em up before (in one of director Gareth Edwards' more subtle and brilliant moments) shifting gradually into Apocalypse Now, becomes increasingly uncomfortable to watch. For a franchise whose numbered entries have sanitised their violence (the dismemberment of Anakin in Sith being the only real previous moment of visceral horror in the series), Rogue One has no problem with pushing the boundaries of what kids will tolerate. If possible, I would advise a parent preview of the film before deciding if you want young kids (say under 10) from seeing it.

The movie tells the story of a group of original characters who, it is established, are the ones who hear about the Death Star and eventually steal the plans that allow Luke, Han, Chewie, Wedge, Biggs and company to blow up the station at the end of the original 1977 film, A New Hope. It's a film that therefore exists in a somewhat schizophrenic state: on the one hand, as an original piece with new characters it has the chance to do things that are brave, original or even experimental, but it has to also closely coexist with the established continuity, particularly A New Hope, which may be the most scrutinised and iconic SF movie of all time.

Against the odds, the film does - more or less - succeed at doing what it sets out to do. Our core team of saboteurs and mercenaries consist of Jyn Erso (Felicity Jones), Cassian Andor (Diego Luna), Chirrut Imwe (Donnie Yen), Baze Malbus (Jiang Wen), K-2SO (Alan Tudyk) and Bodhi Rook (Riz Ahmed). They are uniformly excellent, as you'd expect from seasoned hands (the newest performer here is Jones, who still made her screen debut twenty years ago as a child actress), and they all get their moments in the sun. The interplay and connection between the characters is pretty compelling and it's a shame that we're not going to see more adventures with them: Disney has ruled out a direct sequel to Rogue One and it sounds like the next few Star Wars movie are going to take place in the post-Force Awakens era or be more prequels set before Rogue One and focusing on the backstories of Han Solo, Lando Calrissian and (possibly) Boba Fett and Obi-Wan Kenobi.

The story slots into place rather neatly before the events of A New Hope (days, if not hours, separate the two) and helps clear up a few niggling continuity issues from that film, namely what happened to the Rebel fleet in that film, how did Princess Leia get the battle plans and just how stupid were the Death Star designers? It turns out they weren't, the designer was a Rebel sympathiser who deliberately built a weakness into his plans which, thanks to security-mandated compartmentalisation, no-one else was senior enough to spot. No wonder George Lucas is reportedly a fan of the movie, as it helps retcon a few of the (admittedly minor) issues from the original movie out of existence.

More problematic is that the film needs to deal with the fact that some major characters are shared between it and A New Hope, and many of those actors are now dead or forty years older than they were when they made that film. A mixture of solutions are deployed. Darth Vader, for example, is simply a new actor (Game of Thrones's Spencer Wilding) wearing the suit with James Earl Jones back to do the voice work. Mon Mothma and General Dodonna are lookalikes, with actors Genevieve O'Reilly and Ian McElhinney (also late of Game of Thrones) replacing Caroline Blakiston and Alex McCrindle. In a clever move, director Gareth Edwards used alternate takes of the X-wing and Y-wing pilots from the Battle of Yavin from A New Hope to directly drop some of the established pilots from that battle into this engagement (which makes perfect sense). More controversial is the decision to use CGI to recreate Grand Moff Tarkin, played by the late Peter Cushing. His first appearance comes reflected in a starship window and if they'd stuck to that approach and kept his appearance to a cameo that would have been fine. Instead, having the very-clearly CG Tarkin wandering around and interacting with other characters drops us very firmly into the uncanny valley. Fortunately it's only really a couple of scenes that this impacts, but it's still weird and feels a bit inappropriate.

One of the film's biggest issues is the odd structure and pacing in the final act. The film doesn't climax so much as end abruptly on a rather bleak and horrible note, with the writers and director Edwards content to let A New Hope take over in providing catharsis or a resolution to the many storylines in motion. In this sense the film feels like it maybe gives too short a shrift to its compelling own cast of heroes and reduces them to, from the POV of the entire saga, also-rans. It's a movie that short-changes its own cast of characters in order to set up another one you've already seen, which is certainly a valid direction to take, just a rather odd one. This more notable with the villains, with Director Krennic (Ben Mendelsohn struggling manfully with variable material) being very a clearly a C-lister compared to Tarkin and Vader, despite having vastly more screen time. Whenever he wasn't on screen, I tended to forget he even existed.

Ultimately, Rogue One (****) is a successful movie, even if it's more of a modest diversion from the main focus of the series rather than an original piece of film-making. There's some excellent space battles (and it's undeniably thrilling to see the original X-wings, Y-wings, TIE Fighters, Corellian Corvettes and Star Destroyers mixing it up), some impressive stunts and some superb acting from a bunch of contemporary actors all at the top of their game. There's some musings on the morality of warfare and how far the desperate Rebels are willing to go to achieve their ends which add a little more depth to proceedings. The CG resurrection of long-dead actors I could do without and the film crashes rather unsubtly through the barrier between "subtle homage" and "fan-service" a few too many times, but overall this is an entertaining and worthwhile film that experiments moderately with the Star Wars formula whilst not straying far from the series tropes. But on final reflection I have to say I found The Force Awakens a more emotionally satisfying film with a proper beginning, middle and end, despite its derivative re-use of plot elements from other films in the saga, whilst Rogue One ultimately can't quite deliver on its initially more interesting story and more satisfying action beats.

tl;dr - CG Tarkin sucked, weird ending to the film, some structural problems, excellent action, good space battle, awesome Star Destroyer collision scene, great actors, pretty decent story and fit into continuity, congrats to Lucasfilm for having the brass balls to kill off the entire main cast at the end.

I can see little kids getting quite upset at this one.

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Who knows what planet vader was on in his first scene? It wasn't mustafa was it? The whole thing seemed familiar perhaps from the eu or legends books with a castle like lair on a lava type planet..

Yes, it is Mustafar. Confirmed by Pablo Hidalgo (the story canon dude at Lucasfilm), although it was inspired by "Darth Vader's castle" from some very early comics.

I might be wrong but that might be more planets in this one movie than any other Star Wars film (might be wrong through, Sith had a ton as well).

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I liked how they intercut footage of Red and gold Leaders from thr orginal film - also seeing Luke's Red 5 predescesser.

Allegedly those were different takes from ANH than those that were finally used, but they looked exactly the same to me.

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This movie felt more like what I would do with my star wars toys as a kid that any other SW movie. It is forgiven all of its other clichéd bits for that fact alone. 

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1 hour ago, Werthead said:

Yes, it is Mustafar. Confirmed by Pablo Hidalgo (the story canon dude at Lucasfilm), although it was inspired by "Darth Vader's castle" from some very early comics.

I might be wrong but that might be more planets in this one movie than any other Star Wars film (might be wrong through, Sith had a ton as well).

I thought this was slightly amusing. Almost every single thing in the film got a subtitle, including the outpost in the asteroid belt, except for where Vader's castle was. Mustafar is very much becoming Vader's place in the new canon, so you could work it out, but I was somewhat surprised they didn't subtitle it.

****

Some general thoughts, in summary -

Otherwise, loved the movie overall. A good side story, not what I'd want from a main story, but an excellent diversion showing the less glamorous side of the universe.

I thought that it took a while to get going after Galen's abduction, but the second half and ending were excellent. Very pleased that they did kill everyone, it needed to happen, and the ending played out more or less the way I expected.

I thought they handled the Death Star's design flaw well, finally made that plot less ridiculous. (Minor, but still pretty laughable.) 

Tarkin was... he could have been worse, but I agree with the sentiment that it would have been better to see his face less. Not the end of the world, but a bit of a shame all things considered.

Dave Filoni must be enjoying himself right now: Saw. General Syndulla. A ship that is either the Ghost or a clear easter egg for the Ghost (didn't catch it in the movie but it was in the trailers.) The Hammerheads - which are also an example of some KotoR influences creeping into the main films.

Linked to the above, RO felt a bit like a super-charged, more adult episode of SW Rebels to me, and I'm good with that. I hold out some hope that Rebels will end in a similar way, but not sure they'll do it given Rebels' target audience.

One thing that made me cringe a bit was R2 and 3PO commenting on the Admiral having taken the fleet to Scarif. Given that they should be on the Tantive IV, which is docked in the Admiral's ship by the end of the movie, - it's not as though Leia stopped at Yavin to pick them up.

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I enjoyed the movie. Hell, I thought it was awesome. But I concur on CGI Cushing. That was really really disturbing, and off-putting. I couldn't follow his scenes.

It worked for

Spoiler

Leia,

because it was only two seconds screen time, but not for Tarkin.

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Man, I just had the biggest grin on my face for the third act. Just unbridled Star Wars, the two Star Destroyers crashing into the shield gate was incredible, especially with the serene music behind it. Really enjoyed the whole film (despite the best efforts of the 10 person family next to me whythefuckdothesepeoplecometothefuxkingcinemaarrrrrrrr......), agreed with most of the comments really, leans a little heavy on the fan service side at times, and CG is painfully close but not quite able to pull off Tarkin. I had an image in my head of the ending being set at the Rebel base where they commiserate their friends sacrifice, a sort of sad version of ANH's ending, maybe adopting the Rogue-prefix formally. So I was a bit disappointed they felt the need to go right up to ANH, but if trading meant losing Vader's best scene (the corridor) I'll take this ending.

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It was ... decent, I guess? I was reasonably entertained throughout, but I already knew halfway through that this was a movie I wasn't gonna watch a second time. I see it more as a collection of cool moments than an actual, coherent quality story.

The main problem was that none of the heroes, with the sporadic exception of K, was interesting at all. Not a single one. I can't remember any of their names right now except for Jyn's, but "the pilot" and "the dude who was friends with the blind dude" were extremely good candidates for leaving out completely in favor of giving the others more development. "Jyn's friend" could have been a decent character, I feel, and it's a crime that "blind dude" didn't get more story. It's kinda weird to realize that we've just watched a Star Wars movie that was all set up for dealing with the absence of  theJedi and alternate approaches to understanding the Force, and it barely even registered, even though "blind dude" could have been thoroughly interesting in that regard. I was certain that Saw would be a main character, and given the underdeveloped main cast, it seemed weird that he, the most interesting character in the entire film, was given the boot so early on for no apparent reason.

So yeah. Cool moments. Enough of them to make the movie worth it, even. But based on Godzilla and this, Gareth Edwards seems to be one of those directors who care a little bit too much for spectacle over intimacy (although he's no Zack Snyder, I'll give him that).

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I was actually deeply underwhelmed by the musical score. I thought it was weak. Not offensively bad, but I couldn't remember a single motif from it, compared to The Force Awakens having a really good soundtrack.

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5 minutes ago, Werthead said:

I was actually deeply underwhelmed by the musical score. I thought it was weak. Not offensively bad, but I couldn't remember a single motif from it, compared to The Force Awakens having a really good soundtrack.

In fairness, the composer had to put it together in a couple of weeks as the original guy had to quit at the last minute due to scheduling conflicts.

I enjoyed the film in the sense it was a good action film with a clearly defined story which it told in a way that didn't sag for me. Yes, the characters were all sketch-like but they were at least fun sketches you could root for and by the end I was a little sad that none of them made it out. Although it's testament to the CGI/acting and dialogue for K2SO that he was the one I felt the worst for when he died.

The battles etc looked beautiful. I really liked how the director played with darkness and light in space. Far more effective than a lens flare. And seeing how the Death Star worked from a planet's point of view made the weapon more terrfiying than I've previously seen and that's including theep VII too. In general the more grounded and eye-level approach gave things a stronger impact eg the AT-ATs as well.

I enjoyed how we now have a really sensible reason why the Death Star had such a stupid flaw. I liked the mention of Obi Wan. I liked the shout out to "general Syndulla" and pretty sure that was the "ghost" we saw a couple of times in the final act.

Vader - I'm not so sure about. I almost feel like they should have left him out completely as the story didn't need him there. We got 30s of him being badass but he ultimately failed in a task again so of this is the last time we see him it felt a bit of a waste. Although I'll be surprised if we never see him again.

A really promising start for the anthology films. It also seems like "godzilla" was just a blip in Edwards career.

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