This was originally posted on my new Creators.co/Moviepilot account, which you can find here.
For me, Star Wars has been a fond childhood memory of unforgettable films and double the amount of fun and imagination it sparked. The endless possibilities of galaxies and systems combined with awesome heroes and just as bad-ass villains was everything child-me and adult-me could wish for. The Star Wars saga is a major part of my childhood and, now, it seems as though the film saga is going to grow considerably; but for better or for worse?
Any fear I had of Star Wars receiving a poor ‘sequel treatment’ was quelled at the release of The Force Awakens, which was probably the biggest rush of nostalgia I have ever experienced in 135 minutes. It was perfection, the story was safe enough to be Star Wars, but distanced enough to allow for a fresh and enjoyable viewing. In terms of director J.J. Abrams sensitively dealing with a beloved franchise, the finished product of The Force Awakens can hardly be criticised. Indeed, The Force Awakens was a very safe card to play, however will Rogue One now look to stray more into creating Disney’s new-look franchise?
I think the main reason to ‘worry’ about any attempt at a sequel is the recent outbreak of bad sequels and lousy reboots. Most recently, and infamously, the latest Ghostbusters reboot has been marred with fans anguished that their beloved childhood films are being tampered with, mainly for commercial gain. For Star Wars fans, I think many fans have welcomed new films like The Force Awakens, as they are additions to the Star Wars universe, rather than remakes. However, for me, the placement of Rogue One between the two original trilogies shows a move to potentially alter previous films, or at least the perception of them.
Of course, the premise of Rogue One being the reveal of how the Rebels acquired the Death Star plans is a story that I feel has the right to be told.Yet with rumours of Darth Vader cropping up, or the idea that Jyn Erso (played by Felicity Jones) is Rey’s mother starts reveal and play with facts that we don’t need to enjoy a film. I love the Star Wars universe to the extent where a new Star Wars film could be completely separate from the usual ‘Skywalker’ story, I will be wholly disappointed if this film is just another story confirming ancestry. Furthermore, as we know the Death Star plans are acquired, I feel a large amount of the plot may revolve around dropping in larger revelations to the larger Star Wars universe.
With reports over the last few months of expensive Rogue One re-shoots, we have to question whether they are getting it right in terms of what the fans want. I’m hoping for a strong standalone story, that of course has ramifications for the larger Star Wars universe, but is also contained and able to be its own film. I hope the placement of Rogue One does not disrupt the already canonised work of Star Wars. I hope this new endeavour into a galaxy far-far away is there to enrich and sensitively deal with the originals. I fear it could descend into a feature-spotting plot that is solely designed to sell as many tickets as possible.