I first saw Star Wars…well, I don’t actually remember the first time I saw Star Wars. That’s A New Hope I’m talking about. I was only one when it hit theaters so it wasn’t until it started showing on cable or home video that I first saw it. I do remember watching Return of the Jedi in theaters on several occasions and playing with all the action figures so by 1983, I was certainly a fan. My mother says that A New Hope used to run all the time on HBO way back when and that me and my brother watched it every time it came on. I have no memories of that, but I do remember bragging to my friends at school about how often I’d seen it.
The point I’m making is that Star Wars is in my blood. Some of my earliest memories are of watching those films and I’ve watched them many more times in the years since. Yes, the prequels did a lot of damage to the Star Wars legacy and even my fondness for it, but there remains a great love of the original trilogy. Though it has its flaws, I dearly love The Force Awakens. It really rebooted the series back to something magical again.
It was with that ongoing excitement that I came into Rogue One. The story of how Princess Leia came to have plans to the Death Star has intrigued me since I first saw A New Hope and now they were finally going to tell it.
How well did they tell it? Pretty well. I liked it, but did not love it. It's necessarily a darker story than most in the Star Wars universe. We know things don’t end well. We are told that in A New Hope. I’m cool with that. I really hope that Disney tells all sorts of stories in all sorts of ways with this expanded universe. I want to see dark stories. I want to see rated-R stories. I mostly liked Rogue One. The acting was good, the action was fun, and the story - for the most part - was interesting. But it had a little trouble in the beginning. It runs from planet to planet, character to character so quickly for the first twenty minutes or so it was really difficult to follow what was happening. Some of the characters didn’t get fleshed out as well either. But in the end it's a good Star Wars story and I’m really looking forward to seeing where they can take the franchise next.
Rogue One is getting a variety of releases with a lot of different extras. As far as I can tell, there are different exclusive releases at Best Buy and Target so you’ll want to do a little digging before you make your purchase.
Also out this week that looks interesting:
Paterson: Adam Driver stars in this Jim Jarmusch-directed comedy/drama about a New Jersey bus driver and poet. It's received some really good reviews and Jarmusch is always interesting.
Office Christmas Party: Jason Bateman, Olivia Munn, T.J. Miller, Kate McKinnon, and Jennifer Anison star in this comedy about…well, who cares what the plot is, we know it's going to wind up with a raunchy, outrageous, envelope-pushing party. If that’s your thing (and it seems to be a lot of people's thing judging by the number of these sorts of comedies coming out these days), then you’ll likely love this.