I suppose I should say that there are SPOILERS in this post, if you have not seen Episodes 3 to 7 of Star Wars then stop reading. But then again, if you have not watched them then why are you reading this? Go get them on your telebox now! So, on to the post…
If you have read any of my previous Star Wars posts you will know that I am a massive fan of the movies but I do not read the books or comics or even play the games. For this reason all my ideas come from the movies. What I like about the new films are that they allow us to keep guessing and coming up with theories (of which mine are probably completely wrong!). I had this theory about Rey being one of many young Jedi that escaped Kylo Ren’s attack and need to be awakened. However, recently, given the title of the new film, I am thinking that Snoke might be the aforementioned last Jedi.
A theory, based on some information from a novel, has come out but I have a slightly different idea. In Episode 3 we see the Jedi wiped out bar two, Obi-Wan and Yoda. Both of which go into hiding. The deaths in the film do not account for all the Jedi in the galaxy. What if another got free and was left searching the galaxy for his kin, wanting to battle the dark side but filled with rage about what happened? What if that Jedi finds out about Yoda and Obi-Wan and feels betrayed? He has been searching but effectively these, more senior, Jedi have left him for dead. He starts to become twisted and evil (sound familiar) and turns to the dark side. He hates the Empire but does not feel affiliated to the Jedi. He watches from a distance, waiting for his time to strike. When the Jedi start to rebuild through Luke he can wait no longer, using the ashes of the Empire to start his plan of destroying all the Jedi and, unfortunately, becoming more like the Empire than he planned. That Jedi has become Snoke. He could have been scarred by the Order 66 attack but got away and has been using Sith powers to keep himself alive.
It is a theory that has buzzed about my head since they released the title of Episode 8 and what is more, it fits in with my Rey theory. Maybe I will now go and watch Episode 3 again to see if any of the Jedi survive!
Some people think that the measure of a good movie is the number of effects or the cleverness of the script or that it pushes boundaries and goes where no other films have gone. To me, there is only one thing I really want, entertainment. The best films, in my opinion, are those that feel a lot shorter than they are, the ones where you realise you are at the final act and it seems that no more than half an hour has passed. This is why I think Rogue One is so good, I found myself sitting in the cinema knowing we were near the end but for the life of me I could not understanding how that much time could have passed so quickly. On leaving to cinema I started to think about the film a little more and I realised that this was the Star Wars film we have all been waiting for. Before I go on I must say that there will be spoilers (if you had not worked that out from the title of the post!) so if you have not seen the film then DO NOT read on. In fact I will make it all even clearer…
Right, now the large spangly banner is out the way let’s get down to business. Before we go any further I must say I was a lot more excited by Rogue One pre the film’s release than I was The Force Awakens, maybe it was that I knew it was going to feel nostalgic. In some ways this makes me more critical, I was expecting it to be good whereas The Force Awakens came after the prequels in release order and was Disney’s first Star Wars so I was skeptical. I think this high expectation is what makes Rogue One even better in my eyes. Whereas The Force Awakens seemed to be a clone of the other movies, Rogue One really pays homage by including links to the other Star Wars films without allow them to dictate the story. From the blue milk in Galen’s house to cameos such as that from Cornelius Evazan and Ponda Baba and onto mentions of Obi-wan being in hiding, Rogue One gives you the feeling of nostalgia but not deja vu. Possibly my favourite scene in the whole film is a hark to the past, at the end where Vader brutally kills the rebel soldiers much like he did when he was Anakin Skywalker trying to save his mother from the sand people. All these make your feel part of the Star Wars universe but if you took the scenes or references out of the movie the story would not really be different.
I also like that that the movie is not so much about the Death Star but the band of rebels who are trying to steal the plans. I have read a lot of comments and reviews that complain that it is another Death Star story but I think it works as it takes it from a different angle. I love the way they have explained why the problem with the thermal exhaust port exists, it stops doubters and moaners whining about plot holes. I also think the fact you know this movie is not about destroying the Death Star but a reconnaissance mission makes it a different type of Star Wars film. Another triumph is the lack of Jedi and Sith, it would be so easy to shoe horn in someone like Obi-Wan or Yoda then them leave and say they will not tell anyone or that they will wait for a signal before starting Luke’s training. Instead the film just completely ignores them, bar one mention of Old Ben.
My major concern going into the movie was the introduction of new characters and how they were going to deal with where these were later in the series but the idea of killing them all off is great. It is dark, dark like The Empire Strikes Back was, and ties up any loose ends. The way they kill them all is not an ‘oh and they are all dead or cannot be found,’ type affair, it is a legitimate part of the story line. The characters I was most concerned about were the Death Troopers. Whilst I actually quite like the prequels (ok Attack of the Clones is pretty bad) I did not like the idea that the Clone Troopers were so different from Storm Troopers. Now there are new ones that never existed in the original trilogy. Oh wait, they are Krennic’s personal guard and are all killed along with everyone else. Got it, that is why they are not there.
Another great part of the film for me was that there are parts that are set up that will clearly lead to bits in the new films, particularly the idea of the former Jedi Temple on Jedha. This adds to the mythology and we might hear more about that as Luke has visited the first Jedi Temple. I wonder if Rey’s parents are somehow set up or linked to in Rogue One, we just do not know about it yet. I also love that they have woven the story into the existing films, little touches like having Krennic die and there is an empty chair on the head table on the Death Star and us seeing Red Five be destroyed, the call sign that becomes Lukes.
Also the development of character was good, it really was all about them and not the tech. You really felt for Erso and Andor and could see why they were justified in their decisions even though they came to them from different places. I liked that you had both a strong male and strong female lead, that lots of people could identify with them. I really enjoyed the hints at a relationship between them, that sort of ill fated love, the knowledge there was something special between them, something they almost realised before they were annihilated. My favourite character by far, however, was K-2SO. He was so cocky, sarcastic and clever but also very insecure. I love the way that Star Wars makes droids more than machines and I truly feel that K-2SO is the most human feeling of the lot. I had that Darth Maul moment when he was killed allowing Erso and Andor to get the Death Star plans, I wish he was actually in Episode 7 so they could have kept him for more movies. I love R2, C3PO and BB-8 but K-2 steals the show for me.
That massive love in is not to say that there were not areas of the movie I would change but they were not the large ones involving characters and plot I thought they might be. My main gripes are really that Darth Vader’s voice does not sound quite right, I know it is James Earl Jones but maybe the changes in his voice in third odd years means he may not have been the right man for the job. The CGI versions of Tarkin and Leia were good but they did not quite feel right, maybe they can be revisited in the future as technology advances. Also the title screen looked a bit naff, I understand not going with the classic opening scrawl but it looked a little bit like bad word art to me. A pale recreation of the Star Wars text, it may have been the same font but it did not look right to me. Finally, the soundtrack was good but it was not quite up to John William’s standard. A grade A copy but not quite the real thing. These things I can forgive, they are minor blips in an otherwise excellent movie.
So, Rogue One is definitely a great movie, one of the best I have seen at the cinema for a long time. It is a different sort of Star Wars movie but feels part of the whole saga and ties all the films together. It is definitely worth a watch, a second viewing and buying on Blu-ray. It also makes me more excited for Episode 8. Maybe I was not as excited for Episode 7 as it was all a bit new and I did not know where it was going. Rogue One was safe territory, albeit it one that was executed with aplomb. A Star Wars movie where the Storm Troopers can actually shoot is not a bad thing!
Everyone and their dog is giving out Star Wars theories after watching The Force Awakens. I have not really given it much thought until recently. I managed to see Episode 7 in the cinema once but then got back to my hectic life before watching it twice in a week since the blu-ray was released. Many fans said it was much better the second time around as you got over that, ‘Oh yes, I’m watching a new Star Wars,’ feeling and I have to say that I agree. I am starting to move away from the it’s just a rehash of A New Hope and noticing themes and scenes from all six movies in there. It really is a homage and I hope that means they have got the sentiment out of the way for the next two films.
Amongst the list of questions about Episode 7, one of the biggest is, who is Rey? I had a great, if unlikely, idea when I first watched it in that Rey was a descendent of Palpatine and that she has been left on Jakku when Luke realised she could be dangerous. Since rewatching I have a new theory, one that has some form of evidence to back it up, well a few quotes from the film. I suppose I should say SPOILER ALERT but if you have read the title of the post then you probably know there are going to be spoilers.
Right, here goes. I will start off with my theory then try to explain it. Rey is one of a handful of Jedi Younglings that escaped the massacre by Kylo Ren and has had her memory wiped. I must admit I have not read any of the material around The Force Awakens and base my theories completely on seeing the film. So the real question is, why do I think this? Well first I will look at why I think that Rey was a Jedi Youngling. Firstly there is the awakening, she has clearly been trained in the Jedi arts and some of her training is coming back to her as she gets involved in the conflict. Secondly, although J.J. Abrams did says this was a mistake, Leia ignores Chewie to hug Rey so it would appear they may have met before. Next we have the fact that Luke’s lightsabre calls to Rey and she gets some flashbacks of what has happened leading up to this point. So I think with all that we could assume she has been trained as some sort of Jedi. Another piece of information comes from the fact that Kylo Ren keeps asking, “what girl?” When they meet he does not seem to know her but could it be that he knows some people escaped the massacre and that she may be one of these people? Also when he looks into her mind he sees that she dreams about an island in the middle of a great ocean, remind you of anything? Yep, the first Jedi Temple that Luke has exiled himself too. Does this mean that she has been there before, for training, or could it be Luke sending her a message as to where he is? Could Luke also be sending a message to her through the lightsabre? Also, in terms of her being left on Jakku, she could not have been put in a more horrible position. A place where people could easily disappear and if you are searching for someone, a place you would not think to look. Potentially a really good place to hide from the First Order. On top of this we did have Obi-wan keeping an eye on Luke on Tatooine, could Lor San Tekka be tasked with making sure Rey does not get into any trouble?
So those points may add up to show she is a former Jedi Youngling or at least has some Jedi training. But I did say one of many Jedi. It makes sense that if they are hiding one Jedi they may be hiding more. Another point on this is that Snoke mentions that if they get to Luke first they can stop the Jedi returning. Is it that Luke has the power to give them back their memories? That he knows where all the Jedi Younglings are hidden so the First Order want to get to him to stop this happening. If it was just about killing the last Jedi then surely the First Order would let the Resistance have the map and follow them then attack and kill Luke? Without Luke’s knowledge of where all the Younglings are then the First Order may not find them and they may all start to awaken, with memories flooding back they may come together and create the Jedi once again. Is that why Snoke wants the girl as he can look into her head and see the memories so he can find the rest of the Younglings?
The final shot of the film has Luke looking remorseful and downbeaten, is that because he knows that this is the real start of the fight, that he now needs to awaken the other Younglings to take down the First Order so the Jedi can flourish once again?
Well, there we go, that is my take on it, I may be completely wrong but at least it is fun to theorise. Also one of the greatest things about this trilogy is we have no idea where it is going, I do really like the prequels (they are nowhere near as bad as everyone says in my opinion) but you knew how they would end. The only really downer is that we now need to wait till December 2017 to get some answers and with the third installment not until 2019 we may not even get half the answers we want. Oh well, at least Rouge One is on the horizon.