Agent Bothan did not die to bring the rebels Death Star Plan. At least not at first.
Thanks to the fact that there are two death stars in the classic Star Wars trilogy, it turns out, in fact, two Spy missions to get secret information about Death Stars. The first version was made into a movie in 2016 Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, while the second sentence is a simple line of dialogue about Bothan Spies from Return of the Jedi – later explained in non-canon 1996 comics Shadows of the Empire #4.
As long as most fans can remember, the Star Wars franchise has been haunted by various behind-the-scenes stories, turning single lines from the original trilogy into books and spin-offs. This isn’t a Star Wars-specific feature, but as of December 2021 marks the 5th anniversary of its release. Rogue One, the nostalgia for that prequel film is so intense.
But is Rogue One really a good Star Wars movie? A closer look reveals the film’s many flaws and how it put the franchise on a dangerous trajectory that Lucasfilm never really recovered from.
Rogue One nostalgia depends a lot on time
When looking back, Rogue One was released at the perfect time. In one recent interview, Industrial Lighting & Magic Artist John Knoll (who basically invented Rogue One) pointed out that Duel was originally supposed to be the first ever “independent” Star Wars movie Rogue One has been moved to its correct place.
This might have helped Rogue One. By 2016, the main cult for Star Wars was in full swing, and despite complaints about Divine Power Awakens, that movie was almost universally loved at the time. This is before the divisor release The Last Jedi and long before shrug of Duel or full facepalm of The Rise of Skywalker. 2016 was supposed to be the last safe time to release a Star Wars movie before culture wars and fatigue engulf the fanbase.
Reason Rogue One didn’t get criticized for “too much fan service” ahead of time just because of the year it was released. By definition, nostalgia for Star Wars is precarious, and it’s probably not a good thing that Lucasfilm still relies on it to sell movie tickets. Fan service is like nuclear power. Sure, it works, but the meltdown is pretty bad.
Rogue One stone A new hope nostalgia becomes reawakened
Before 2015, the source for Star Wars nostalgia was the scarcity of Star Wars movies. By 2018, the feeling was reversed: there was so much nostalgia.
Like Graeme Mcmillan wrote recently, Rogue One was the canary in the coal mine for many of Lucasfilm’s behind-the-scenes activities. That also extends to fan service. Rogue One’s The final stoppage scene in which Darth Vader goes wild with his sword is a replay, not even in the original script. But it ended up stealing the entire program.
Imagine another version of Rogue One launched in 2018 without Darth Vader ending. The adoration disappeared almost instantly and all that remained was a movie clear contradiction with the law in incomprehensible ways. When you consider the events, it’s strange that this movie is often praised by Star Wars fans. Movie lovers will say it’s because of the characters Rogue One well, that’s true enough, but only up to a point.
Rogue One’s “new character ‘save it – hardly
Imagine without Diego Luna. The reason there is a Cassian Andor The Disney+ show explores the Luna character’s backstory simply as the actor puts more into his character than he does on the page.
This is the story of big sci-fi and Star Wars in general: either you got lucky with an actor or you didn’t. Hayden Christensen did nothing wrong in Attack of the clones and Revenge of the Sith, but if you roll your eyes and imagine someone other than Ewan McGregor playing Obi-Wan, the prequel’s reputation is even more controversial.
With Star Wars projects, you’ve got your McGregors and Christenses. McGregor goes beyond anyone’s expectations in terms of awesomeness. Christensen understood the mission but did not necessarily generate fan adoration and fervor.
Where is this Rogue One is completely strange. The actors themselves are all talented people, but it’s a mix of how much you buy it. Ben Mendelsohn own film, while Mads Mikkelsen feels strangely out of place. Donnie Yen should have own The Star Wars movie, while Forest Whittaker’s Saw Gerrrea felt superfluous.
Meanwhile, no one can really agree on Felicity Jones’ Jyn Erso. Again, Jones didn’t do anything Mistake, but she doesn’t light up the screen the way Daisy Ridley did a year earlier in Divine Power Awakens. Jyn’s story feels contained in the film, while Cassian’s story feels larger. Briefly, Rogue One shows us Jyn’s entire life – from infancy to untimely death – which means paradoxically, we’re less curious about her after the series ends.
The fact that all the characters died at the end was hailed as edgy and refreshing at the time. However, the way the movie ends is not really their deaths.
Rogue One’s ending is bad
Killing each character in the movie is fine. For Star Wars, it was a difficult decision. But it’s not like it that shocking. Because of Rogue One is a behind-the-scenes story, we knew these people wouldn’t be okay, otherwise Luke would have met them in A new hope. The real problem with Rogue One is what happens after all of our heroes die.
The last scenes of Rogue One betrays its own spiritual premise by pivoting away from all new characters. A really strong version of this movie would have just ended with Cassian and Jyn dead, but Star Wars conventions simply don’t allow this to happen. Fan service is stronger than any force in the galaxy.
The last shots we have left are of Darth Vader and the CGI Princess Leia, which detracts from the movie’s uniqueness with fan service and that dot connection masquerading as nostalgia. Darth Vader appears at the end Rogue One easier to understand is the strange appearance of Darth Maul in Duel, but it’s the same thing: Star Wars admits that it’s cautiously committed to new stories and new characters in the long run.
The end of Rogue One also reduces the value relative to the beginning of A new hope in an obvious way. Leia is no longer the daring hero who leads the mission to steal the plan. She’s just a random person hiding in a spaceship hidden inside another spaceship, waiting to be delivered a saucer from a guy running down the hallway. Instead of imagining an interesting story involving Leia, Rogue One robbed us of those unseen heroes and replaced it with the mundane.
That’s the real problem with Rogue One, in an attempt to create an interesting movie without a plot, the adventure was explained more clearly. Rogue One told us everything: Why is the Death Star vulnerable, how the rebels plan, why the Empire is unstable from within. A good magician is not allowed to tell you how the trick was performed.
Five years later Rogue One, the future of Star Wars movies is more uncertain than ever. But if Lucasfilm relies on nostalgia for gimmicky storytelling, then the franchise is in grave danger of having to explain all its tricks and kill off the magic in the process.
Rogue One streaming on Disney+.
https://www.inverse.com/entertainment/rogue-one-star-wars-nostalgia ‘Rogue One’ nostalgia reveals a major flaw in Star Wars after 5 years in the making