Jan. 3rd, 2017

patchawful: (sword)
Since I currently seem to be posting a lot about non-anime I've been consuming recently, here's a post about a film I saw a few weeks back!

I'm... a fan of Star Wars, I hesitate to say big fan as I haven't really read the EU in any big detail or seen the Clone Wars or anything like that, but I like the films. I particularly like the X Wing fights, so I was pretty hyped going into this, only to find out it wasn't really related to the Rogue Squadron series of books (which, again, I haven't read, but know of through cultural osmosis). Still, it had a better X Wing fight scene than The Force Awakens, and one of the main characters of that film was an X Wing pilot. So that I enjoyed!

Overall, I'm still not sure how I feel about the film, which is one of the reasons I waited so long to make this post. I probably need to watch it again, but I don't think the fact I only saw the film once a month after release, against the 3 times I saw The Force Awakens, really says anything about it. Just that it wasn't the first new Star Wars in a decade. And while my opinion on TFA have settled into the 'good but not great' area, I think what I like about Rogue One are what I have issues with in TFA, and vice versa, although comparisons between the two aren't always useful, if slightly inevitable.

Overall it's a darker film than most Star Wars, but that isn't necessarily a bad thing. I'm just unsure how it sits with the usual Star Wars theme. I understand the desire to break with the Star Wars formula (hence it being billed as a Star Wars Story), but the Star Wars brand does raise expectations. I also feel it takes a while to get going, with much of the cast only really getting a chance to shine in the film's final scenes. A lot of it also seemed very stop-start, when Star Wars at its best flows pretty well from one scene or location to another. But then, we're no longer in Lucas' Galaxy.

Which is the one thing I liked most about the film, it tried to do something new. My biggest problem with The Force Awakens was that it went over a lot of the same ground that previous films had done (except the X Wing scene, it could've done more of that), often not as well as the previous films had done (and certainly not well enough to justify it), and while what it did new was by far the best parts, there wasn't really enough of it. Which is why I, somewhat paradoxically given my earlier complaint, enjoyed Rogue One, it took the Star Wars universe, and the now well-worn conflict of Rebellion and Empire, and did something new with it, even as we saw the old cast (some brought back with CGI, which worked... better than it should've, even if far from perfect). The final battle was nothing short of spectacular, and made it well worth it, although it did raise some questions about what preceded it. So yeah, all in all I feel another viewing is definately needed. But you all get a blog post on it anyway, even if that does make it pointless at this point!

Random thought: I really liked how a few Rebel side characters had very 70s moustaches/hair. It really helped the film fit in with the look of the (very 70s) original Star Wars film, which takes place 5 seconds after this. A good, if unnecessary, attention to detail that really helped my immersion.

In conclusion: I won't be happy until we get a feature length trench-run

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