My holiday break consisted mostly of game playing and friends asking me if I wanted to go see Rogue One: A Star Wars Story again. I ended up seeing it a second time and was able to study it more, resulting in a greater appreciation of the little details that director Gareth Edwards put into the film. It’s a hell of a ride, especially the final act where it all hits the fan. A few things still bugged me, like Lucasfilm shying away from including an opening crawl of text. I know it’s a silly, little thing to get hung up on, but every Star Wars game has it, and it just seems like a Star Wars necessity. In an interview with Empire, Edwards also voiced frustration in not getting to tack one on the beginning of his film.
“The first screenplay that Gary Whitta wrote had a crawl in it – and you learn doing that that ‘a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away’ has four dots in it, not three,” he said. “You get extra marks for that. And then at some point, probably like six months before we were filming, we were in a meeting, and they talked about not having an opening crawl, because these are standalone films, not part of the sagas. And if I’m honest, there was an initial kind of like, “Whaaaa? I want the crawl!” The opening sequence is kind of the crawl of our movie. It’s like the setup. And our film is also born out of a crawl – the reason we exist is because of a previous crawl, so it feels like this infinite loop that will never end. It’s a small thing to give up to get to do Star Wars.”
Edwards also said different cuts of the film have the classic transitional wipes that George Lucas used, but they decided not to use them because “the film is supposed to be different.” The Darth Vader bacta tank sequence was inspired by a a Björk music video for the song “All is Full of Love.” They wanted to show him in a milky substance to humanize him. ” He’s really a burns victim, and it’s not going to be fun for him when he’s not in the suit – he’s going to be uncomfortable,” Edwards said. “I love the idea of showing that he’s vulnerable as well. Vader’s very, very bad, and so you try and just glimpse something of him that gives him some humanity, or it makes you empathize with him.”
Saw Gerrera is one of Rogue One‘s most interesting characters, and you’ll be able to learn more about him through an upcoming episode of Star Wars Rebels. He originated in The Clone Wars cartoon, and we saw him late in life in Rogue One, but now we’ll see how he formed a tie with the Rebellion. The trailer below gives you a little taste of what we can expect from this slightly younger version of him.
The always reliable Stupendous Wave has more details about Vader’s Sith castle that debuted in Rogue One. We knew Ralph McQuarrie dreamed up a home base for Vader for use in The Empire Strikes Back, but it never made it into the film. Lucas then drew inspiration from that image for Revenge of the Sith‘s finale. Edwards again referenced this image for Rogue One, but as the video shows, it was constructed on Mustafar, not only as a disturbing reminder for Anakin, but also for its connections to an ancient Sith secret. His castle is built over a Sith cave, and this location could be a place Jedi are brought to be tortured and killed.
In other Star Wars rumblings, Episode VIII‘s director, Rian Johnson, took to Twitter to support Lucas’ prequel movies, which you can see below. I haven’t looked at them as kids movies, per se, and don’t really buy that idea given how dark Anakin Skywalker’s story gets (hell, Revenge of the Sith was even the first Star Wars film to earn a PG-13 rating). It’s an interesting topic to explore, though. The films were different in tone than the original trilogy, and Jar Jar Binks was clearly created to win over kids, not adults. I’ll turn the question over to you: What do you think of the prequels as films for kids?
In a strange bit of Star Wars news, a young version of George Lucas will appear in a forthcoming episode of the DC’s Legends of Tomorrow. The story explores a different version of reality where Lucas quits film school and doesn’t make Star Wars. That decision greatly affects the future. Legends of Tomorrow‘s executive producer Marc Guggenheim jokingly voiced his concern about this story to Entertainment Weekly. “It’s going to be the episode where we’ll say that the show found a new gear in terms of how zany it can be, or it’s the episode that’s going to get us all fired,” he said. Lucas won’t appear in the episode, and is instead portrayed by actor Matt Angel.
On the video game front, we’re just two weeks away from one video game I can’t wait to play: Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers: Mega-Battle, a new side-scrolling brawler from Bandai Namco. We’re due for a great brawler, and I hope this is it. I’m worried how little Bandai has promoted the game, but the trailer makes it look like a good, ol’ throwback to the TMNT arcade games. Let’s cross our fingers and hope this turns out to be a fun four-player cooperative game.
That’s it for this week, folks. In seven days I’ll have a meatier post, including a review of the side-scrolling shooter Steel Rain X, which you’ll want to hear about. See you then!