Monday, January 01, 2018

Rogue One, at This Late Date

Finally saw this addition to the Star Wars canon. I loved the original three Star Wars creations, tho I admit that when Yoda appeared, some of my enthusiasm slid away. Muppet dharma, no thanks. I eventually saw the next three releases but by then I didn't care about the franchise much. I have seen no other Star Wars movie till Rogue One. Expect here a dour response to Rogue One.

Right from the start, a grimness pervades the movie. A child watches as an Imperial task force comes to get her father, and kill her mother. She takes to a prearranged hiding place and eventually someone collects her. Years later we find her in prison. There's probably a project in the works to detail those years.

The plot didn't want me to follow it. Rebel leaders apparently want our heroine, I forget her name, to help find her father or something. And she ends up joining a rebel in I don't know. Suffice to say a band of misfits forms a suicide squad to get the plans of the Death Star (of legend!!!), which her father designed. She and the rebels race around, explaining plot points between breaths. I was lost, tho partly owing to disinterst. This could as well be The Guns of Navarone, tho a few of that mission survived.

The bad guy in the opening scene could be a Marvel or Bond villain. Which gets me to my ulteriour point. These franchises have begun looking the same, weak from hunger. Granted in this film, everyone in the mission dies, there's no Ishmael alone who alone escapes. Still, it's the same cheese we've had before.

The actors were pretty faceless, competent but forgettable. The droid reminded me of Marvin in Hitchhiker's Guide, and was a highlight of the movie. If you really needed to know about the beginning of the rebellion, this flick works. I am about done with prequels and franchises, however.

The Star Wars franchise is like an ode to jury-rigging. There's the Lucas outline to be honoured, and then these outgrowths of intention that produce more movies and, it seems more importantly, more action figures and merch. As far as story-telling goes, it's all so inorganic. I mean, thank goodness Melville didn't incite Ishmael to avenge Captain Ahab's death. Or Queequeg's, or...

Obviously people like all this stuff but to me the mercantile aspect of this franchise, and all movie franchises, bother me. Movies operate in something close to geologic time, with gross national product budgets. They attenuate the creative kernel to the farthest farthing.