So, we’re about 200 days away from Rogue One (give or take, that’s why I said “about”), and I’m already wondering how I’m going to avoid spoilers. Yeah, that’s right, I’m STILL on this “spoilers are bad, mmkay” kick. Deal with it. But that’s not what it’s ALL about, so read on.
I’m perhaps more excited about Rogue One than I was The Force Awakens. In fact, I KNOW I am. The biggest reason for this is that The Force Awakens was so freaking good. Going into that film, there was a bit of trepidation (big word!) because there were a few unknowns in the mix: New director, first film since the prequels, first film with the original cast in 30 years, etc. But Abrams and Company delivered big-time, which gave me permission to just be excited like a kid again for anything else that is coming down the road. (I used “road” because I’m honestly not sure if it’s “Coming down the pipe” or “coming down the pike” and I can’t be bothered to look it up. Although looking it up would have taken less time than typing this.)
UPDATE: The Cambridge Dictionary of American Idioms has an entry on “coming down the pike“, and says that it’s “based on the literal meaning of pike (a large road)”. It does not have an entry on “coming down the pipe”
As I was saying, I now feel permission to be child-like in my excitement for anything else coming DOWN THE PIKE. And the first recipient of my newfound enthusiasm is Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. The teaser just blew me away, it looks SOOOO good. I know looks can be deceiving, but I have a hard time believing that this crew is going to produce something un-awesome. Now we come to my dilemma: I want to know as little as possible about it going forward. I could avoid a lot, but the fact that I host a couple of podcasts that deal with Star Wars on a regular basis, and I have friends who do likewise makes it difficult to switch off completely. AND, even more agonizing, I LOVE TOYS! There will no doubt be toys released in the months leading up to release. Hasbro did a good job of misdirecting and otherwise not spoiling the big secrets of The Force Awakens, so I feel like I’ll be able to walk down the toy aisle and remain unspoiled, but you just never know.
The other problem I have is that there is a part of me that DOES want to experience all of the hype going in, and I don’t know how to do that while not engaging in spoilery behavior. I realize these are all the first-worldiest of problems, but I’m really just interested in getting opinions on how you all plan to deal with “hype culture” as it relates to Rogue One.
Now that I have all my “woe is me” stuff out of the way, allow me to get on to the exciting part. The exciting part is this: I’M EXCITED!!!! As I wrote above, I am even more excited than I was for The Force Awakens. I’ve always been a fan of “What If” and “Elseworlds” and “Infinities” stories, which is to say stories that take place outside of normal continuity. I realize that Rogue One is in-canon, but it isn’t concerned with the main story of the saga, so the creators have a bit more leeway in depicting the world and the events. This is exciting to me. That, coupled with the aforementioned boldness that comes with The Force Awakens being as great as we all hoped, makes Jeff turn into Fanboy Jeff, so the internet better watch out. I will attempt to temper my excitement like an adult, but seriously, you guys, THIS MOVIE IS GONNA BE SO GOOD!!!!!! IT’S GOT FORREST WHITAKER!!!! AND A GRAND ADMIRAL!!!! AND AT-ATs!!!
Ok, ok, I’m calm. For the moment. I’ve said before that this sounds like it’s going to be a heist movie. Heist movies are one of my favorite sub-genres. And Star Wars is my favorite set of films. So, you see, a Star Wars heist movie is just about the most exciting thing I could think of. If you threw in Han Solo, it would probably end up being a Best Picture contender. Not really, but you get my drift. I’ve said before that if this film ends up being what I think it will be, it very well could be my favorite Star Wars film of all time. No fake. After seeing the trailer, I’m even more assured of this. The color palette of the film is VERY reminiscent of A New Hope, but the tone seems very modern and a little bit edgy. We have the broad strokes of the plot, but we don’t know any details, which is EXACTLY how I want it, and it’s exactly how Disney handled the trailers for The Force Awakens, so I assume we can expect more of the same, which is exciting.
The truth is, I really am anticipating the “standalone” films more than the “saga” films, which is unique, because I typically enjoy serialized stories much more than single-issue storytelling. I think it has something to do with the freedom I mentioned earlier. The filmmakers have a lot more wiggle room when it comes to the stories they tell, so there is a sense of “anything can happen and nobody is safe” with the exception of characters like Mon Mothma who appear in later films. Beyond that, it feels like the studio is willing to take more chances with these films, including handing them over to younger, less commercially proven directors like Gareth Edwards with Rogue One. He is someone who has his own ideas, he’s not just a gun-for-hire, and he’s not a guaranteed hitmaker like J.J. Abrams, but he definitely has talent and vision, and I’m excited to see how he uses that in the Galaxy Far, Far Away. The upcoming Han Solo film will hopefully tell us if my assumption is correct, and I expect that it will not disappoint.
What about you? Do you find your excitement for Rogue One is eclipsing that of The Force Awakens? Or do you tend to prefer the stories that take place in the Saga films? I’ve heard people who say they are afraid of the standalone films watering down the series, do you have this same concern? Please reply in the comments section!
Until next time, May the Force of Others be with us all.
Jeff can be heard weekly on Assembly of Geeks (www.assemblyofgeeks.com) and on his own podcast network, MarvinDog Media (www.MarvinDogMedia.com) where he hostsThe Pilot Episode, Talking Toys with Taylor and Jeff, and Bantha Banter: A Star Wars Chat Show. He is also co-host of Comics With Kenobi with fellow CWK blogger Matt Moore, on CoffeeWithKenobi.com, which you have already found if you’re reading this blog. You can contact Jeff at firstname.lastname@example.org.Powered by Sidelines