December 16, 2016

Rogue One

A very well executed underground rebellion spy movie, but, you know, set in the Star Wars universe. They've perfectly placed this story within the events leading up to the 1977 Star Wars movie, like a precision-cut puzzle piece, with a bare minimum of winking fan service.
As a Star Wars superfan I loved the attention to detail, but a casual viewer will have no trouble enjoying this film too.
This is the kind of entertainment that George Lucas could never imagine or tolerate as he smothered his saga to near-death. Why not make "non-saga" Star Wars movies set in different genres? Rogue One is an espionage film. How about a Western with Boba Fett as the villain? A young Obi-Wan Kenobi as a hard-boiled detective? A buddy road comedy with Han and Lando? A schoolhouse comedy with Yoda teaching remedial Force lessons to a bunch of teenage Jedi delinquents?

I especially appreciated the background actors and bit parts in the Rebellion were chock full of pale Englishmen with bushy hair and mustaches, just like the 1977 film.
Ironically, the only white men in lead roles are Mads Mikkelsen as the Oppenheimer-esque scientist, and Ben Mendelssohn as the ambitious Imperial antagonist. The rest of the lead roles are all non-white men, non-Americans, and women! Well, Alan Tudyk voices a droid, but the droid is black, so....? Arlington Capitol Screen 1, with Adam.

NOTE: I have added this movie to my list of "World Cinema" action movies that are mostly cast with non-white men and/or are not set in the United States: