I’m an Star Trek fan through and through. First thing I’m doing once space travel is pedestrian is taking an extended vacation on Risa. Then I’m going to the halodeck for… privacy. That said, even I am pretty hyped for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story to come out later this month. I’ll skip the “visual effects are going to be amazing” because yes, yes they are.
I’ll also skip the “Hark! A female lead!” because while I still have butterflies whenever a badass woman hits the big screen, I’ll wait to sing Felicity Jones’ praises until I see the film. If she’s half as good as I hope she will be, there’ll be time for that in the weeks to come. Instead, here are the top 3 reasons my Trekkie heart is all aflutter:
Have you seen the college catalog diversity banner that is the movie’s cast? Producer Kathleen Kennedy noted that diversity is incredibly important to the Star Wars films and to the film industry globally. For me, if we’re going to have a movie set in space, on distant planets, then there has to be diversity and it should come from more than just the puppet and CGI departments. A lack of true human diversity erodes my suspension of disbelief because I need to believe that the world I’m entering isn’t a sad duplicate of the one I occupy everyday.
There’s the force, right? And there’s a dark side and a light side. That’s pretty simple, pretty cut and dry. But, that’s not how life is. I’m the hero of my own story, but chances are that I’m a villain in someone else’s. This installment in the Star Wars universe promises to offer what Diego Luna calls a modern take on Star Wars that offers less black-and-white and more gray – an ambiguity that mirrors the contemporary world.
A movie released in 2016 should ask us to question the very ideas of good and bad. Especially a science fiction film, a genre that has historically allowed artists to explore and challenge the politics of the day. Who today has clean hands? This movies will offer us a more complicated understanding of good and bad.
This film takes place in the Star Wars universe that at least two generations have grown up with, but it’s not an episode as we know them. There will be no Rogue Two because as Kennedy put it, “The sequel to Rogue One is Episode 4.”
Why is this awesome? Because it allows this film to take risks with story that one of the “episodes” might not be able to.
It also means that you don’t need to be a huge Star Wars nerd to enjoy the story. There’s no need to give your civilian friend/date the quick and dirty synopsis of every Star Wars movie ever made; they can just go enjoy it while you catch all the Easter eggs.
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story premiers Friday, December 16th.