Let’s be honest here: The Force Awakens was a slam dunk. It turned out to be an excellent movie, thank god, but Disney would have made a billion dollars on any movie that had Luke, Leia and Han in it after thirty years. It was a safe idea, and one of the criticisms of the film is that they maybe played it too safe. (I’m not sure I agree on that, but the criticism is out there.)
But this week, with the release of Rogue One, the future of Star Wars is really, truly decided. Will this universe be a series of films about one family? Or can we tell stories throughout the whole universe, even stories without Jedi?
The film premiered last week, and has gotten rave reviews from big time nerds like Professional Hype Man Kevin Smith and Wil Wheaton, and Chris Hardwick.
The last time I loved a Star Wars movie as much as I loved #RogueOne, it was 1977.
— Wil Wheaton (@wilw) December 11, 2016
Rogue One is a STUNNING film. I cannot recommend it enough. It’s dark, beautiful and satisfying. If you didn’t know Star Wars you’d love it, and knowing it makes it that much better. The references to things you recognize aren’t just member berries, they are justified and strengthen the story. Gareth Edwards has created an absolute gem in the Star Wars universe that will blow your brain out of your head. By the time the end credits hit, the theater was SCREAMING with unbridled excitement. See it as soon as you can before anything gets spoiled!!! [photo by Marc Flores for @gettyimages]
So this is all good news. Especially for director Gareth Edwards, who has gone from making indie films to a Godzilla film to a freaking Star Wars film in a very short period of time. And it’s great news of Kathleen Kennedy, the head of Lucasfilm who is taking a hell of a chance on the idea that audiences love Star Wars so much that they’ll want to see it every year from now on.
Marvel has avoided burn out by having a huge roster of wildly different characters. Star Wars doesn’t have that – any new movie is going to have to either follow an established character in a new way, like the upcoming Han Solo prequel, or invent a brand new one like Jyn Erso. And so, Rogue One is the testing ground. Can you tell stories in this universe without the Skywalkers and their friends and still make it quality and profitable?
We’ll find out this weekend, but I’m excited to see what they have in store.