I never wanted to say anything about Force Awakens because by the time I could even write one word; every single comment and every single joke imaginable was already on the internet and your opinion would not matter at all. Call it a nostalgia factor for generations or sheer excitement after waiting to see a lightsaber on screen for the last ten years; everyone was satisfied when they finally get to see it again, even if it is essentially a remake of the old one.
No one is really excited for Rogue One merely one year later of this. Not to mention bad press regarding reshoots and the feel that we will be watching a lot of these for the next decade.
It is the first time ever that I think annualized series are killing the excitement of a brand name. Sure, I like my annual Saw series and Assassin’s Creed video game series but they do not have first class worldwide social and cultural event vibe like the title Star Wars. When you are playing with the ultimate golden standard of nerd culture which is pretty much popular culture now, it should make us feel something.
I felt nothing. Zero immersion. From the opening with child Jyn Erso, save for the last five minutes which I actually cheered happily, I blankly stared at the screen while this structured mess unfolding its events in the most boring linear way possible while hating the darkness of 3D, hating where I was watching it, hating the other viewers making stupid comments throughout the film while being completely aware of my surroundings.
This is quite saddening because I always like the idea of dark and gritty versions things we already like. The idea of ground level dirty Star Wars “war” movie with a clear goal is still appealing to me even if I hated this one. However, this does not feel like a war movie or a team-up movie where the team is not really a solid team and you cannot make any emotional connection with any of the cast. I still have no idea who the turncoat imperial pilot was.
In addition, we do not have any background information on our lead for thirteen years and we do not know her character at all as she automatically executes her tasks to the new check point. Her romantic interest only targets a gun at her father at some point and his entire act is done after that scene, he becomes a background extra. Chinese guys lack the presence and charisma and both of them are extremely one dimensional: one tank with a big gun and one blind magic guy with a stick. Even the robot that should be the highlight of the film and fan favorite for all ages feels forced. (We saw the toys of him in everywhere for the last two months.)
Jyn’s heroic speech before third act felt so obligatory that even she looked like she does not belive in what she is saying. I continued to stare blankly at the screen without feeling anything while wondering about Kyle Katarn whether if I could play Star Wars: Dark Forces, a video game that is 21 years old also depicts Katarn single-handedly stealing the plans for the first Death Star in the first act of the game, at this weekend.
Darth Vader was misused in this film. His half assed opening scene with rehash of his choke powers was again a merely note to hit and though I liked his slaughter of rebel scums in the last five minutes, screaming loudly about how badass the world’s respectively biggest villain in the film history (American Film Institute says Hannibal Lecter and Norman Bates are better than him but pffffs.) is like boasting to elementary school students who are struggling to learn reading to how you have read a book that is 1500 pages one time in your life. Darth Vader was already menacing when he was slowly touching sabers with Obi-Wan.
The best idea of this film is the retcon of the Death Star that took two decades to complete to have a major fault as an exhaust pipe that leads directly into the main power generator because the creator was a good guy and the entire film is only good for retconning a stupid plot hole.
I do not think I can be excited for “A Star Wars Story” MEGA FRANCHISE series if the upcoming Han Solo prequel will be as soulless as this in 2018. That being said, I am still genuinely excited for Rian Johnson’s Episode VIII.