I haven’t talked much about the new Star Wars anthology films, but let me say – I’m actually looking forward to them. I think it’s a great way to branch out of the Skywalker family and jump into a much larger galaxy. If Disney plays it’s cards right, these films could really appeal to more hardcore Star Wars fans, myself included. They can keep the Sequel Trilogy (is that what we’re calling them?) movies for the masses and fans, but go deeper with the anthology films.
A few weeks ago, Disney/LFL released a cast photo at D23 from the new movie Rogue One. If anything, this photo made me even more excited. I have a few hesitations, but overall, I think it bodes well.
Here’s why I’m excited:
- It’s a cool storyline. The plot revolves around how the young Rebellion stole the plans for the Death Star, putting into motion what we see in A New Hope. It’s been mentioned that the movie is going to be more brutal than most Star Wars movies and it’s going to lean more towards a war movie. “It’s called Star Wars,” emphasized the director [Gareth Edwards]. Edwards is hoping to show us just what the “Wars” in the Star Wars title really means. This is new and different for Star Wars and I’m actually excited to see it.
- The leader of the pack is a woman. I love that Felicity Jones is front and center in this photo. I would make a bet that she is the leader of the pack here and the one in control of the mission. What I also like is that she is not glammed up. She looks dirty, real, no skin tight clothing, and just like I would expect an x-wing fighter pilot to look (if they are even flying x-wings). My only hesitation and concern are that there are no other women in this photo. I wish there were 1 or 2 more to balance it out, since I don’t like the fact that I noticed she’s the only female. On the one hand, I love that she seems to be the leader and that Disney/LFL is giving us Rey and now the unnamed Felicity Jones as leads. But on the other hand, I’d like to see more females so that instead of noticing and applauding the fact that there are female leads, it becomes somewhat more of a normal distribution. That said – the casting is obviously not done yet, so I’ll see where this goes.
- Diversity! This is great…look at the cast. I also love the Japanese samurai influence on Donnie Yen’s costume. Donnie Yen’s character also looks like he’s blind and from what I know about Yen, he’s an extremely talented martial artist from Hong Kong, so this could be super interesting. I don’t know much about Jiang Wen or Riz Ahmed (though I heard great things about his performance in Nightcrawler). I saw Diego Luna in Y tu mamá también but that was a long time ago, so I’m not sure I can be a good judge of that. Either way – there’s a strong diversity in this main cast.
- Less Jedi/Force users. Okay, so this isn’t confirmed, but this seems to be a movie that will probably be lacking the Force…though if there is a blind martial artist in the mix, there may very well be some “sleeper” Force talents. But overall, I believe this movie will focus on characters that don’t have the Force, but are extremely talented fighters. Normally I’m all about the Jedi and the Force, but with these anthology films, I think it’s a good time to step away from the mythology and take us into real life within the Star Wars universe.
The more I see and learn about this movie, the more I’m excited about it. Even just looking at the picture, it’s dark, grey, and gritty. They are emphasizing the difference in tone versus the other Star Wars movies already. I was nervous about the standalone movies at first because I was thinking they had the chance to be really dumb…and honestly, I’m not as excited about the Solo back story. I’m interested in it, and I’ll watch it, but I like stepping away from the characters we know and love.
What are your thoughts? Yay, yay, Rogue One? Ugh, why a movie on x-wing pilots? Yawn?