I knew from the opening shot of Rogue One that this wasn’t going to be like every other Star Wars movie. It wasn’t just the visual cues that gave it away. The ominous music and the lack of the legendary opening crawl emanated this vibe that this movie was going to be something different, something special. And oh it was. It was Star Wars like I’ve never seen it before.
Rogue One is tonally completely different from Star Wars as we know it. Rogue One is essentially a war movie, albeit one set in a galaxy far, far away (think Guns of Navarone set in space). It takes the happy, relatively fun feel of the other Star Wars movies and drags it down to Earth (or Tatooine, or Naboo, or whatever, you get the point). It’s gritty and realistic (well, as real as the Star Wars Universe can get), but somehow, it’s still Star Wars. That is what makes this movie special – despite being so different, it still feels so familiar.
Disclaimer: This post is going to be filled with spoilers about The Force Awakens, so that’s a fair warning for you if you haven’t watched the movie. If you want a spoiler-free take on the movie, read my spoiler-free review that I posted just yesterday – https://beingnickyb.wordpress.com/2016/01/03/star-wars-episode-vii-the-force-awakens-review-spoiler-free/
While watching the iconic opening crawl, I was stumped to read that Luke Skywalker had literally gone missing and that no one knew where he was or why he’d disappeared. My mind was buzzing with different theories about his disappearance and also about the plot of the movie. I initially assumed that this would be a “find Luke Skywalker” adventure where our heroes and villains would scour the galaxy for him and I was disappointed by that prospect, but thankfully, I was relieved to find later on that it was not so.
In my review of The Force Awakens, I said that there was a point very early on in the movie when I just knew that this was going to be a really good ride. I can finally divulge the details of that here. It was when Kylo Ren kills Lars von Tekka (Max von Sydow’s character) and Poe shoots at Kylo Ren in anger and then, Kylo Ren suddenly turns around as the camera zooms in and holds his right hand up and stops the blaster bolt mid-air. I’ve seen people using the Force in many ways in the movies, but I have never seen that. This is one of the things that I liked about the movie – they use the Force in many similar ways, but also add some new things into the mix to keep everything fresh. Another example of the Force being used differently is when Kylo Ren just stopped Rey dead in her tracks – it was like she was frozen by a tractor beam. The film treads familiar paths, but innovates enough to make me feel as amazed as when I watched Star Wars for the first time.
As an ardent Star Wars fan, I must shamefully admit that I played the critically acclaimed Knights of the Old Republic game only a couple of years ago. Though, it wasn’t really my fault as I have been trying and failing to make the game run on my computer for almost 6 years. I originally got the game when I was 10 only to discover that, for some reason, it refused to work on my PC. It didn’t launch and if it did, it crashed as soon as I reached the main menu. I tried to fix it, but at that age I really wasn’t very knowledgeable about these matters and soon gave up. My second brush with it was around two years later when a friend told me that he had gotten the game to work on his computer. He said that some of the files on my CD must have been corrupt and so, he gave me his CD to install the game from. I remember sitting excitedly in front of my monitor waiting for the installation to finish so that I could get on to playing the game, but once again, I was disappointed. This time, an error popped up on my screen every time I double-clicked on the launcher. I scoured the net for solutions, but none of them seemed to work for me. This attempt to run the game ended the same way as the last – in my surrender. Finally, I got my hands on it again two years ago and this time I was determined about fixing it. I spent hours digging through forums and watching YouTube videos on the subject. Eventually, I think the game sensed my frustration and acquiesced. I literally leapt up in joy when the game worked. However, there were still a few kinks to solve – the game refused to save, cut-scenes refused to play and the aspect ratio was stuck at 800×600. These required an hour more of work, but when it was done, I felt so relieved. I reclined in my chair and prepared myself for a great Star Wars experience. However, I never anticipated it to be that good.