Dec. 18th, 2016

mellicious: "I'm bored. Episode 1 bored." (Buffy quote - bored)
(I'm starting here pretty spoiler free, if I get spoilery I'll put it under a jump.)

I'm sorry, I can't talk about anything else, because we saw Rogue One a few hours ago and it was pretty mindblowing. I'm not saying it's the best movie I've ever seen or anything, but damn, it's pretty good. I saw somebody trying to rank the Star Wars movies in order of quality, and while it's really way too too early to judge... well, let's put it this way. I, II, and III are at the bottom, certainly. I haven't seen them in years so ranking those is iffy. Mostly I just try to ignore them. After that you get to VI. Then IV and V are the top, and I waffle around about which is better, although basically it's just love of the original that makes me do that. I think Empire is pretty unequivocally the best, as a movie. And then the two latest installments are somewhere in between VI and IV. Much better than VI. In case Roman numerals are too confusing, let me do a seat-of-the-pants list.

This is starting with WORST, and the numbers are worst to best, not the chronological ones.
8. Attack of the Clones
7. The Phantom Menace
6. Revenge of the Sith
5. Return of the Jedi
4. The Force Awakens
3. Rogue One
2. A New Hope
1. The Empire Strikes Back

I don't know why I feel compelled to do this. I don't like that either; it makes more sense in my mind to do it in tiers: prequels, then (lesser but still better) Return of the Jedi, then (bigger jump in quality) The Force Awakens, then Rogue One almost approaching the quality of the first tier, which is A New Hope and Empire. But I don't know, I may feel differently about where Rogue One fits in later. We are already making plans to go see it again - I said, "Next week" and then I thought and said, "Oh, no, we can't, it's Christmas" because we do have plans... so we'll probably go again some time during the holiday week, after Christmas. Luckily Rob liked it a lot too.

Hmm, this may be where I should put the jump. I wouldn't recommend reading further if you haven't seen it.


Rob said it was better than The Force Awakens (which I reluctantly agree with, but bear in mind that I liked that movie a lot as well). I think he liked it more because Rogue One is really a war movie. I compared it at some point to The Dirty Dozen, beforehand, and, well, I was more right than I knew. It has a lot in common with that movie. (Movie and book, both, actually - I think I may have mentioned at some point in the past that I was allowed to read that book when I was twelve. I don't know what my mother was thinking, except that she was (a) used to my father's reading habits and (b) didn't realize how adult of a book it was.) It had sex, it had violence, and while I don't remember how many of the dozen survived, it wasn't many. I think it was maybe even less in the book than in the movie. But with that in mind, I was almost prepared for the death count of Rogue One. I thought they'd let a token few get out, though.

Somehow I didn't find that quite as wrenching as I might have. I did keep expecting some ship to swoop down, in that last scene with Jyn and Cassian, and magically ferry them out (again), because that's how most movies work. But I wasn't in tears, even, and I'm a person who cries pretty easily, so that's saying something. It just seemed... realistic.

I expected Tarkin to show up, partly because he was in that book that I was talking about yesterday. Half of the stuff I thought was tedious in that book was Krennic and Tarkin vying for the emperor's favor. (Although it was clear that Krennic had to ultimately lose, because you don't see him on the Death Star in A New Hope, after all.) They did a good job with Tarkin; bringing a dead man back to life isn't an easy thing. I've heard people say it took them out of the movie but I thought it seemed entirely appropriate. I had more problems with the surprise Leia appearance at the end - it seemed like not as much care was taken with that brief shot, maybe. I don't know. I was excited to see the way it all fit right in with the beginning of the "next" movie, certainly.


We saw little boys on the way out arguing vociferously over plot points. I think the next generation of fans is all taken care of. I was thinking that Lucasfilm and then Disney did a genius thing with the animated shows - even some not-so-young kids were raised on Clone Wars, and more recently on Rebels. That's why this franchise (it might be more approprate to call it an empire) isn't in much danger of generational dying-out as seems to be happening with the Star Trek franchise these days.

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