May the force be with you. This iconic phrase has managed to embed itself into the culture of so many cultures and is often referenced both in and out of context by individuals from all walks of life. For a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, audiences where swept into the exhilarating world of Star Wars, which first descended upon the cinemas of Earth in the year of 1977. As time progressed, two sequels were created which helped expand and stimulate a massive fan base, along with three prequels. Years later, a sequel trilogy came along which was kicked off with the release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens. However, few could have predicted that the classic franchise would turn in a completely different direction by serving as a bridge between the prequel trilogy and the sequel trilogy with the production of the newest installment into the epic saga of Star Wars.
This new film titled Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, which will hit theaters on December 16, will provide some insight into elements of the plot from the first three films that people were left to ponder on their own. What are those parts of the plot that sparked curiosity amongst the fans you may ask? Well, according to Anthony Breznican, a writer for the magazine Entertainment Weekly, who happened to publish his own article titled “Exclusive First Look: Going Rogue”, one of these unknown components of the plot was the fact that the thermal exhaust port which was located on the very first Death Star enabled the destruction of the large battle station with one shot only. Breznican then adds the thought provoking questions of, “OK, so how exactly did that get there? Why would the Empire’s doomsday architects incorporate such a catastrophic design flaw?” (Breznican 20). Clearly, it is about time that these questions are even addressed to begin with, as it will help broaden the understanding of the saga as a whole and fill in the blanks, for the events that occurred between A New Hope and Revenge of the Sith are relatively unknown to anyone who has seen the Star Wars films or is a huge admirer of this cultural phenomenon. And if you think that this is the only way that this new film goes against the grain, you will be surprised to discover that this film has sparked a revolution that exceeds beyond the movie’s story arc.
One of these great alterations is the portrayal of the dynamic character of the film. The main character of this movie, known as Jyn, most certainly manages to stand out from the heroes of the previous Star Wars films. So how exactly does she distance herself from the traits of the other dynamic characters? According to the same article, Jyn is “far from a wide-eyed innocent like Rey or Luke Skywalker. She’s a troublemaker, a criminal. Volatile, but streetwise… ‘She’s got a checkered past, and has pretty much been on her own since she was 15. She’s a real survivor. She becomes a kind of Joan of Arc in the story’”, (Breznican 22). It’s evident that the creative team behind this new installment wishes to breathe some new life into their main character by presenting her with an increasing amount of anti-hero characteristics. This refreshing spin on Jyn allows audiences to examine a given protagonist in a unique way, without being bombarded with the now clique representation of the other protagonists as being full of naivety and idealism. Another sweeping change is the presence of a diverse cast, with actors and actresses hailing from all kinds of ethnic backgrounds. And perhaps for the first time, Star Wars has conceived two major roles for a racial group that is incredibly underrepresented in Hollywood today: Asians. This notion is thus challenged with the three characters of Chirrut Inwe being played by the well-known martial artist and actor from Hong Kong, Donnie Yen, along with the role of Bodhi Rook who is a cargo pilot being played by Pakistani Brit actor and rapper Riz Ahmed, and finally the individual who protects Chirrut Inwe known as Baze Malbus being played by an actor with martial arts knowledge who has also dabbled with directing known as Jiang Wen, and who is of Chinese descent. Clearly, in the contemporary era, Hollywood is finally starting to shift from its whitewashing ways and extend parts to people of other races, allowing the positive messages of acceptance, tolerance, and diversity to spread and begin to leave their marks on society. Having gathered all of this information, I am now even more excited than I originally was to see the film and I hope that the movie will both meet and exceed the expectations of the fan base for the Star Wars saga. And now I would like to offer my best wishes to all those involved in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story: may the force be with you.
Breznican, Anthony. “Exclusive First Look: Going Rogue”. Entertainment Weekly. Week of July 1, 2016. June 30, 2016. Print.