I'm one of the biggest Star Wars fans I know. It isn't a boast or anything like that, but it's definitely true. I used to watch the Star Wars tapes on repeat when I was little. I remember going to the library and getting out 12 15 books about Star Wars, whether they were novels or "facts" about the ships and what not. I own a Star Wars encyclopedia. I'm about as big of a nerd for this stuff as you can get.
And that's why I'm scared about Rogue One.
You see, back in October of 2012, when Disney purchased Lucas Films, every true Star Wars fan felt a lot like Obi-Wan here:
The Disney-fication of Star Wars was coming in hot and we all knew what it meant. More fucking Ewoks.
Okay, not exactly. More than likely, they actually all died.
But Disney buying Lucas Films worried a lot of people. Though the original Star Wars trilogy is fairly light-hearted (minus a planet's destruction and some charred relatives, neither of which get mourned), the Expanded Universe was a much darker place, full of more terrifying villains and more questionable heroes and locales than people would ever expect. And when Disney bought Lucas Film, they did away with the entire extended canon, now referring to them as Star Wars "Legends".
Getting rid of the EU meant a few things. First, in Disney's mind, it gave them the freedom to create their own Star Wars stories, instead of being restricted by the almost 30 years of outside material that created the universe. But secondly, it opened the door for them to do this:
And then this. Also stupid. (WARNING!!!! SPOILER AHEAD):
While this might have been a Star Wars for a new generation, South Park was right. This new Star Wars just wasn't that good. They borrowed and revamped a bunch of story lines from the old expanded universe that they were so eager to get dump. They had a Solo child go to the dark side. They had Luke ruin his first apprentice. They even had a young girl who was a dashing pilot and Force-sensitive. So much for creating their own stories.
And therein lies my issue with Rogue One. Calling the movie Rogue One is a literal recall to the Rogue Squadron, captained by Luke Skywalker and Wedge Antilles during the Galactic Civil War. And the Rogue Squadron was the shit. They weren't misfits or outcasts, like the rest of the Rebellion. They were the best pilots and fighters that the galaxy had to offer. And this movie is clearly not about them. So what is it about?
Well, the director, Gareth Edwards, has said before that Rogue One is a war movie set in the Star Wars universe. But it must be a spy mission to some extent if they are going to steal the original Death Star plans. But it is going to be a story about how a main character tries to connect with her evil, but possibly not evil, father. Explain to me how this doesn't sound shot for shot like Return of the Jedi without the Ewoks. There's a war going on. A small cadre of heroes must go on a secret mission in order to weaken a Death Star. Luke spends the movie trying to get his dad to not kill him. Literally all we're missing are some Jedi and Ewoks.
But Gareth Edwards is a talented man. He came to prominence in 2010 with the sci-fi/indie flick, Monsters, a story about people trying to complete a mission in a war zone. And the movie is fantastic. If you haven't watched it, you definitely should. And then he did the newest Godzilla, getting very fan-servicey with his introduction of the MUTA, but still putting together an okay movie. He definitely has the talents, budget, and the right cast to pull off a great movie.
But this isn't Godzilla. Star Wars is literally an American treasure, one of the most important cinematic pieces to ever exist. So give me war. Give me a dark story with despair and disappointment. Give me main character deaths that don't seem cheap. Give me Rebels on the retreat, give me 6 sharpshooters barely surviving against all odds to get these plans. Because we all know how this movie ends.
I hope everyone sees this movie and I hope that it is incredible and everything I want. But until then, may the Force be with you. Always.