Author Topic: Rogue One  (Read 4041 times)

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Offline Black Wolf

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Just got home from a midnight showing. Will post properly tomorrow, but for now, just be assured - it's incredible. Possibly the best Star Wars film ever made. They get all the details right and the very, very few things that aren't perfect are insignificant in the context of the overall experience.

Amazing. Go see it.
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Offline Luis Dias

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"The only force at work here is the force of habit." - New York Times.

For balance :D

 

Offline Sandwich

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After Trump, you should learn not to trust the MSM. :p

Just saw it and slept on it. Still amazing.

I don't know what was CGI and what wasn't aside from the very obvious—I'm fairly certain they didn't actually build a Death Star—but it didn't matter one whit. The CGI was extremely good and well-integrated. The "worst" CGI parts were the instances of "uncanny valley" where they kinda had no choice, although even that was pretty well done. All the rest—awesome.

Story and characters—we all know how it ends, so it's all about the journey, and it's a well-thought-out, sensible journey. Weakest bit was the main lead, not because she was bad at anything, but because she wasn't particularly outstanding at anything. That's not bad, it just wasn't noteworthy. Breakout role was Alan Tudyk as the droid. They modified his voice sufficiently enough that it didn't obviously sound like him and thus wasn't distractingly familiar, but you could spot it if you knew it was him, and he was awesome.

As someone who has kept up with Star Wars Rebels, it was a treat seeing and hearing the little acknowledgements scattered in a few places.

Minor spoilery bits that aren't too spoilery:
Spoiler:
Vader's 4 minutes are unforgettable. James Earl Jones IS irreplaceable—he's still got it, in spades. We need to figure out a way to preserve and recreate his voice, cuz daaaaaamn, son!

I admit I was surprised at how they wrapped up most everyone's story-arcs—file under "didn't see that coming", although I guess I should have.

That Hammerhead ram though... O.O I was a bit skeptical of the mass/thrust ratio there, but I guess it was vaguely plausible... after all, T.I.E. fighters have ion engines so advanced from those we know today that they're effective methods of propulsion even in atmosphere, so I guess capship engines can similarly be vastly more effective than we'd expect...

Planetary shield! I believe that's the first time we've seen one in action, isn't it?

Repeating blaster FTW.

Empire: "We have a full-armed and operational Death Star."
Rebellion: "That's cute. We have these two asian dudes—"

Nitpicks:
That opening and closing hatch Jyn has to dart through... what were they thinking? What purpose could that bit of the facility possible have??

The Force mantra that guy kept repeating seemed a bit... odd. Kinda like it was more a Buddhist religion approach for him than a way of life. Which I guess was kinda true, for him. *shrug*


Undeniably worth seeing in theaters. Do—there is no try, and no "do not". Do. ;)
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"The very essence of tolerance rests on the fact that we have to be intolerant of intolerance. Stretching right back to Kant, through the Frankfurt School and up to today, liberalism means that we can do anything we like as long as we don't hurt others. This means that if we are tolerant of others' intolerance - especially when that intolerance is a call for genocide - then all we are doing is allowing that intolerance to flourish, and allowing the violence that will spring from that intolerance to continue unabated." - Bren Carlill

 
Undeniably worth seeing in theaters. Do—there is no try, and no "do not". Do. ;)

Guess I'll start looking at the viewing schedule :)

 

Offline Black Wolf

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The promised tomorrow post. I'm going to keep this light on spoilers - nothing specific, but if you want to know absolutely nothing, skip.

Sandwich is right that the uncanny valley stuff is one of the only bad effects in the whole movie, and even that I wouldn't call bad. Actually, what they achieved was incredible, just very slightly... off when in motion. We can;t be more than a few years away from that sort of thing being completely undetectable though, and then say goodbye to ever recasting again. A very small handful of other weak effects and digital makeups (SW has to stop doing tentacly monsters, or at least keep them understated like 70s and 80s effects forced them to - the TFA one was bad, and this one was pretty weak too). The only other weak thing was the hammerhead corvette, which looked a little cartoony, because, ultimately, it came from a cartoon.

Visually though, outside of those minor issues, this was spectacular. The space battle is one of the best ever put on screen, and the destruction effects look incredible. Everything looks incredible actually - the used future aesthetic is spot on, everything looked brilliantly authentic, both to the original SW and to a sense of plausibility and verisimilitude. Little things matter - the interior design of ships not only feels legitimate, but helps convey elements of the storyline - when they're in hyperspace in the U-Wing, you know they're spending time in hyperspace because you can see it. That helps add a sense of travel taking time that JJ Abrams went out of his way to eliminate in TFA.

The storyline is... well, let's be honest, it's a little predictable. It hits the beats you sort of expect in a SW film, but it also goes places I was worried a SW film wouldn't be willing to go, and it does that throughout the film. The attack on the hovertank, Cassian's behavior at key points throughout the film - it really makes you think about what the rebels actually are in the SW universe - terrorists. They're fighting for the right side, but they're brutal when they have to be.

The characters are SW's standards in a lot of ways, in that hey feel a little tropey - the orphan troublemaker, the mystical warrior, the conflicted soldier etc. - but they're serviceable, and several go well beyond their tropeyness - Bodhi Rook, Chirrut and Baze, K2SO (the true standout amongst the new characters) all have moments that I enjoyed. And the returning players were all exceptionally well used. Even without the spectacular last few minutes, all three of the key villains would have been well used - that last sequence is merely the icing on an already pretty impressive villainous cake. I really liked the way they used characters from the original movies and the prequels to tie things together - as much as Disney seems to be trying to minimise the significance of the prequels, they're smart enough to know which bits to hold on to and integrate more tightly into the greater SW mythos. I also liked the bits of the broader SW franchise that they brought in - having little tiny references to Rebels and the old EU (loved seeing TIE Shuttles/boarding craft at the end) felt like Disney living up to their promise to take the best part of the old and merge it with the new.

Fantastic film. It may be my favourite SW film. I'm almost definitely going to see it in theatres at least a second time. :D
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Offline Sandwich

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It hits the beats you sort of expect in a SW film, but it also goes places I was worried a SW film wouldn't be willing to go, and it does that throughout the film. The attack on the hovertank, Cassian's behavior at key points throughout the film - it really makes you think about what the rebels actually are in the SW universe - terrorists. They're fighting for the right side, but they're brutal when they have to be.

Just a point of clarification: the Rebels aren't terrorists. Terrorists target non-military targets—civilians—to strike fear and terror among a populace, often with the goal of getting that populace to push for change in their governing body.

The SW Rebels are battling a government (legitimate or not, doesn't matter in this case) by striking at that government's military forces.
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"...The quintessential quality of our age is that of dreams coming true. Just think of it. For centuries we have dreamt of flying; recently we made that come true: we have always hankered for speed; now we have speeds greater than we can stand: we wanted to speak to far parts of the Earth; we can: we wanted to explore the sea bottom; we have: and so  on, and so on: and, too, we wanted the power to smash our enemies utterly; we have it. If we had truly wanted peace, we should have had that as well. But true peace has never been one of the genuine dreams - we have got little further than preaching against war in order to appease our consciences. The truly wishful dreams, the many-minded dreams are now irresistible - they become facts." - 'The Outward Urge' by John Wyndham

"The very essence of tolerance rests on the fact that we have to be intolerant of intolerance. Stretching right back to Kant, through the Frankfurt School and up to today, liberalism means that we can do anything we like as long as we don't hurt others. This means that if we are tolerant of others' intolerance - especially when that intolerance is a call for genocide - then all we are doing is allowing that intolerance to flourish, and allowing the violence that will spring from that intolerance to continue unabated." - Bren Carlill

 

Offline Sandwich

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Heh, just found out something: http://imgur.com/gallery/Jgzkl

Not a spoiler, but it's just neater to discover via the link above.
Spoiler:
Both Red and Gold Leaders reprise their roles from 1977.
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"...The quintessential quality of our age is that of dreams coming true. Just think of it. For centuries we have dreamt of flying; recently we made that come true: we have always hankered for speed; now we have speeds greater than we can stand: we wanted to speak to far parts of the Earth; we can: we wanted to explore the sea bottom; we have: and so  on, and so on: and, too, we wanted the power to smash our enemies utterly; we have it. If we had truly wanted peace, we should have had that as well. But true peace has never been one of the genuine dreams - we have got little further than preaching against war in order to appease our consciences. The truly wishful dreams, the many-minded dreams are now irresistible - they become facts." - 'The Outward Urge' by John Wyndham

"The very essence of tolerance rests on the fact that we have to be intolerant of intolerance. Stretching right back to Kant, through the Frankfurt School and up to today, liberalism means that we can do anything we like as long as we don't hurt others. This means that if we are tolerant of others' intolerance - especially when that intolerance is a call for genocide - then all we are doing is allowing that intolerance to flourish, and allowing the violence that will spring from that intolerance to continue unabated." - Bren Carlill

 

Offline Scotty

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Spoiler:
I picked out Gold Leader's voice immediately, and had my suspicions on Red Leader.  It's a nice touch!

 

Offline qwadtep

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It hits the beats you sort of expect in a SW film, but it also goes places I was worried a SW film wouldn't be willing to go, and it does that throughout the film. The attack on the hovertank, Cassian's behavior at key points throughout the film - it really makes you think about what the rebels actually are in the SW universe - terrorists. They're fighting for the right side, but they're brutal when they have to be.

Just a point of clarification: the Rebels aren't terrorists. Terrorists target non-military targets—civilians—to strike fear and terror among a populace, often with the goal of getting that populace to push for change in their governing body.

The SW Rebels are battling a government (legitimate or not, doesn't matter in this case) by striking at that government's military forces.
I'm sure there were plenty of civilian workers on the Death Star (and especially the second), and before you say that they were just unfortunate collateral damage in a greater struggle, that's precisely the logic McVeigh used when he bombed a building containing both an IRS office and a daycare center.

But that's a different topic; I'd really like to avoid politicizing a beloved franchise more than Rogue One's writers already have (and I'm still hoping it's a good movie).

 

Offline Sandwich

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I'm sure there were plenty of civilian workers on the Death Star (and especially the second), and before you say that they were just unfortunate collateral damage in a greater struggle, that's precisely the logic McVeigh used when he bombed a building containing both an IRS office and a daycare center.

But that's a different topic; I'd really like to avoid politicizing a beloved franchise more than Rogue One's writers already have (and I'm still hoping it's a good movie).

This is actually an important point, one which even Ep IV delves into. The difference is in who you target, military or civilian. In the case of a military target, there can still be collateral damage to civilian infrastructure or civilians themselves without it being labeled "terrorism". The Death Star was a military target (referred to in Ep IV as a "battlestation" numerous times by the people operating it), and thus "valid" for attack without said attack being labeled "terrorism".

Additionally, the Death Star was itself being actively used to strike civilian targets such as Alderaan (Tarkin to Leia, threatening to use it on Alderaan: "You would prefer another target? A military target? Then name the system!"). Its stated purpose by Grand Moff Tarkin was to be used as an instrument of "fear" ("Fear will keep the local systems in-line. Fear of this battlestation.")

That's lightyears away from McVeigh's distorted perception of reality.

Also, Rogue One was awesome. :p
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"...The quintessential quality of our age is that of dreams coming true. Just think of it. For centuries we have dreamt of flying; recently we made that come true: we have always hankered for speed; now we have speeds greater than we can stand: we wanted to speak to far parts of the Earth; we can: we wanted to explore the sea bottom; we have: and so  on, and so on: and, too, we wanted the power to smash our enemies utterly; we have it. If we had truly wanted peace, we should have had that as well. But true peace has never been one of the genuine dreams - we have got little further than preaching against war in order to appease our consciences. The truly wishful dreams, the many-minded dreams are now irresistible - they become facts." - 'The Outward Urge' by John Wyndham

"The very essence of tolerance rests on the fact that we have to be intolerant of intolerance. Stretching right back to Kant, through the Frankfurt School and up to today, liberalism means that we can do anything we like as long as we don't hurt others. This means that if we are tolerant of others' intolerance - especially when that intolerance is a call for genocide - then all we are doing is allowing that intolerance to flourish, and allowing the violence that will spring from that intolerance to continue unabated." - Bren Carlill

 

Offline Luis Dias

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Yeah was about to say: regardless of the number of casualties in the battle of Yavin, we are talking about taking out a weapon that was blasting entire planets in a single shot. I'd say there wasn't a moral choice to be made here, the only question was how to do it.

 
I'm sure there were plenty of civilian workers on the Death Star (and especially the second), and before you say that they were just unfortunate collateral damage in a greater struggle, that's precisely the logic McVeigh used when he bombed a building containing both an IRS office and a daycare center.

But that's a different topic; I'd really like to avoid politicizing a beloved franchise more than Rogue One's writers already have (and I'm still hoping it's a good movie).

This is actually an important point, one which even Ep IV delves into. The difference is in who you target, military or civilian. In the case of a military target, there can still be collateral damage to civilian infrastructure or civilians themselves without it being labeled "terrorism". The Death Star was a military target (referred to in Ep IV as a "battlestation" numerous times by the people operating it), and thus "valid" for attack without said attack being labeled "terrorism".

Additionally, the Death Star was itself being actively used to strike civilian targets such as Alderaan (Tarkin to Leia, threatening to use it on Alderaan: "You would prefer another target? A military target? Then name the system!"). Its stated purpose by Grand Moff Tarkin was to be used as an instrument of "fear" ("Fear will keep the local systems in-line. Fear of this battlestation.")

That's lightyears away from McVeigh's distorted perception of reality.

Also, Rogue One was awesome. :p

+1 to Rogue One being awesome.

There's another distinction that makes the rebels not terrorists - they're uniformed soldiers.  Even when they're carrying out guerilla tactics, they still wear uniforms and can be clearly identified as rebel military.  When they went to SPOILER undercover, it was to gather information and make contacts, not for a military operation.  They only joined in the fighting when it erupted all around them.

I need to watch it again to be sure, but
Spoiler:
it's possible the forces of Saw Gerrera were not always uniformed in their attacks in the city.  The key point here was that the rest of the rebel alliance broke ties with him and viewed him as an extremist due to his (possibly terrorist) methods.

 
Also, Rogue One was awesome. :p

Can confirm!

I didn't recognize Alan Tudyk until I saw his name in the credits, and then I was immediately, "Oh, the droid!"
And I'm surprised that Tarkin wasn't played by Andy Serkis...

 

Offline Col. Fishguts

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Just came back from the theater. I went in without too high expectations for this standalone/in-between movie, I thought i was going to be mostly fan-service.

But I came out positively surprised, it's darker in tone than any previous SW film and it dares to break the formula in some places, which is a good thing.
I liked TFA, but I feel that story-telling and pacing was actually better in Rogue One.

The space battle was better than anything in the prequels by a wide margin.

And Vader was amazing, at the end when he boards the rebel ship and shows a glimpse of his power, that was terrifying.
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Offline zookeeper

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It was... "good" I guess is the right word. Not spectacular, not a disappointment, but nothing much to complain about. Certainly less to complain about than TFA has. Probably partly because it's just a single standalone film instead of a start of a new trilogy, the baggage from which would carry on to other films.

It's hard to outright praise any new SW film, since they still don't pattern-match to the OT which is what my brain is calibrated to (the visual style is too different for that), yet obviously it is SW so that's the only comparison to make. So, I don't know, I find it really hard to try to judge a film like this. If somehow it could have been basically the same movie but in an original setting, then I'd probably have little problem proclaiming it unequivocally awesome. But it being SW makes it really hard for my internal instruments to decide what to make of it.

Spoiler:
The CGI was the biggest weirdness. I've only seen it once, but weren't Red and Gold leaders just ANH shots (with heavy editing, obviously)? The millisecond that Red leader popped on-screen my brain recognized it as being not only the same character, but actually one of the exact shots from ANH, and the same with Gold leader (well, I don't recall if it was Gold leader or just some other Gold dude). The shots looked somehow different to the other pilot shots and the overall resemblance was too immediately obvious, plus the spoken lines were mostly exactly the same. That was really jarring and I facepalmed a bit.

Tarkin was still recognizably CGI. I mean, it's good CGI of course and it wasn't distracting as such, but still he had this slightly plastic cartoony look about him in close-ups. Same with Leia, but of course we only saw her for about 3 seconds.

I have a severe dislike of this thing of having lots of scenes in trailers which are nowhere to be seen in the actual movie, though. That's just cheating.

 

Offline Bobboau

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ok, so just saw it.
gona just say it, better that episode 7.
there, said it.
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Offline qwadtep

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That's lightyears away from McVeigh's distorted perception of reality.
I never meant to suggest otherwise--only to advise against dismissing the civilian casualties that the Rebellion undoubtedly inflicts in the course of the war.

One of my favorite bits of the Thrawn trilogy was the New Republic having to cope with the fact that one of their ships, shot down early in the war, poisoned an entire planet, and that the Empire was the one providing aid in the aftermath.

But again, unless this is an issue that comes up in Rogue One, it's an issue that's probably better discussed elsewhere.

 

Offline Mika

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Just returned watching it, and I have to say it was worth watching if your are familiar with Star Wars in general. I don't know what I would have thought had it been a standalone sci-fi flick. I didn't particularly feel enchanted by the new Star Trek, but this one was better. Minor spoilers ahead but don't worry, nothing too much here and nothing related to the plot.

The movie still recycles some of the old Star Wars plot devices, but for once the motives and background of the Rebels has been expanded further so that they are not any more unanimous good guys. It's also good that they have been able to break some trophes, and specifically the ending deserves praise. But the repeat of plot devices doesn't feel as annoying as it did in The Force Awakens. The movie really felt like Star Wars actually. Except that Star Destroyer on Star Destroyer action - I didn't think Hammerhead was actually that big of an exaggeration if it is thought like a tug boat. It's just that the Star Destroyers are made of same material with about equal yield strength...

Now, one has to think about the probabilities this rebellion would have actually had, compared to the number of times the whole Rebel Alliance has been tip-toing on the unstable edge in the caldera of a volcano and one has to admit it does start to look very improbable (just like Kane's plans in Command & Conquer). I started to get annoyed by the repeat of word "hope", as hope and idealism alone really do not carry a rebellion - had it only been mentioned once before and in the ending it wouldn't feel tacked on. So now as a side effect I'm starting to see the strategy of the Rebel Alliance as a series of blunders after blunders. So the Alliance has mostly been saved by insane luck and a few capable tacticians, while the strategical planning is likely non-existent.

All in all, worth watching. And that robot does steal the show. Who wouldn't like manic-depressive robot personalities?
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Offline CP5670

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I saw it earlier today. Very good overall, and much better than I was expecting from the typical Star Wars fare. Most of the characters were fairly standard (with the exception of that droid, who was great), but I like how the rebels were not portrayed as just generic good guys, and it's hinted that they are motivated by revenge as much as anything else and have committed many atrocities themselves. The only thing that was a bit silly was the part with the Star Destroyer and the smaller ship. You would think it would either tear a hole in the Star Destroyer or flatten itself.

 

Offline 0rph3u5

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I am back from the showing. And I was plesantly suprised because I didn't expect them to stray so far away from the established iconography and cinematography. Esspecially the change is camera styles and doing away with traditional transitions was very welcome, as it etablishes that some of those are not required to make a Star Wars-film.

The only character I feel like that worked was the Imperial Director "Kennik"(?), the other suffers from the fact that the movie doesn't have space to slow down and develop - which trims the fat but also painfully highlights the cross-media-ness of it all - which would not be problem if an end would be clearly defined, but Disney's procceding foward made it pretty clear that there is no end or respite in sight.

So the verdict is good but not revolutionary. essential.

EDIT: That pun was both unintended and bad. Too tired.
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