deconstructing STAR WARS: ROGUE ONE

SNAP-HISS! The STAR WAR spin-off just got slapped with a title: ROGUE ONE. Little is known about the story details. For now, we only know the director, the star, and now the title.

Rumours suggested the spin-off would focus on bounty hunters conducting a heist, perhaps involving the original plans of the Empire’s Death Star.

Other rumours pointed towards a young HAN SOLO. Maybe these two rumours will still factor into ROGUE ONE?

This article will examine what else could happen, including my own nerdy little theory connecting this film to EPISODE IV.

GARETH EDWARDS helms the film. He’s proven he can handle extensive special effects already with his indie gem MONSTERS and the reboot of GODZILLA last summer. These films also demonstrate Edwards’ ability to stage a scene. This is an essential quality for blockbuster event films. A lot of summer movies skip the set-up. They hit us right in the face with action, for no reason. There is no foreplay. No teasing the audience. This is something SPIELBERG excels at as well – think of the glass of water in JURASSIC PARK, vibrating with each step of an approaching T-Rex. That’s how you build tension, excitement, and anticipation.

conceptual designs from a STAR WARS videogame

Edwards is perfect for the STAR WARS assignment because he not only sets the stage for his action sequences, but he also films the FX like a real film crew. If a scene is full of computer generated effects, taking place in a virtual setting, then the camera has limitless amount of maneuvers. A computer can film what a crew could never achieve. For me, this is what actually hurts a film like THE HOBBIT. I’m inundated with so many FX it feels like a videogame. The camera flys and swoops and glides impossibly. It’s a pet peeve of mine. It takes me right out of the illusion. I wonder, how can a camera-person film that?


Edwards filmed GODZILLA as if the cameras had human operators. He placed the camera on the ground and inside cars, as if these events were actually happening. I can’t wait to see this approach to the STAR WARS universe. George Lucas got a little carried away with the prequels, much like Peter Jackson and his Middle-Earth movies. They never pretend the camera is real, but they expect us to believe the characters and worlds are real. It may seem like an insignificant contribution, but I really feel like these atmospheric elements will make this STAR WARS movie even better.

The next confirmed bit of spin-off news is the casting of the lead character. Oscar nominated FELICITY JONES (THE THEORY OF EVERYTHING) will star in ROGUE ONE. Is she a rogue X-Wing pilot? Does she work with bounty hunters, getting dirty to get the job done?

Regardless of her character, the casting of Jones shows intent. STAR WARS is taking itself seriously. They aren’t casting the hottest model of the year. Rather, the producers are pooling resources from Oscar nominees. Jones has proven she can handle any of the emotional requirements. It will be interesting to see her integrate into the action and adventure requirements. I’m sure we’re all in for a treat. 

Other rumours point to the recent animated series, REBELS, and the character of Sabine. Some of our fellow nerds think Jones will portray Sabine. This would mean we have to watch that show to get the full picture. While this is a smart marketing move, I feel like it would alienate the larger movie-going audience.

So what could ROGUE ONE’s story entail? Rumours from the recent shareholder meeting discussed conceptual designs that may hint at the plotline. These rumours indicate an armoured squad of soldiers akin to the videogame MASS EFFECT. This is a good thing. Again, this design would suggest a focus on realism rather than over-the-top coolness.

I’m not sure the setting is confirmed yet. It seems like all the rumours say this spin-off movie takes place in the past, between the trilogies. If so, we lose a little bit of wonder when we know the eventual outcome. For example, if it’s Han Solo, we know he won’t die – in this prequel at least. If it’s the Death Star plans, I suppose this crew could all die during the mission. This would mean another crew was successful instead.

I’m hoping Edwards’ film takes us into completely new territory. A stand-alone STAR WARS movie is something we have never witnessed. All of our stories have been 6 hours long, broken up into Episodes. It would be nice to see a self contained 2 hour adventure. ROGUE ONE is that opportunity. Imagine Jones leading a ragtag group of mercenaries on a dangerous mission – that we have no idea of the outcome. This would be so exciting.

My own out-there theory is that Jones leads the Rebellion. She was the first pilot to go rogue. Maybe she was enlisted in the Empire, and slowly discovers their evil plans. Maybe she believed the propaganda and joined the mission for noble reasons. What if she learns of the Rebellion and our heroes, discovering their goals align with her own? This would be exciting. In a way, she could even lead the Rebels against the Empire, urging on a whole new generation of pilots to battle the Dark Side.

Imagine if Jones’ character influenced Mon Mothma and Bail Organa? Imagine a scene where Jones tries to convince Mothma of the Empire’s plans to build the ultimate weapon, but Mothma doesn’t believe her. Imagine if Jones sets out on a solo mission to get those Death Star plans anyways? Imagine she finds the plans, but is killed trying to escape.

Guilt spurs Mothma to send out a squad and finish the mission, leading us into the events at the end of the first STAR WARS movie. This would frame everything in a different context upon re-watching EPISODE IV.

Also, if Bail Organa (who raised Leia) knew OBI WAN that means he could help with the mission, giving an excuse for EWAN McGREGOR to return to the role. But maybe that’s another spin-off?

Of course, these are just nerdy little theories. Remember that. We don’t know about the story yet. This release is still far enough away.

In fact, we barely know anything about EPISODE VII. I’m sure that will change sometime in April.

Or with a new trailer attached to AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON.

What do you think? Leave a comment below.

” I ain’t no ‘Princess’ “

Are you excited to see a STAR WARS adventure lead by a female hero?

Do you think Han Solo or some of other favourite characters will return?

Do you think ROGUE ONE is about X-Wing pilots or bounty hunters?

What do you think of FELICITY JONES bringing her stellar talent to the STAR WARS universe?

SABINE from the television series REBELS

Will this actually be a true stand-alone film or will it somehow connect to the larger story?

So... What'd you think?

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