Rogue One: Islands In The Stars

This past weekend I saw Rogue One with my roommate. On leaving the theater, I realized that I had been waiting forty years for this film.

A while back I wrote a review of The Force Awakens which I called The Force Grows Up. In that review I say that I felt that it was the first film that dealt with the theology of the Force in an adult manner.

Rogue One is, I believe, the first Star Wars film that dealt with war in an adult manner.

A New Hope, (the film that I will always think of as simply Star Wars) made a promise to the audience.  Not in the story, which was fairly simple and predictable, but in the style of the film.  The sets and costuming and special effects all said that Science Fiction was something to be taken seriously.

The next film, The Empire Strikes Back, broke that promise. I had been expecting a film that could stand alongside serious films marketed by and for adults.  Instead I got a two hour toy commercial. In fact my disappointment with that film was so great that it turned me off science fiction entirely for years.  Instead I concentrated on horror and mystery.  I read a lot of Stephen King and Joseph Wambaugh in those days.

I didn’t even bother to see The Revenge Return Of The Jedi in theaters. I saw it eventually at a friend’s house on one of these enormous VCRs and bit my tongue a lot.  Ewoks? Seriously?

I won’t say that I gave up entirely on science fiction films.  There were a few gems out there.  Dark City. They Live. Bladerunner. Alien. In general, though, I learned that a film that was marketed as Science Fiction was likely to be a children’s movie.  It may have some stapled on sex and violence to bump the MPAA rating, but in general “In Space” was shorthand for “For Kids”.

Which is fine, if you happen to be a kid.

In Rogue One I finally found the Star Wars movie that I have been waiting for.

I’m not going to give it a full review–that’ll wait, since I want to see it in the theaters at least once more before I render a full judgement.

However, I do want to say that this movie affected me as strongly as Saving Private Ryan or Inglorious Basterds. This isn’t a cute aliens and cool toys tie-in movie, this is a grown up war movie that happens to be set in outer space.


About MishaBurnett

I am the author of "Catskinner's Book", a science fiction novel available on Amazon Kindle.
This entry was posted in Artists That I Admire, On Writing and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to Rogue One: Islands In The Stars

  1. Akaluv says:

    It was dark, that’s for sure, but I didn’t think it was anything great. The beginning of the movie I felt was awful.

  2. Myas says:

    Isn’t that funny… not comical but … I wound up with a copy of The Force Awakens on a fluke, I declined the shipment but it was sent anyway, groaned in pain at Darth being the love child of Leia and Han, Luke embarrassed that he trained him and well, now we get to go through it all again only Skywalker’s a girl. The quality has improved? Well, that’s good. Being a woman I can say “well of course…”. I am not the least bit interested in going through it all again. Star Wars has never been Sci-Fi ,it’s Horror. Every time you turn around evil is breathing down your neck. Run out the door to escape and you wind up back in the room with your captor or something worse. Get to the highway and freedom, a car driven by the bad guy’s uncle picks you up and brings you back. No escape.

    Suffice it to say I’m done with Star Wars…

  3. Cirsova says:

    I remember as a little kid that Aliens, Terminator 2 and Robocop made up a trifecta of R-rated movies clearly marketed towards kids. T-2 was kind of like a Disney movie where everyone said “Fuck” a lot.

    • I loved those movies as a kid. I rewatched Robocop and was like, “how the fuck was it OK to watch this as a 7 year old.”

      • Cirsova says:

        I’ll also never forget all of the toy commercials for Aliens I saw as a kid, all “Aliens… SPACE Mar-INES!”

        And T-2 was all “A young boy finally gets his wish to have a father when a killing machine from the future helps out a single mother with her troubled child.”

      • Cirsova says:

        Neat T-1000 special effects aside, I think original Terminator aged better as a story. When i rewatched T-2 as an adult, I felt really embarrassed about the 90s.

      • Agreed. T1 makes a great horror movie. The club scene was 80s cyberpunk awesomeness.

      • H.P. says:

        The originals–Alien and The Terminator–are great movies, and great horror movies. The sequels to each are pretty good blockbuster action movies.

        I had a whole bunch of Aliens toys as a kid. They were awesome, if only vaguely tied to the movies for the most part.

      • I had the Alien toys also, they came with little rolled up comic books that were pretty cool. I remember I had a Ripley with a flamethrower and a bunch of other weird ones.

  4. Pingback: My problems with “The Last Jedi” | mishaburnett

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