→ It says sad things about the state of women’s paychecks in Hollywood that it’s actually news that Felicity Jones was by far Rogue One’s highest-paid cast member. A more bizarre wrinkle: Jones has a single sequel option in her contract. (Though I’m not sure why THR brings up “a young Luke Skywalker stand-alone” in relation to that, considering that the only speculation regarding Luke and Jyn was Jossed by the film itself.)
It’s finally out! I said my piece earlier, and now it’s your turn: What did you think of Rogue One? Spoilers are allowed, so go nuts.
The rules, such as they are: Be polite to each other, and remember we have threaded comments so you can directly reply to someone if you so wish. Some comments may get caught up in moderation (particularly if you’ve never commented before,) but they will get approved eventually. I do have to sleep sometime.
The Star Wars Show goes behind the scenes at the Rogue One red carpet and takes a look at the film’s weapons.
→ Entertainment Weekly has a roundup of the major publication reviews. They’re a little more mixed than seems the standard, but there are honestly so many reviews out there that I lost track. (Lots of “best Star Wars since Empire!” Again. A new yearly tradition?)
→ Speaking of traditions, Lining Up is still at it (and sold out,) though only for 48 hours this time.
If Rogue One makes anything clear, it’s this: The standalone movies are the new Expanded Universe. Now, I mean this from a wider perspective than just “how the Death Star plans got stolen.” (Yes, there were a number of stories about that in the old EU. I am, full disclosure, happy to not be particularly familiar with any of them.) But this is a movie that has as its basic concept a handful of lines from the opening crawl of A New Hope. And that alone feels to me like a very EU concept.
In short: Ten years ago, Rogue One would have a been a novel or a comic series. There was a big move to this exact sort of thing in the late days of the Legends EU – Heart of Darkness starring Mace Windu (Shatterpoint,) a small-town western starring Obi-Wan (Kenobi,) zombie stormtroopers (Deathtroopers, a term reused here – with a space – for black-clad but presumably not-undead troopers.) These books took big concepts and genres and rendered them as Star Wars. And that’s precisely what Rogue One does – Star Wars through the lens of a gritty war movie.
Rogue One is the evolved version of this, envisioned as a real movie for a franchise that’s only recently revived itself back onto the big screen with a $2B bang. For those that felt that The Force Awakens may have played it safe, well, here’s something entirely different. It’s recognizably the same galaxy – you don’t need Mon Mothma or Darth Vader to remind you of that – but it’s a different spin on it. (The daddy issues, though – those remain.)
Well, there’s a movie out this week. Whether you see it first thing Thursday night or wait for the weekend, know one thing: The Rogue One books are out on Friday. Namely, the novelization by Alexander Freed (eBook only,) the Rogue One Ultimate Visual Guide by Pablo Hidalgo and The Art of Rogue One. I haven’t seen any of them yet, but based on prior experience I say get the Visual Guide first.
For those looking for a different sort of prequel, there’s Poe Dameron #9 on Wednesday.
Yes, I’m a bit behind on this one, but sometimes 10 inches of snow happens and you have to shovel it. Twice. And then, uh, go to a thing in-between. Which brings us to the real reason for this item: To remind you that reviews for Rogue One come off embargo at noon EST (9 a.m. PST) tomorrow. Consider yourself warned!
→ Bob Iger does the CEO thing and plays it safe re: that one boycott. “Frankly, this is a film that the world should enjoy. It is not a film that is, in any way, a political film. There are no political statements in it, at all.” This film? Maybe. The franchise? Well…