September 27, 2023

Can the Star Wars Anthology movie really measure up?

With just over a week before the release of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, its momentum shows no signs of relenting. But will the movie be the majestic spectacle we are all hoping for?

The production has been dogged by a catalogue of issues since the official announcement from Lucasfilm that has done little to appease the nervous contingent of the devoted fan base. Ranging from a host of reshoots, demanded from the studio heads at Disney to the last minute replacement of score composer Alexandre Desplat, there seems to be a never ending line of problems that appear determined to derail the production before it is unleashed upon the world.

The last minute replacement of Desplat, a highly revered Oscar winning composer was a strange one. The studio suggested that he was replaced due to the extensive five-week re-shoot schedule which conflicted against the timeline of his next project. And yet, Disney turned to the sublime Michael Giacchino, composer of the Star Trek reboot franchise as well as Jurassic World, Mission Impossible and Doctor Strange to compose the score. With only four weeks to produce a two-hour musical extravaganza, Giacchino was reluctant to accept the job until a family member pointed out that he had been writing a Star Wars score in his head since childhood. And so, the composer cancelled his family vacation in order to produce a score worthy of standing alongside the classic soundtracks of the legendary John Williams.

The production seemed to be doomed until the release of the spectacular trailers and TV spots that not only appeased a great deal of the fan base but triggered that all important feeling of nostalgia within us all when the legendary Darth Vader appeared upon the screen. If that wasn’t enough, we were treated to the return of the classic AT-AT Walkers, Tie Fighters, Stormtroopers, Death Star and even the planet Yavin, made famous in the climax of Star Wars: A New Hope. The inclusion of these fan favourites in addition to a story that takes place against the backdrop of the Rebellion stealing the plans to the Death Star has refreshed the excitement in us all and banished these issues to the past where they belong.

Whether Rogue One is as financially successful as The Force Awakens remains to be seen, especially with the lack of such characters like Luke Skywalker and Han Solo leading the charge but, like many other fans, a return to the classic nostalgic days of the Empire is more than enough to send me into delirium. Production problems aside, Rogue One is shaping up to be another instant classic for Lucasfilm which, still has the Luke Skywalker led sequel, Episode VIII scheduled for next year.

I expect us all to have varying opinions when Rogue One is released on December 15th, but one thing is certain…with Darth Vader taking centre stage on the silver screen for the first time since Revenge of the Sith in 2005, we are in for a fantastic roller coaster ride within our beloved galaxy far, far away.

My IMAX 3D tickets are booked for midnight…are yours?

Until then…man your ships.

And May The Force Be With You


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