When Disney paid big bucks for Lucasfilm, it was with a view to spinning the Star Wars franchise into a shared universe, very much like the hugely popular and successful Marvel Cinematic Universe.
After the overwhelming reception received by The Force Awakens, Disney/Lucasfilm are now banking on Rogue One to launch a series of Star Wars Stories that will keep churning out franchise movies outside from the main continuity from here to eternity.
The premise for Rogue One seems irresistible as it tells the story of how the plans for the original Death Star were stolen by a group of rebel soldiers and ultimately delivered to Princess Leia in the first Star Wars movie (we refuse to say A New Hope).
Thus, references in the trailers to the Death Star, Imperial armies, talking droids and even Darth Vader point to Rogue One being yet another exercise in nostalgia as the creative team go for ‘feels’ rather than significance.
Seriously, do we need a movie about this scenario? Or a young Han Solo even? The only motivation for these movies is a financial one as Disney seeks to recoup its investment in Lucasfilm and turn the franchise into a highly profitable one.
It’s hard to remember now that when George Lucas first made Star Wars, it was meant as a loving tribute to the stories that influenced him – Seven Samurai, The Searchers, The Guns of Navarone, The Hidden Fortress, Flash Gordon et al. Disney is now mechanically producing fan-serving, self-referential money monsters that seem a galaxy far far away from the original values of George Lucas and Star Wars.
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story opens on 16th December.
… still there’s more …