November 17, 2016 Rogue One
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story came out on Wednesday. I took the kids to see it today. The film is considered to be 3.9 in the series in that it takes place after Revenge of the Sith but before A New Hope. It gives the back story of how and why the Death Star plans got into the rebel hands.
Galen Erso plays a small but vital role in the rebellion. He is a scientist who works for Zerpan Industries. Galen refuses to work for the Galactic Republic or Empire. At opening of the movie, soldiers come and force him to work for the Empire. His wife is killed and his daughter goes into hiding. Eventually, he gives in and works on the Death Star. However, he builds a flaw into the system with the hope that the rebellion will find it and use it to destroy the Death Star.
Two names came to mind while I was watching it—Oppenheimer and Heisenberg. Oppenheimer helped the US build the Atomic Bomb. Heisenberg was the physicist who lived in Germany during WWII. He was part of a group of Scientists working on the Atom Bomb for Germany. They were known as the Uranium Club. For whatever reasons, Germany wasn’t quick enough. They fell behind the US in their research and we built the bomb first. Some theorize that Heisenberg sabotaged German’s efforts. Others felt like he never played a central enough role and that the choices he made were simply incorrect or miscalculations.
In any case, the parallels between the Atomic Bomb and Star Wars are echoed in other ways. The destruction of Jedha and then the destruction of the Empire Communication Station are reminiscent of a nuclear bomb. In the original, Alderon was simply blown to bits. The prototype has more localized destruction with a mushroom cloud and a tidal wave of radioactive obliteration. The explosions are beautiful in a bleak way—in much the same way that abandoned buildings and cites are beautiful.
Overall, I enjoyed the movie. It was fast paced and gave us a lot of new characters and new information. I liked the blind Jedi warrior and his friend. Jyn and Captain Cassian Andor are a good pair. I noticed that they hadn’t cast Americans in the lead roles and thought that was cool. This cast was very diverse. The movie has gotten mostly good reviews, but there are those who feel that the plot is muddled and that it isn’t unique enough. Despite its flaws, it was most definitely worth it to see it in the theater.