WHAT’S IT ABOUT (via Wikipedia): After the formation of the Galactic Empire, the Rebel Alliance recruits Jyn Erso (Felicity Jones) to work with a team including Cassian Andor (Diego Luna) to steal the design schematics of the Empire’s new superweapon, the Death Star.
Yesterday, I asked a friend of mine if he was going to see Rogue One this weekend. Like every other person in America, he said yes. More interesting than his skipping work to go to the movies was his reason for doing so. He said, “Eventually these Star Wars movies are going to level off, so we have to enjoy them while we can.” He’s right on both points.
Disney went on an IP spending spree a few years ago when they acquired Marvel Comics and LucasFilm, giving them 100% control of prestige nerdery and childhood wonder. By pumping money into franchises like The Avengers and the expanded Marvel Cinematic Universe, and reviving the Star Wars universe specifically to expand it to the far reaches of the galaxy, Disney has gone into the business of making the dreams come true for anyone born between 1960 and 1990. This cluster of generations could only act out stories like The Force Awakens or Captain America: Civil War if they had the right action figures, great imaginations and free reign over the living room.
Both the Marvel and Star Wars movies coming to life has been the stuff dreams, but my friend’s prediction of “Everything Levels Off” is starting to come true. The sheer amount of projects with the Marvel Cinematic Universe logo plastered is staggering. Eventually, there is going to be some slippage (I’m looking at you Doctor Strange– specifically the climatic battle against a screensaver).
With that potential outcome on the forecast, how can Kathleen Kennedy, J.J. Abrams, and the squad in charge of Star Wars prevent their eventual decline in quality, even if it is only a perceived slippage due to the amount of content? The answer is as many Rogue One’s as possible.
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is more about “world building” than it is about giving the audience prequel to A New Hope; Rogue One takes place in the same universe as Star Wars without being directly related to any of the trilogies. More so than another Captain America, the fourth installment of Iron Man, or even a Spider-Man movie fully under the creative control of Marvel Studios, this is they type of movie that will stave off franchise fatigue. The root of Rogue One brings us all back to imagination we put on display in the backyard and living room years ago: New characters and new adventures in a world we know, love, and trust.
The options in a galaxy far, far away are limitless. As fans, all we can do is hope that the people in charge feel the same exact way.