The original Star Wars was inspired by serial films: short, episodic movies screened before a main feature. All the episodes ended with a cliffhanger: the hero or heroine left in dire straits (much to Mark Knopfler’s chagrin). Except for the last episode, when the good guy finally and completely defeated the evil villain. Yay! Done.
Rogue One is as far removed from Star Wars’ original recipe for excess as The Seventh Seal.
For one thing, the entire franchise is jumping around the story line like Marty McFly on meth. For another, Rogue One’s digitally reconstituted bad guy doesn’t get his comeuppance (deconstruction?). Worst of all, Rogue One fails to embody the gestalt that informed the first three movies. It isn’t rollicking (never mind fun).
Rogue One is morose: sullen, sulky, gloomy, ill-tempered, dour, surly, sour, glum, moody, melancholy, brooding, broody, doleful, miserable, depressed, dejected, despondent, downcast, unhappy, grumpy, irritable, churlish, cantankerous, crotchety, cross, crabby, cranky, testy, snappish, grouchy, peevish and crusty.
Now that I’ve got that off my chest — it’s my gun blog and I’ll kvetch if I want to — let’s get to the question of the day. First, a quick plot recap . . . [SPOILER ALERT]
The Rebel Alliance sends Cassian Andor (named after a delicious Moroccan appetizer) to Planet Eadu (named after a flightless bird) to assassinate Galen Erso (named after a mileage enhancing transmission fluid), the man who designed the Death Star (to resemble a disco ball with a divot).
After making eyes at Jyn Erso (the alcoholic version of Galen), Andor (a name that cries out for a forward slash between syllables) positions himself for the kill shot.
At the exact moment Andor readies his A180 rifle (in sniper configuration), Orson Krennic (“we’ll destroy no planet before its time“) arrives on Eadu to remind Andor’s target for whom he works (Imperial Galen, geddit?).
Krennic calls Erso onto the proverbial in-this-case-rain-soaked carpet outside the station. On an exposed, rain-slicked platform — making it ever-so-easy for Andor to complete his mission and kill Jyn’s Old Man before a Rebel raid swoops in and kills him anyway.
But Andor doesn’t take the shot. For reasons that I can’t quite fathom. Moral qualms? The situation changed? Help me. And tell me: would you have taken the shot?
NOTE: I totally screwed the pooch in the previous version of this post, thinking that Andor held fire out of love for Jyn. Wishful thinking . . .