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Nataku’s argument is perfectly sound, DON’T QUESTION IT.

So I’m gonna talk about Rogue One, there will be spoilers, don’t read it if you haven’t seen the movie (unless you don’t care!)

Okay, I was probably too hyped for Rogue One. And that’s not to say I didn’t enjoy it! I loved the visual look of the film, and the big battle is a ton of fun, but there are just too many tonal inconsistencies, and too many awkward callbacks. The humor, when its there, is good, but it almost feels shoehorned in. Also, Vader’s costume looked like bad cosplay to me for some reason, and CG Tarkin was hilariously distracting, I wish they’d just gotten a look-alike as they did with Mon Mothma and Jan Dodonna. I also wish the Mon Calamari admiral and his crew didn’t look like looney tunes, and was that even MORE hyperspace shenanigans I saw Cassian pulling off? If you can jump to and exit hyperspace in atmosphere and in the planet’s gravity well, then what in-universe reason do ships have to ever exit the atmosphere again?! Buuuuuuut. . . those are all minor complaints.

What I wanted was a Star Wars film that would move me emotionally. I mean the trailers still send shivers down my spine! The film itself, unfortunately, had sloppy pacing, a bombastic, jaunty soundtrack that was nothing like the music in the trailers, and characters that I failed to connect with, even though I could tell the actors were trying their damnedest. The character drama in the film, over all, comes off as very weak, and it drags the whole thing down. Granted, if you’re a huge Star Wars fan, as I am, there’s heaps of fanservice to geek out over! Rogue One is a superb star wars fan film, just not a great film. It doesn’t introduce newcomers into the universe or give them much of a reason to care. I wouldn’t take my mom to see Rogue One, because she’d just leave confused and upset.

When CG Leia appears at the end, the audience cheered, which felt very off to me seeing as the entire cast of the film had just gotten wiped out (we couldn’t have even a single character survive? A New Hope’s title crawl says the Rebels WON their first battle against the Empire, during which their spies got the Death Star plans). It was a very emotionally confusing film, and that bums me out because, going back and rewatching the trailers, I can see what the movie was supposed to be, and that was the movie I wanted.

 

. . .

 

That space battle was just super rad, though!

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  • charles81

    Problem solved!
    The problem is solved!
    Nataku solved the problem,
    So everything is awesome!
    Problem solved!

    • charles81

      Just came back from seeing R1 myself and I think your assessment is accurate. I feel like they tried too hard to have call backs and *wink wink* moments. Senator Organa commenting that he has the girl for the job instead of just outright saying who will do the job along with randomly running into the two bar bullies was just a little overdone… and yet they skip any opening text???

      Tarkin jarred it for me as well. I understand that a face like that (compared to Leia’s nice, clean, makeup caked face) is difficult and the CGI guys probably did about as well as can be expected. But with that limitation in mind they should have simply used more back shots like they started out with, and have him really dismissive so as not to even look at the lesser men. Certainly don’t go ridiculously overboard in that direction either, but I think it could have been well balanced.

      I think Vader’s suit is explained away by being the way it was in the first/next/fourth film. So done for some consistency, but yeah, it probably worked better outside high-definition. Still wish they’d seen it and done SOMETHING about it though, it was pretty obviously a problem.

      Calling that battle a victory for them… Yeah, I’d call it a victory considering what they took out compared with what they lost and that the primary objective was ultimately successful.

      Agree that character connection was missing. I feel like some time could have been spent in-between battles with letting characters connect and voice their backgrounds or experiences to each other. Its probably all available (or will be) in some separate comics or games, a more recent habit that just peeves me off. I should be able to watch a movie and have all that I reasonably need to know about the characters in there, not spread out across 2-5 different media. I live in hope there will be some extended edition scenes which will address it though.

      • McNutty

        Least favorite part: sassy Vader
        Favorite part: original graphics on the Death Star’s targeting monitors

      • http://www.nn4b.com suburban_samurai

        Oh yeah! A good director’s cut could totally elevate this film to greatness! Assuming those necessary character building scenes are lying somewhere in the metaphorical cutting room floor.

        • charles81

          Its a 50/50 chance. Its why they have these “cinematic” releases and “Extended Editions” because the cinema doesn’t want to run seriously long movies, it wants to fit more sessions into the working day AND the parts they’re most interested in are those that are awesome to see in the cinema (action before story).

          BUT, as I also noted, Force Awakens may have started an annoying trend towards parts of the story carried out in multiple different media as opposed to being nearly all self-contained. Like “The Matrix – Reloaded” where some hints were made at other action and I had to go play “Enter the Matrix” computer game to get that story… Except the gaps and missing story are much more obvious and crucial. I don’t want to have to read “Before the Awakening” to figure out Captain Phasma and Finn’s history. Finn can do it in one line at some point just telling someone how he was criticized by her for rescuing a fellow trooper in a combat sim.

          *sigh* really I’m being too hard on it though. Its a ultimately a great flick and if someone asked me if they should spend money to see it at the cinema I’d absolutely say yes. It’s not Star Wars originals great, but its great and the originals are a damn hard thing to shine brightly in the light of.

          • http://www.nn4b.com suburban_samurai

            I’d actually have a hard time recommending R1 to someone who’s not into Star Wars because if you cut out the fan-gasm stuff, there’s not a lot to love about the movie, other than cool scifi war stuff (which is still good enough for most people, even if they don’t get all the references).

            I’m also not sure that The Force Awakens was meant to require supplementary materials, unlike the Matrix sequels, which introduce a bunch of characters who were given no back story or or notable characterization in Reloaded/Revolutions. TFA certainly DOES have supplementary material to flesh out the background, but it feels like all that stuff was written after a movie script was finalized, so the script itself was written to stand alone. The fact that it has so many plot holes is because it’s a sloppy script.

          • charles81

            Yeah, but when I run it through my head, the fan-gasm stuff can still stand up in a regular way. The referenced storm trooper banter and squadron call outs, etc. I mean, you don’t get the “Oh, thats a reference to *X*” but it works like it did in the original. Bumping into the two thugs in Jedha is about the worst but I hate that reference regardless.

            Maybe I am mistaking plot holes with missing story somehow. I still think Maz could have mentioned how Anakin/Luke’s original lightsabre came into her possession in about 2 quick lines without slowing things down too much.

          • http://www.nn4b.com suburban_samurai

            Sure, Rogue One has cool scifi battles and stuff. But it’s also a movie that expect you to know what’s going on, as it doesn’t really tell you why the Rebels are fighting the Empire other than it’s an empire and empires are bad. Maybe that’s good enough, but we’re not really given much in terms of personal reasons these characters are fighting, other than Jyn. And even then we’re never really shown her relationship with her father or even Whitaker’s character, so when they die and she acts emotionally distraught, there’s still a disconnect for the audience because we never saw these father figures bonding with her. Oh, and then everyone dies at the end oh well. I don’t hate R1 because I’m a Star Wars fan and I love watching all the Star Wars stuff, but I just don’t think it’s a great film, it’s only okay.

            And geez do I hate Maz Kanata. I hate that she wasn’t a practical effect, I hate that the CG wasn’t great, I hate her design with the big dumb glasses and the tiny eyes because it’s like a looney tunes cartoon, I hate that she’s neither a wise sage or a shady criminal, she’s somewhere in between and I don’t know what to make of her. Han acts like she’s the hot shit, but we’re never told why or who she is or anything, but somehow she drops all these huge ‘revelation’ bombs on Rey, yet Rey seems to have no interest in asking who Maz is either.

            But still, I feel Abrams intentionally kept a lot of Force Awakens stuff vague because that’s just how her writes and makes movies. He likes to set up mysteries, and sometimes he sets up some damn compelling ones (see LOST/Fringe). Unfortunately, he often sucks at answering said compelling mysteries (see LOST/Fringe). I assume Maz’s story is absent because it was either cut to save screen time, and/or considered a worthy plot device to cover in the sequels.

    • http://www.nn4b.com suburban_samurai

      EVERYTHING IS AWESOME!

  • McNutty

    Eljiro, please don’t take Nataku as a role model

    • http://www.nn4b.com suburban_samurai

      Too late, it’s the only remaining role to model himself after!

      • private kawaii

        if a better happens to cross by “another model? ELIMINATE”

  • Breakfast

    Here’s my question for Rogue One. This is a pressing question that I must know the answer to as soon as possible!

    Where there ANY Z-95 Headhunters?

    • Kid Chaos

      Nope; this was the X-Wing/Y-Wing show, all the way. 😎

      • Breakfast

        Oh gosh dangit…

        • Kid Chaos

          There were some nifty TIE variations, though. 😜

    • http://www.nn4b.com suburban_samurai

      z-95s are the poor man’s X-wing! I’LL FIGHT YOU!

      • Breakfast

        Of course they are! But they were supposed to be a mainstay fighter in the Clone Wars as well as the Rebel’s primary starfighter before they got a hold of the updated X-Wing model. The Clone Wars movies didn’t show them at all, I was hoping maybe we’d finally get to see them here, but alas alack.

  • Red225
    • http://www.nn4b.com suburban_samurai

      Luckily Indigo’s relevance to the plot was far more than he’d initially believed!

  • Bladedwind

    This actually really does make me think of Nataku as a more complex character. He’s not technically wrong, even if he’s morally bankrupt, so to speak. Or is it ethically bankrupt?

    • http://www.nn4b.com suburban_samurai

      Few people are truly evil, I learned that from Rurouni Kenshin.

      • Bladedwind

        This is true. But even then some of the early Rurouni Kenshin villains weren’t all that complex either.

  • Flaming Squirrel

    *walks away*
    “This tent wall is in my way. Eliminate it!”
    *cuts hole through tent*
    “This fence is in my way. Eliminate it!”
    *chops down fence*
    “This Wataro soldier is in my way…”

    • SlugFiller

      Didn’t Piccolo have the exact same attitude towards some cameras? And also, a moon?

      • chicky joey

        ….MOOOOOON!

    • http://www.nn4b.com suburban_samurai

      This could get messy.

      • Flaming Squirrel

        Deliciously messy

      • Not Real

        Well, you know what they say: History is written by literate people with guns.

      • Turul

        If the mess gets in the way, eliminate it.

  • Xinef

    Rule number 1: don’t be Nataku’s problem
    Rule number 2: when a problem is in your way, eliminate it.
    Rule number 3: see rule 42.

    • Brandenfascher

      Rule number 42: (Insert “Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe, and Everything” here)

  • Turul

    I guess Yori and Ina got luckier with their mentor figures.

    • http://www.nn4b.com suburban_samurai

      I don’t believe in luck!

  • Malice Arlyeon

    Is anyone else been getting a Vibe that Nataku is quite possibly the actual antagonist to this whole story arc – and been playing his entire side towards his agenda? Because like, seriously.

    • http://www.nn4b.com suburban_samurai

      I can’t imagine where you would get that idea.

      • Malice Arlyeon

        I mean, other than the murder sprees, and that he’s been pushing the ambitious behaviour on an impressionable teenager for a nebulous agenda? >> Or the fact that he didn’t want this brought up to his Patrons attention? I mean, if he was on the level, it’d be no problem to explain all this.

        ..But, at the end of the day? It’s also them flippin’ eyebrows. >> In tandem with his dramatically fluttering in a perpetual wind bandana

      • Ido Jeorchim-Litman

        Alex denied, theory is confirmed.

  • Slograman

    Alex! I hope it’s kosher to talk about your Star Wars review but not your comic in the comment section.

    For those who haven’t seen Rogue One, massive spoilers in this discussion. Probably spoilers in any responses as well.

    I want to get one very big thing out of the way that I agree with you about, and that’s the awful soundtrack. Both Force Awakens and now Rogue One have curiously unmemorable soundtracks. I also agree or disagree with some of your minor gripes, but let’s get to the meat of the discussion.

    I just watched the RLM review, and now that I’ve read your rant, I feel like I’m getting a grip on some of the backlash I’m seeing from some hardcore SW fans. I feel like this movie attempted something new and succeeded. I’m lifting the “attempting something new” from RLM, but I don’t think it was a failure. I think the shortcomings were pretty minor.

    I didn’t think Rogue One was drab or suffered from tonal inconsistencies. I absolutely love that the characters in the film looked serious and cold. I think Diego Luna had a hundred-mile stare gained from years of killing in the name of a greater cause that he’s begun to doubt. I think Forrest Whitaker had a thousand-mile glare from being tired of half-measures and now he’s doing things his own way, the hard way.

    I don’t find Jyn to be underdeveloped because I think the movie inappropriately sold her as the main character. She’s the main thread that ties the story elements together, but she’s not the emotional centerpiece. I’m not bothered about Jyn’s character any more than I’m bothered that Mad Max in his latest movie hardly seems to be the main character. Mad Max was always an empty vessel that the viewer was supposed to climb into and be transported in throughout the story.

    Instead, the emotional core is the rebellion itself. Luna and Whitaker represented that fading and fragmented idea of rebellion. The discovery of the Death Star helped them decide to take a massive risk. How massive? They died for it, but they died feeling better than when they ever lived.

    I know that’s all a bunch of dark stuff and thus very anti-ST. But I feel that’s what makes this movie very unique from all the others.

    Consider this, friend. A decade from now, when Disney finally announces that they’re taking a break from Star Wars because of the increasingly financial losses incurred from an overdone franchise, remember this movie. You’ll put on the original trilogy, and although its effects and some of its sensibilities are dated, you’ll enjoy it.

    Then what? Hate-watch the prequels? Watch Force Awakens and Episodes 8 and 9 and count the ways it rips off the original? Watch the Boba Fett and Han Solo solo (heh) movies and watch rehashed, redone, over-visited tripe?

    Or you can put on Rogue one and see:

    -the best ground battle sequences in SW,
    -the best and ONLY good fighting droid (that you grew to love as well as respect his abilities),
    -the darkest SW that didn’t make you laugh mockingly (“She’s lost the will to live!” How edgy! How stupid!),
    -and the best depiction of Y-Wings, the workhorse of the goddamn rebel fleet, and their strategic use of ion technology to disable a vessel much too large to be destroyed, given the X-Wing pilots’ collective focus elsewhere in the battle. I don’t know about you, but that sounds like the Rebels won their first battle pretty hard: instead of playing it safe, they went all-out and downed two Star Destroyers and a whole Imperial Base at the cost of many fewer lives and resources.

    Sure, it doesn’t match up to the original trilogy’s overall power. No Star Wars movie ever will. Instead, it sidesteps what can only be described specifically as Star Wars tropes and tries something new. I’m afraid the backlash will make Disney NEVER want to experiment again, which is sad, because I for one would like to see more Star Wars movie branch out like this. If I want to see the most Star Wars-y Star Wars, I’ll watch the original trilogy.

    • Slograman

      Also Eijiro’s blood splatters on his face move and change shape between panels two and four. I find this egregious error creates tonal inconsistency in my mind, seeing how this is supposed to be a powerful story moment, and now I can’t take any of your comic’s drama seriously.

    • http://www.nn4b.com suburban_samurai

      I haven’t watched the RLM review yet, but how can I argue against such a feverish love of Y-wings? I can’t! For the record, though, I wasn’t opposed to any particular concept on display in the movie (other than hyperspace jumping in atmosphere because it de-legitimizes previous movie canon). My main complaint is that I didn’t connect with the characters. Look at Leon in The Professional! His death made me tear up, and he was essentially a soulless murder machine a la Cassian. Human emotions are frequently tapped in films, it can be done! Hell, I cried like a baby when all the samurai characters got dead in Last Samurai, the movie hit me like a ton of bricks even though it was full of overdone tropes, including the dreaded ‘white savior’. And yet I felt numb when everyone was clinically killed off in the R1, and that is my quintessential problem with the film, not that they did die (although at least one surviving cast member may have actually increased the emotional impact of the others’ deaths). Also, two of our friends literally fell asleep watching this movie, which, I mean, I realize they were tired, but if a Star Wars film can’t keep you awake, there may be a problem there.

      As to whether Disney will be scared off from wiping out entire movie casts in the future, well, maybe (although how many Star Wars stories do you want where everyone gets wiped out in the end?), but social media critiques of R1 pale in comparison to the box office payout, and R1’s payout is on track to being probably the third highest grossing SW film in history. I don’t think Disney’s too concerned about backlash.

      Maybe they should’ve just made the droid the main character!

      • Slograman

        I don’t think all movies are meant to make you feel the same way. I personally wouldn’t want them to.

        It’s possible that Rogue One was meant to have tear-jerker moments, but I’ve given it some thought, and I don’t think that that is the case. I think they decided to tone down the emotional impact of the movie and have something more simple. I consider this a guilty pleasure version of Star Wars. If I want to watch something that’s straight-forward, logical, and visually interesting, I’ll put on Rogue One. If I want to have the feelies, then I’ll put on something like the Last Samurai (which I also have a copy of, and I also guiltily mist up during that movie).

        I’ll agree with you that when the trailers came out, I was hoping it would be an emotionally strong movie. I was also hoping that the movie’s music would take me away to a galaxy far, far away. Neither happened. I can’t salvage the music, but I can salvage the movie. It’s not the movie I wanted, but it’s one I can enjoy again, now that I know what to look for.

        • http://www.nn4b.com suburban_samurai

          I think we’re both agreed on this. It disappointed me because the trailers gave the impression of a different film, but I still enjoyed it and I have every intention of watching R1 plenty more times in the future! My opinion of what constitutes a great movie is not objective fact, as much as I act like it is!

        • charles81

          “And yet I felt numb when everyone was clinically killed off in the R1”

          I’d agree with that. The most emotion I felt was with the droid… THE DROID! The others… I feel like we were supposed to feel something but yeah… numb.

          Personally I’m more inclined to think it was actually their intention to make us feel more than numb at the deaths. I don’t think it was toned down, I think they tried their best to dial it up, pushing to make out that each character hadn’t died needlessly to the point it felt overdone. Rook was about the only one who was even surprised by his end with the others all having the time to face and accept it.

          Obiwan goes down and disappears as he does… Droid probably out-did him but still great emotional hit. Even Biggs did a pretty good emotion job and there was no overdone effort to make it meaningful.

          As with SS though, I personally enjoyed it overall and overall it was still a pretty great film and there’s plenty to love about it, even for non-starwars fans IMHO. Terriffic land AND space battles together with some of the great humour.

  • clogboy

    SPOILERS

    • Slograman

      The many Bothans got the plans for the Return of the Jedi Death Star, not the New Hope Death Star. I got this mixed up at first as well when Rogue One was announced, and I initially anticipated space dogs to show up in the movie. Some rapid Star Wars fan – probably Alex – corrected me at some point, however.

    • RickRussellTX

      Actually there were a number of dead Bothans off-camera. Forest Whitaker tripped on a pile of Bothans on his way to the craft table.

      • clogboy

        My bad. The bothans that were mentioned didn’t give their life until the second Death Star.

  • Wolfy098

    Calling it now “when a problem is in your way, Eliminate it” will be the last thing Eljiro says to Nataku before he kills him.

    • Ido Jeorchim-Litman

      Hopefully to save Yori

      • EBeth

        That would be nice. And yet somehow I don’t really see it happening (sadly).

  • Da’Zlein

    “Kill anyone you don’t like”
    “Nataku, no”

    • George Paterson

      See that’s exactly what Nataku didn’t do. Atsumori had several opportunities to not be in the way, he turned down all of them.

      This scenario gets a lot clearer when you realize that in that era, the solution for a general that proved to be a major embarrassment was to order that general to commit ritual suicide. Because believe me, Eijiro did would be blamed directly on Nataku as the role model. This would ALL be Nataku’s fault when they got back to the capital, and the sentence WOULD be death by seppuku. That makes this conflict “my life or his” from Nataku’s standpoint. I’m not saying he’s an angel here, but Nataku is more of a practical villain than a mustache-twirler or an omnicidal maniac.

  • Ryan Showalter

    That’s not going to come back to bite him later at all…

  • George Paterson

    Eijiro is getting quite the education in practical politics. DS9’s Gul Dukat would have heartily approved.

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