Star Wars’ Rogue One opens Friday and your kids (and mine) are clamoring to see it. I was invited to see the movie at a press sneak peak on Monday, so I’ve seen the film and I want to share a thing or two before you go.
Rogue One is AWESOME
First of all, yes, Rogue One is awesome, and as a stand alone story it might be better than The Force Awakens. We have lots of fresh characters and a totally new story, but it’s set in a world we know very well. This movie ends EXACTLY where Star Wars (A New Hope) begins.
I literally grew up with Star Wars. I saw it in the theater when I was about Mitch’s age, and seeing the X-Wing I got for Christmas in 1978 flying around the big screen–in beautiful 21st century special effects–is something I can’t wait to share with my boys this weekend!
I’d like to remind parents of younger kids that Rogue One is PG-13. Are you’re wondering why? The official line is “for extended sequences of sci-fi violence and action.” Basically, it’s a sci-fi war film and things are gonna blow up. And characters are gonna die. However, there’s no cursing and there’s no skin in this film.
In fact, there isn’t even a romance in this story–Rogue One is pure action adventure.
Personally, I’ve never had a problem taking my boys to see PG-13 hero movies when they were under age. I take the PG-13 rating as an advisement that, hey…this is gonna get messy.
If we try to avoid PG-13 movies we’ll never get to watch anything!
Many Bothans Died–right?
One of the phrases that kept echoing in my head while watching Rogue One was Mon Mothma’s line about Bothans dying to steal plans for the Death Star…but that wasn’t said until Return of the Jedi. (Yeah, I had to go look it up.) Mon Mothma wasn’t even IN the first movie. She’s got a huge part in Rogue One, so don’t hurt your brain thinking about the time line there. Maybe she stepped out for a sandwich during the big fight to destroy the Death Star.
Those poor Bothans died getting plans for the second Death Star. There’s actually NO mention of how Princess Leia got that first set of Death Star plans. You’d think they’d tighten security, doncha know?
So here’s the spoiler alert, but only if you have young kids who freaked out watching The Force Awakens, or Revenge of the Sith.
Now, what else should I know?
This is a Disney film without a princess. Jyn Erso is just another weary citizen of the Empire getting the short end of the stick. The movie starts out with her as a kid, and bad things happen that propel her into the Rebellion–more or less–rather like what happens to Luke or Rey at the beginning of their respective stories. And we all know what Disney likes to do to the moms…ouch.
Jyn is our main hero, but this is solid ensemble cast, like the other films. Moms and girls are going to love Jyn because she’s a solid female lead and she doesn’t need a guy to rescue her. She’s not exactly an angel, but neither was Han Solo. She gets in trouble, and she’s darn well gonna get herself out. She’s also hell bent on rescuing her father, which is a nice change for Hollywood.
Every Star Wars fan is going to love this film because it’s STAR WARS. There’s cool ships, weapons, explosions, tanks, aliens, snarky droids, Darth Vader, stormtroopers and plenty of witty banter tossed around during fight scenes. We’ve got walkers stomping on palm trees, X-Wings taking on Star Destroyers and a stolen Imperial Shuttle flying around full of rebels. (Where have I seen THAT before?)
Are there Jedi?
Vader is the only character with a light saber in film, but there is a fellow who might be a Jedi on the down low. Or at the very lease a kick arse monk with a strong grip on the Force. (Remember, the Jedi were supposed to be wiped out at this point in the Star Wars time line.) Chirrut Îmwe is my favorite character in this film, next to K-2SO. He’s a blind monk who uses the Force to “see” his way around and uses a staff to basically whack the crap out of dozens of stormtroopers. It’s sweet.
But I didn’t watch Star Wars…
I know, I know. I’m always shocked when I find someone, usually a mom, who doesn’t know Star Wars. Don’t feel like you’re going to be lost watching this film. Like I said, it’s a fresh story. You don’t need to know about Yoda’s home planet or that the Millennium Falcon is a souped up Corellian YT-1300f light freighter. They’re not in this film.
Sure, it might be nice to get the joke when a couple dudes from the famous cantina scene bump into our new heroes, or know why Grand Moff Tarkin looks a little off. (Ok, I’ll clue you in on that one: his actor, Peter Cushing, died in 1994 and they used CGI.)
If you like action movies, you’ll like Rogue One. It’s a good solid story with a light hand on the special effects. Well, except for Tarkin. That was just weird. You’re kids are gonna love it. If they’re old enough.