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The newest Heat Vision asks the question “Is ‘Rogue One’ a Detour Too Early?” The article reasons that J.J. Abrams and Lawrence Kasdan just got Star Wars moving forward for the first time since 1983 and now here we are looking backward again. If you disagree, don’t place any anger towards the The Hollywood Reporter and its story. The truth is more people feel this way than not. I think the question is a fair question and one a lot of people are asking.
The truth is, this type of release schedule is the best for Star Wars. We’re moving forward with Star Wars like the Marvel Cinematic Universe. But with Star Wars the superheroes have the same powers or slight variations of the various archetypes to play with. That means for Star Wars to stay as fresh as possible Star Wars has to play with eras a little more than The Marvel Cinematic Universe. The hurdle Star Wars faces is the same as the one it faced back when it had to explain to people the prequel trilogy took place years before the first one.
There are Star Wars fans that are only fans of the Original Trilogy era, the Clone Wars era, or even the Old Republic era. Imagine there’s a trilogy you don’t like being made. Every other year there could be a movie that interests you. It allows Star Wars to be for everyone all the time despite the type of fan one may be. Each film has the opportunity to do something different and the opportunity to satiate the fans not getting what they wanted from the last released Star Wars film.
I do admit, it is hard to shift focus away from thinking of what the future will entail for Rey, Finn, and Poe. It is hard to imagine another ensemble of characters being introduced in less than a year that do not interface with the saga The Force Awakens cast is a part of right now. That said, a part of me is elated by the idea that we get to take that break and let that breathe for a few moments. It feels like having all of these various films in between the episodes will allow us to follow Star Wars down other rabbit holes and not feel like the wait was so great.
That was part of the problem with the prequel era for some fans that were disappointed. Not only did they have to wait three years between films, but they had to anticipate films they didn’t connect with or like and the supply was limited. Today, we get to watch Star Wars yearly, enjoy it, dislike it, or whatever, but next year there will be something new and something different. I enjoy that prospect.
The only problem I foresee is convincing people like my parents that this next film had nothing to do with the last one and takes place in a different era. But I suppose that’s why someone over there at Disney or Lucasfilm makes the big bucks. I think they can make that happen too. It won’t be easy with a 40-year history of Star Wars operating one way, but saying it’s kind of like the Marvel movies might solve that. The marketing people just need to specifically set the setting and the era. People are smarter than we give them credit for, more often than not.
The Force Awakens is less than a month old. I think the Rogue One thirst will pick up soon, especially after they show us something. I can tell you that just seeing the CGI Star Wars Celebration teaser for Rogue One was enough to get me pumped on the premise. The pitch worked on me really well. Now, the rest of the world outside the Celebration crowd needs to get the Rogue One pitch. I think they might like it. But let’s not pretend like general audiences even know what this movie is or what it proposes to do.