I recently saw a fan made “super cut” which compiled all the Rogue One trailers that have been released. In addition to providing a sense of how the film might be structured, I feel that for the first time we get a sense of what lay at the heart of the picture. I even venture to say that this might be most sincere Star Wars film to date.
What do I mean by sincere? Well, a central theme of Star Wars (in all its incarnations) has been light against dark, good against evil, impossible hope against unfathomed nihilism. We find that to be more present present and powerful in Rogue One. But why?
Star Wars films have thus far begun with unlikely protagonists. A slave turned war hero and a farm boy turned galactic savior. Both are gifted, even fated, with unimaginable powers that make them rare and gifted. They stand as beacons of hope. One falls to darkness, destroying all he once held dear. Another rises to hope, saving both the galaxy and the soul of his father.
But in Rogue One our hero appears to have no such power. She is an ordinary woman in an extraordinary situation. She has suffered loss. She has become a criminal. She is as flawed as any normal human being. She is us. No magic. No destiny. Just her own skills, along with a dream.
Her team? Well, they seem as rag-tag as you can get. A broken war veteran, a rogue captain, a reprogrammed machine, a blind wanderer, a bitter soldier with nothing left to lose. Yet, this disparate group comes together in with the thinnest hope of making a difference – of even changing the world.
But even without magic powers and riddled by their own flaws, these ordinary people believe in something greater than themselves. They may not be Jedi, but they have faith in the Force. They may not be heroes, but they believe in making a difference. They have hope, and thus they rebel.
In short, I put forth that Jyn Erso and her team are more like us – the common men and women of the world – than even a cast-off father and son from Tatooine. No Jedi Knights. No wild card smugglers. No gilded princesses. Just ordinary men and women using what little skills they have in hopes of changing the galaxy into a better place.
That, dear reader, is true Rebellion. That is the power of hope. That is what lies at the heart of a galaxy far, far away – and the hearts of those brave enough to believe.
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