Ever since those greedy little buggers at Disney got their mitts on the Star Wars franchise, I figured it was a matter of time before they started to milk it all dry. Of course, you've got the Star Wars part of Disneyland coming soon, which will naturally extend all across the world. But, given the fact that they and George Lucas are back in storytelling mode every two years, Disney had to figure out how to fill in the gap so they could keep the cash register humming.
Hence, "Rogue One," which is described as a "Star Wars Story." It's not following the linear narrative of the other films. It's got a completely separate story and new cast of characters, save for some new and old footage of characters we already. By the way, there's a cameo appearance of previous images from one actress who recently died...an unintended homage since the movie opened before she passed on. Essentially, this tale, which is all about the blueprints for the Desert Star, pre-dates the first "Star Wars" movie. Which, of course, is not the first "Star Wars" chapter. If you're not a fan, this will make no sense to you. But, "Rogue One" probably slides in chronologically between Chapters 3 and 4.
I had no real plans to see "Rogue One," but friends who are not buffs of the franchise told me they liked it a lot. So, on a rainy afternoon, I grabbed myself some popcorn and had myself a time. And this is one of those films that you absolutely must eat popcorn for. It's surprisingly good and compelling. Of course, the story makes no sense and is really a clothes line to connect explosions and CGI. But, with a bag of popcorn in your hand, who cares?
Given I didn't really recognize anybody in the cast except for Felicity Jones and Forest Whitaker, I am assuming that the computer special effects was the priciest item on the studio's budget. Again, "Rogue One" is Disney's first attempt to fill in the time gap between the last regular "Star Wars" chapter and the next one due out later this year. As a result, I expect we will see "Rogue Two" and "Rogue Three" at some juncture. Because it's Disney's way to keep hammering home a brand until you're beaten senseless.
But, for pure escapism? "Rogue One" works just fine for me. And, at 15 or 16 bucks a ticket, it ain't doing too badly for Disney as well.
LEN'S RATING: Three stars.
Dinner last night: Steak and pan roasted tomatoes.