This is not a review.

[This post contains spoilers for Star Wars: Rogue One. Do not click the cut if you haven’t watched the film and are sensitive to spoilers.]

I saw Rogue One last week and I'm still dealing with the emotional fallout.

Actually, before I get into this: If you think the film was terrible, want to pick apart plot points, lecture me about how the story isn't deep or meaningful, argue that a having female lead is a pointless gesture in the direction of political correctness, tell me I’m not a “real” fan, or claim that casting a significant proportion of characters of colour is tokenism or that representation doesn’t matter, I have a request. Please, hold your tongue. This post is not for you.

Because the film drew me in completely. Not just because it was, in many ways, the Star Wars film I always wanted. The Force Awakens was good, centering the female lead, providing a nuanced character of colour, connecting beautifully with the characters in the original films (Episodes IV-VI). Rogue One does those things too but I got involved with this story on the level I used to when I was a kid and I'd lose myself completely in a narrative, to the point where I'd have visceral nightmares about it (as I am with Rogue One). This story felt true.

I don't talk much about it but as a child I spent long periods (months to years) separated from my parents, for reasons I don't actually fully understand even now (and don't want to ask about because what would be the point: the past is past and I have no wish to revisit pain). I was with my relatives who loved me in their reserved way (see: Saw Guerrera). I left home at 16 (willingly, which is where I diverge from Jyn).

The way she reacted to her experiences struck a deep chord in me. The (misguided?) idolatry of the absent father. The resentment and anger directed at the world at large, for wrongs and suffering that seemed destined never to abate. The determination to survive because in spite of this, life is worth clinging to. My story is not identical to hers - hers is amplified to maximum agony - but I found her uncannily relatable. I loved her. And I loved Cassian and K-2SO and Baze and Chirrut and Bodhi. And I was devastated that everyone died. It was the right ending for the story but to watch them, and particularly Jyn, end that way...well, I'm crying even typing about it.

On a less soul-searing note, it was also a great pleasure to watch Diego Luna and Donnie Yen, both men with identifiable and heavy accents, in speaking roles with lots of dialogue, and where the accent is just there. It’s not cause for mockery or even remarked upon at all. There’s no reason for everyone to speak with an American or British accent in a space opera that spans the galaxy. Or at least, none that don’t come across as colonialist. One day, I hope to watch - with my dad - a Hollywood film that features a Filipino actor speaking with a strong accent. (I know, I know, moon on a stick. The closest I’ve ever heard is Tia Carrere’s voicing of Nani in “Lilo & Stitch”.)

Also, Donnie Yen gets to be funny, in a Hollywood film that both showcases his martial arts ability and isn’t a screwball comedy. I grew up watching a lot of kung fu - mostly from behind the sofa because technically I wasn’t allowed - because my dad loved it. If you haven’t watched Once Upon a Time in China II or Iron Monkey, I challenge you to do so and not end up both delighted by the humour and gobsmacked by the physicality of Donnie Yen (and Jet Li).

So anyway, watching Rogue One was a significant and moving experience for me. I don’t expect everyone will agree with me, but I hope this conveys, to an extent, why the casting choices and script were so important to persons with marginalised identities.

And now I need to go and sob into a cup of herb tea again because, well, I loved them, and they all died.
recessional: a small blue-paisley teapot with a blue mug (Default)

From: [personal profile] recessional


"Are you KIDDING me?! I'm BLIND!"

I love them all, they are my darling babies, the movie was EXACTLY RIGHT, but that doesn't mean I don't endlessly entertain myself imagining them miraculously surviving* and changing the whole course of the original trilogy by a combination of common sense, yelling and sheer stupid "there is no way that should have worked" Force intervention.

*I dunno. The Doctor did it. The Heart of Gold passed too close to their reality. Q had a Moment. It's Batman's fault. Whatevs.
liv: alternating calligraphed and modern letters (letters)

From: [personal profile] liv


Oh, is that the line? I heard it as, Are you hooding me?! I'm BLIND!
recessional: a small blue-paisley teapot with a blue mug (Default)

From: [personal profile] recessional


I heard it as Kidding both times I saw the movie? As did those I was with. I mean of course now I'm pondering it and would have to go listen again, deliberately, to feel able to state with absolute certainty, but.
niqaeli: cat with arizona flag in the background (Default)

From: [personal profile] niqaeli


I also did hear it as kidding.

And I adored that line, I had already fallen in a little in love with Chirrut but that line was just so full of personality and I fell the rest of the way in love with him there.

(I mean, I fell in love with all the main cast. That's why I was crying my damn face off at the end, for all that I would've been furious if they hadn't allowed such a fierce, awful, beautiful ending. But yes. I also entertain the "what IF" thoughts because I loved them all and this movie was the most real, truest Star Wars movie I've ever seen and I WANT ALL MY DARLINGS TO HAVE MORE ADVENTURES. >_>)
Edited (siiiiiigh thank you fingers for the typoes) Date: 2017-01-19 04:46 am (UTC)
major_clanger: K2SO as Marvin (K2SO)

From: [personal profile] major_clanger


"Are you KIDDING me?! I'm BLIND!"

In fairness, that protestation carries a bit less force coming from someone we've seen take down about eight stormtroopers with a stick, and who later hits a TIE fighter from several hundred metres away with a single shot.
recessional: a small blue-paisley teapot with a blue mug (Default)

From: [personal profile] recessional


Yes, but the bag won't make any difference to any of that either, so the point remains, really. Which is "this is stupidly pointless on all levels".

recessional: a small blue-paisley teapot with a blue mug (Default)

From: [personal profile] recessional


Oh I didn't even bother right after the film. I believe my post at the time said "I don't even know what to do with myself" and it was 100% literal and accurate. But by time #2 a couple weeks later with [personal profile] goshawk I could actually start imagining, say, Jyn clocking Han in the jaw over the part where he totally screwed up a job she was doing before she ended up in jail.

I mostly handwave the mechanism. It's not real, it's just for my own enjoyment.
lenores_raven: (yoda)

From: [personal profile] lenores_raven


Thank you, this review makes me want to catch the movie in a cinema.
redsixwing: Red-winged angel staring at a distant star. (Default)

From: [personal profile] redsixwing


*offers hugs*

I'm with recessional - lots of people out there are imagining what-ifs where they miraculously made it out and continued to have hijinks (or just.. lived, in a new place, and made the best of it; I haven't personally seen this but I want it badly) and.

Yes, please.
recessional: a small blue-paisley teapot with a blue mug (Default)

From: [personal profile] recessional


(Mine are basically all both of those sort of by default - living and figuring out how to make the best of it in the new circumstances and worlds and stuff, that just happens to have the hijinks. Features include: Cassian being the one who just gets intractable insomnia, Bodhi being the one who gets nightmares, and Jyn being the one who can fall asleep like the proverbial soldier at the drop of a hat, and wake up at the drop of a hat. On the other hand Jyn is the one who occasionally has squirrely hoarder Issues about food, and we will not discuss exactly WHERE Cassian sometimes discovers she's hidden food.) (And then all of them figuring out how to help and support each other about these things, while the Force Husbands want to shout "stop making me feel old?" and " . . . when did we become the functional ones?!")

(....why do I not have icons.)
Edited Date: 2017-01-19 12:20 am (UTC)
redsixwing: Red-winged angel staring at a distant star. (Default)

From: [personal profile] redsixwing


(Do you have links, that I can see, please? I could use some good fanfic.

... FORCE HUSBANDS. \o/ )
recessional: a small blue-paisley teapot with a blue mug (Default)

From: [personal profile] recessional


(Alas, thanks to grad-school, MDD and other commitments, as yet they remain headcanons and not-fic and things I randomly assault friends with in IM. =\ Sorry, I didn't mean to be misleading in my enthusiasm! One of the people I know/like and have for years wrote Force-husbands backstory fic, tho? if that helps. Not my personal headcanon but she's an excellent fic-writer and writes moving fic with solid bones.)
redsixwing: Red-winged angel staring at a distant star. (Default)

From: [personal profile] redsixwing


(Oh, sorry! :o
And thanks for the link. If I can find one thing I like, I can usually find more by tagsurfing or finding fans... so that helps a lot!)
happydork: A graph-theoretic tree in the shape of a dog, with the caption "Tree (with bark)" (Default)

From: [personal profile] happydork


Aw yay! (Not sure if you knew, because I have inconsistent identities -- pointlessly so given that I link up them all the time -- but that's by me!)
qian: Tiny pink head of a Katamari character (Default)

From: [personal profile] qian


Rogue One was the first Star Wars film I've had legit feels for just based on the movie. In other words, I'm glad you loved it because I loved it too!

It's funny, I didn't think of Donnie Yen as having an especially heavy accent. (I was actually struck by how American his accent was, since I didn't know at the time that he spent time in the US as a kid.) He definitely does have a Cantonese speaker's accent, and I did love the range of accents and the fact that they were totally unremarked upon. It was almost like real life! :O
niqaeli: cat with arizona flag in the background (Default)

From: [personal profile] niqaeli


I hadn't really thought about how Jyn hit some of my... weird family history. I was never separated from my parents, precisely, but I did live separately in a different residence from them starting when I was about 10. I don't talk about it a lot, because it's so strange and I don't want to spend half an hour explaining why and how, but. I had a very weirdly independent life from an unusually young age. And Jyn felt very -- real and familiar. Not unaffected but adapted and adaptive and unwilling to just be passively affected and changed.

I am glad that it was a movie that felt true to you as well. <3
nadriel: (Default)

From: [personal profile] nadriel


For me, it was more of an impact _because_ they all died. they brought hope to the Rebellion, but at a heavy price - it was a reminder of what they were up against at that time, the height of the Empire's power.

But regardless, I enjoyed it immensely (and I was very fond of K-2SO :-) )
gwendraith: (Default)

From: [personal profile] gwendraith


Thanks for the spoiler warning. I have avoided reading just in case :)
silveradept: A kodama with a trombone. The trombone is playing music, even though it is held in a rest position (Default)

From: [personal profile] silveradept


It was a good film and it worked well. (I was thrown a bit by the way they included Peter Cushing and a young Carrie Fisher, but not so much that it distracted.)

And yes, lots of good what-ifs are possible, when you have the Force. (Donnie Yen is awesome.)
happydork: A graph-theoretic tree in the shape of a dog, with the caption "Tree (with bark)" (Default)

From: [personal profile] happydork


I love this movie -- it hit me right square in the soul and hasn't let go. I feel like so many people are getting so much out of it -- what a beautiful, rich, wonderful film.
.