As usual, everything happens on my own delayed timetable, and this review, which was mostly written three months ago, got put on the back burner until I could finally get around to finishing it. With it coming out on Blu-ray and DVD this week, it felt like a good time to get it done already.
Rogue One is a highly entertaining example of what might be the true long-term future of Star Wars. A year after a successful rebooting via the first entry in a sequel trilogy that went to painstaking efforts to live and breathe the same sensibilities of Lucas’ original trilogy (to the point that it essentially retold A New Hope), we now have our first “stand-alone” anthology outing — which might serve as the answer to the question of what Star Wars unmoored from the Skywalker family name might actually look like. The answer: It looks and feels exactly like we’re in the Star Wars universe, but it inhabits a noticeably altered take and tone. For the first time, it seems, under director Gareth Edwards, we have a new owner turned loose in the store.
More information has been emerging about Star Trek: Discovery, scheduled to premiere in January 2017, so I thought I’d take the opportunity to reframe the discussion and offer up some of my own musings about what we have been hearing so far.
The show is being run by Bryan Fuller, of Hannibal and Pushing Daisies fame. Also on board are high-profile Trek veterans Nicholas Meyer, Joe Menosky, and others.
This is, obviously, great news. While I have not seen Hannibal or Fuller’s other shows, I am aware of them and their ambitious creative visions. I’m glad that a showrunner was selected who has both previous experience with Star Trek and also has been distinguished creatively in the auteur vein in the ensuing years since his Trek tenure. That’s probably exactly what this franchise needs — a balance between Trek knowledge/experience and creative visions that are more individually driven. Bringing on Meyer as a consultant will hopefully ground the series in the sort of humanity seen in The Wrath of Khan while also being allegorically relevant like The Undiscovered Country. And, of course, Menosky strikes me as a writer that knows the Trek universe but also has his own individually unique ideas. So this looks like a promising team of Trek-specific writers.
Below is a transcript of Donald Trump’s Twitter feed as he watched “Star Trek Beyond” at a recent screening.
- This is going to be one of the all-time best movie reviews. I have the best words.
- The Bad Robot logo is one of the worst logos in all of Hollywood. Total disaster from JJ Abrams. I always hire the best graphic designers.
- Stupid Jim Kirk STILL in charge of Enterprise. After what happened 3 yrs ago in San Fran he should’ve been tried for treason! Unbelievable!
- Kirk went against the military’s brave Admiral Marcus and instead sided with a terrorist and thousands died b/c of it. #LockKirkUp
From a storytelling perspective, Star Trek Beyond represents a deliberate attempt to take the reboot film series back to the primary roots of Star Trek. It scales back the self-mirroring franchise-metatext ambitions shown in both the previous J.J. Abrams-helmed films and delivers what might best be described as a super-sized traditional Star Trek episode amped up on current-day filmmaking and visual effects steroids.
I just kind of wish I had liked it more.
I really don’t have a good reason for why my review for Star Trek Into Darkness took three years to write and post. I could give you the usual reasons, all mostly valid (I have two kids, a family, a job, and still like to keep up with the TV shows I want to watch, I pushed it aside in favor of Star Wars reviews and a website redesign, blah, blah, etc.), but in reality it pretty much comes down to this: After I didn’t manage to get it out after the first three or four months, inertia set in and it only got progressively worse, because at any given point I knew that it didn’t matter if I got it out now or in a few more months. So inertia kept me idle. Then six more months would go by, and six more…
Probably the main reason it’s finally posted now is that I promised myself to meet a deadline and get it posted before I go see Star Trek Beyond tomorrow. And I barely met that deadline. Granted, this review ended up being way longer than I had intended or planned, but that’s just how these things sometimes go, I guess. (Read more…)