Star Wars Throwback Thursday on Rogue One plus Galaxy's Edge Newsby Todd King, contributing writer
MousePlanet at the second Black Spire Outpost
Another Happy Grand Opening
If you haven't read it yet, make sure you catch Alan Dalinka's exclusive in-depth coverage of Galaxy's Edge's opening in Disney's Hollywood Studios. It's finally open in Florida—two edges to the galaxy, coast to coast, double the opportunity to travel to Batuu! (Read that out loud) Ronto Roasters, Oga's Cantina, Smuggler's Run, it all opened on August 29 on the east side of the country. Alan's coverage is extensive, with new photos and new videos—check it out to hype you up for your next trip to Walt Disney World.
Our intrepid correspondent also got a first-hand tour of the land's next attraction, Rise of the Resistance, opening December 5 in Florida (Januray 17 in California). Alan said that even with the Walt Disney Company quote that the ride is "one of the most ambitious, advanced and immersive experiences ever undertaken by Walt Disney Imagineering," Disney may not be over-hyping it.
I'll let you read his details, but don't miss the bit about how this ride will be a new experience, or "what it would be like if your Pirates of the Caribbean boat included opportunities to get off the boat and interact with the pirates before getting back on." Now that is the stuff of dreams coming true! I can't recall how many dreams I've had of that very thing. Although, it's probably not a good idea to go and interact with said pirates unless your name is Johnny Depp, it will be quite fascinating to get on your feet and move through the environment of a First Order Star Destroyer.
That is truly ambitious to say the least, but you know Disney has to be considering ride time, load/unload time, wait time. Those kinds of considerations once changed the planned walk-through attraction of the Haunted Mansion into an Omnimover ride. Does Disney have this idea right? Will they pull it off? Hopefully headlines will gush about the immersive adventure and not any glitches or astounding line lengths. My hopes are high for when I get there… one day.
Not the Axiom
What comes next? Well, in Walt Disney World there will be the Halcyon. What's that? How about having all the experiences and amenities of a cruise, without drifting into the ocean? Instead, you'll embark on an adventure into the Star Wars galaxy for an even deeper immersive experience than Galaxy's Edge. Disney gave a few details from D23 saying that "guests will check in for a two-night adventure aboard the luxury starship, interacting with characters and acting as active participants in the stories that unfold around them during their galactic journey." Even while sleeping?
It sounds amazing and it raises questions: Do you stay on the ship the whole time? Do your experiences in Batuu (e.g. crashing the Falcon, obtaining a lightsaber) have an impact on your story on the Halcyon? In a greater view, how much integration is there with Galaxy's Edge in general? Will there be buffets like cruises have? Will there be blue milk dispensers everywhere? And will there be shows? I mean, cruises have all kinds of shows and concerts so I imagine the Halcyon will, too. Here's hoping we get to see that bubble show Palpatine and Anakin were watching in Episode III!
I think the starship hotel will be enchanting but I still can't help feeling a little split on it. On the one hand, this is a new (really new) kind of experience that blends Disney park magic, Imagineering attractions, and essential lodging into a unique package. On the other hand, it would have been pretty amazing if we got another big Star Wars ride that was new and wasn't a simulator and didn't use screens. I still say they should utilize some forest around the resort and make an Endor speeder bike chase through the trees! There still could be more rides coming to Galaxy's Edge in the future so something new in that regard will still happen.
With a themed immersive hotel, there are some new possibilities: the window/screens could show the ship traveling to familiar destinations from the films, character visitors will board and disembark at certain times, kids could go about the place on quests to discover new things, there could be Jedi Academy-like classes (maybe with an animatronic Yoda or something), there could be a whole 'nother cantina with a Bith band, there could be another lightsaber-building experience (to ease lines in the park), gift shops of course, and perhaps, if the ship does jump in hyperspace to other destinations, maybe there's a part of the ship designed to look like one of those places with interiors like the Death Star hangar, Bespin's Cloud City (with Freeze Chamber), Jabba the Hut's palace, Maz's watering hole, and, oh, you know what? Earthen cruises often have gambling areas so how about a Canto Bight section? We're already on a big cruise starship, why not indulge in the guilty pleasures? We don't know enough yet so we can continue to speculate (and begin to save credits) for what's in store. Let's just hope we don't get woken up in the middle of the night because the rathtars got loose.
Triple Force Friday
Triple Force Friday will be on Friday, October 4. Why is it called "Triple"? Because it will launch new merchandise for:
- The Rise of Skywalker, including action figures and playsets
- The Mandalorian as well
- Merchandise linked to Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, the video game from EA/Respawn.
Just to whet our appetite, Disney and Hasbro already released toys, shirts, and other stuff based on the Sith Trooper, the blood-red version of the stormtrooper set to appear in Episode IX. Red stormtroopers have appeared before in comic books and other media, but this is the first time they will appear in a film, and they've never been called Sith troopers before.
The toys of Star Wars have traditionallly given us clues to events in the movies and these troopers, along with the unambiguous laugh of the Emperor in the trailer, tells us something about the Sith have returned. Disney wanted this to be the first figure in the new wave of toys but, why? We knew that Palpatine would be coming back, but not some new mystery of the Sith. It makes me believe there are many more surprises yet to come and I fear speculating too much will mess with my expectations. I don't want to accidentally spoil anything.
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, Not Without Star Wars Humor
In going through all the films in the saga and discussing their comedy this year, I have found that even in the darkest of times, the people in these adventures are still able to find humor in their world. They still have a sense of joy deep within them. So far I believe Revenge of the Sith was the darkest chapter but it didn't necessarily have fewer funny moments than the others. It just front-loaded the humor putting most all the levity at the beginning of the story. In Rogue One, the story centers around a grave mission to steal the plans to the Empire's secret "planet killer." It is a story of making the right choices for the good of others, choices that can ultimately be fatal. It's a harsher more-grounded story than the fairy tale of the saga. You wouldn't think it would lend itself much in the ways of comedy.
While Rogue One may not deal much with Jedi Knights and Skywalkers, it does deal with many of the actualities of the Star Wars galaxy that are not too unlike those here on Earth. There is a belief in a higher power, the Force, but there is also those who are self-righteous. There is the threat of war but also the decisions to fight or turn away. And there are second-chances for those trying to find the right path. It deals with a little philosophy and doesn't shy from real-life morality. So, how do you put comedy in that? Simple. In Star Wars, you add a droid or two.
K-2SO So very Droll
It's no surprise that most of the comedy in Rogue One centers on the deadpan reactions and hapless nature of K-2SO, the droid portrayed by Alan Tudyk whom you may remember from such movies as Wreck-It Ralph as King Candy. Here, K-2 is a reprogrammed Imperial droid who is most often in a state of incredulity. He's good at what he does like flying ships and hacking computers but when it comes to interacting with people, he's no C-3PO (programmed for human-cyborg relations). Human behavior is somewhat foreign to him and so he's quick to point out its awkwardness and its flaws, much to our delight.
Much of the following highlights in this month's Throwback Thursday will involve K-2 and his struggle to understand human imperfection. That's where the humor resides.
K-2's MO is one of constant disbelief, like in this moment when he realizes Cassian is letting Jyn keep the blaster and tells him that he can calculate the probability that she'll use it against them. © Lucasfilm.
In this quick exchange, Jyn suggests leaving the droid behind while they go into the city of Jedha. She even calls him, "Target Practice," because the hostile citizens would want to kill him. © Lucasfilm.
The Blind Leading the Guardian
Rogue One has some of the best character introductions in all of Star Wars. We start with Jyn's backstory and her father Galen's unfortunate situation in a tense standoff. Cassian is first shown to us as a determined rebel, albeit one of questionable scruples. With Chirrut and Baze, we first learn that Chirrut has special senses even before we know he's blind and his friend, Baze, may be lacking in faith but he always has his friend's back. As Guardians of the Whills to a temple that no longer exists, there is a great dichotomy between them which gives us a chance to see the world through their eyes (even if one cannot "see" like we do).
When she first enters Jedha, Jyn meets Chirrut Îmwe, one of the Guardians of the Whills. He calls to Jyn even noting her special necklace though he is blind. Jyn hears him say, "I'm talking to you!" © Lucasfilm.
Shortly after their meeting, Chirrut saves Jyn and Cassian by fighting against a group of Stormtroopers with only a stick and his hands with no blaster and no sight, even punishing one trooper by pinning his boot with his staff. "Is your foot alright?" he jokes. © Lucasfilm.
After he clears the area, more troops suddenly arrive in an ambush and we know Chirrut is in trouble. The framing of the moment is funny because of the unfortunate irony that he cannot see them coming. © Lucasfilm.
Soon after the skirmish in the city, our heroes are captured to be taken to Saw Gerrera's hideout. Before they leave, the rebels cover their faces so as not to know Saw's location. When they put a hood on Chirrut, he points out, "Are you kidding? I'm blind!" © Lucasfilm.
Back to U-Wing's Pilot (K-2)
Although he was told to wait on the U-Wing so the others could blend in, K-2SO came into the city to help when he saw a battle breaking out. After nonchalantly tossing a grenade to blow up some Stormtroopers, he quips, "There's an awful lot of explosions for people blending in." © Lucasfilm.
K-2 is quite bad at lying and acting. On Jedha, he can't quite improv his way through a situation with Stormtroopers who take him for a bailiff. "I'm taking these prisoners," he stammers, "I'm imprisoning them in ... prison." © Lucasfilm.
K-2 can get away with stating the obvious because it is part of his character, but we love it when the irony of some of his statements are probably lost on him. Like when he says, after Jedha has been hit with a Death Star blast, "There's a problem on the horizon. There is no horizon." © Lucasfilm.
K-2's matter-of-fact attitude can often lead to hilarious inappropriateness like when Bodhi, the defector, says if their plan doesn't work they'll die in the vacuum of space. K-2 points out, "I can survive in space." Thanks buddy. © Lucasfilm.
With so much of the comedy in this film given to K-2SO, it is fitting he say the common line in all Star Wars films, "I have a bad feeling about thi--" but also fitting that he's cut off as Cassian and Jyn both shush him. © Lucasfilm.
There are a few cameos in Rogue One, not the least of which is Jimmy Smits as Bail Organa who added a real sense of gravitas to the story and a connection from the prequels to this film. Others are more fan-service cameos and/or continuity staples. I would not call Darth Vader's appearance a cameo although his screentime would lend itself to that definition. He represents something of an opposite to Bail Organa who brings hope, and Vader brings fear (and a one-line joke).
I laughed, of course, when I saw C-3PO and R2-D2 at the Rebel base. I thought to myself, "There we go, 3PO/Anthony Daniels is in every Star Wars movie!" (Up to that point). It was just nice to see them--a fair bit of fan service. © Lucasfilm.
Darth Vader even gets a funny moment in Rogue One (I mean, this movie!). Krennic still aspires to be in charge of the Death Star while Vader puts an end to his desires by cutting off his windpipe with the Force. "Don't choke on your aspirations, Director." © Lucasfilm.
Next Throwback noto so far Back
I hope you enjoyed my quick look through some of the funny moments from Rogue One. What did I miss? Are there some other comedic or just plain awesome moments you like? Share them here on MousePad. Next time I will continue my humor-highlighting journey through the movies with the film everyone agrees completely about in every single way: The Last Jedi. Oh yes, it has plenty of humorous moments and almost all of them are intentional (kidding). Please join me then for more fun times with Star Wars again (note: Star Wars is always fun). Thank you for reading! Bright Suns!