So here I am, four merlot’s, later awaiting the local premiere of Rogue One : A Star Wars Story. Why am I here and what do I expect? A fan’s tale.
A comforting thing
Yes, I am a fan whose roots lie with the Original Trilogy. I have been lucky enough to thoroughly enjoy the Prequels Trilogy as well. And definitly upon the second viewing of The Force Awakens I also warmed up the Sequels. So after the most enjoyable advemtures of Clone Wars and two-and-a-half seasons of Rebels I am now sitting here with my Burito awaiting Rogue One.
The idea that a Gen X’er like Gareth Edwards filmed the movie makes me feel good in anticipation. When I see him in interviews I recognise, or think I recognise, that hesitation, that imposter-syndrome, that kiddishness that defined my half of Generation X. J.J. Abrams very much represents that other half of my generation. The ones who are out to please their baby-boomer parents without really committing to anything. In my mind nothing says Kasdan & Abrams more than just that image. But now with Edwards it is different. That is my kind of Gen X’er.
My half of Gen X is not sure what their destiny in life is, but is surely isn’t greatness. So when occaisionally life places us in such situation we either respond with feeling out of place, or with feeling basically incompetent. Unless there is something we can get our teeth into to make it work together with band of friends, Rebels maybe even. Under the cover of group work we may actually do miracle or two. But never alone.
We, kids of the Eighties, lived and grew up in a diverse yet monotone world. The dominance of Empire was every where, yet it was easilly ignored. It made life have ‘no future’ yet offered a hope that small acts might make a big difference over time. And of course life played a trick on us as there turned out to be a future afterall. Though never like our imagination had hypothesised. Far less nice, far less adventurous, far less dark but also, far less bright. Diversity was not as much a matter of ethnicity, skin colour or sexual orientation as it was a matter of hair-do, musical preferences, New Wave or Punk, Heavy Metal or New Romantics.
The notion of that singular, heroic superman was something for the others. Us was the Rebellion of the nameless, the incompetent imposters who can only achieve something together by … well by being friends and by being who we are, by exceeding what little we expect of ourselves. Maybe I am getting Gareth Edwards and Gary Whitta all wrong. But if you ask me what I expect of Rogue One then I will say I expect to see a Star Wars movie made by my part of Gen X. A comforting thought.
I would squarely put Lucas into the final cohorts of the Silent Generation. No surprise that a late Boomer like Abrams or an early one like Kasdan think that they can do much better that Lucas. Even when they don’t think so their body language exudes it. Edwards goes on record saying that after Lucas’s positive reponse to Rogue One he can die a happy man. That is not jus a word carelessly thrown about for the sake of publicity. I believe he cares because I believe deep down inside he still doesn’t believe it was his role to make this movie.
It is exactly that about Edwards that makes me want to see this movie so much. Sure he delivered the Disney wish-line about practical effects, meaning it but not how Disney exec’s mean it. But he knows the Masters, and he knows that he is the Master now. But he cares to much about this legacy to take this for granted. Abrams told a story about how the force was ‘true, all of it’. Edwards, as it looks, tells us a story about how the Force is relevant for those who are no Jedi, who might feel like Jedi imposters, but who are simply trying to make the best of what they’re given for a mission that happens to cross their paths. People just like you & me.