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Snarcasm: Let’s Complain about the ‘Rogue One’ Teaser Tailer

rogue one teaser

Snark + Sarcasm = what you’re about to read

The first teaser trailer for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story dropped today, and I’ll be painfully honest. I fell in love almost immediately. So for obvious reasons, I have a lot of thoughts (some positive and some negative) that I’ll get into on a later date. For now, I’ll just say that I’m less worried about the prospects of getting a new Star Wars movie every year.

Before we get to the point of this Snarcasm, let’s watch (or rewatch) the Rogue One teaser and get back up to hyperspeed:

Normally on this column, I take on writers who write silly things on the Internet. This week, I’m turning my attention to the many “fans” out there trying their darnedest to complain about the Rogue One: A Star Wars Story teaser for the impossibly worst reasons.

There are too many to count, so hopefully I cover the basics that you’re bound to see over the next year. Let’s begin with Rob’s clear understanding of the box office.

Rob: This movie and all others made after Episode III should be called “Girl Power.” Disney, you are trying to sell more tickets to women. Don’t expect men to go see it.

Oh, the horror. Disney is making movies that don’t specifically cater to one gender anymore. What will they think of next in their ongoing conquest to hurt your feelings?

Except, wow, men sure showed up for The Force Awakens, didn’t they? You know, the movie with the highest domestic box office of all time, which happens to have a female protagonist?

Good thing Disney listens to the wise words of “Rob,” so now their sequel to Frozen will star two male characters both voiced by Ashton Kutcher.

James: I have to admit it’s a good first trailer but I have to join a few commenters discussing the reliance upon another female protagonist in the next movie. I LOVE Felicity Jones. Truly I do. And, I understand that they want to embrace females and ethnicities, but overcompensating and putting two films in a row, then having the next Star Wars also be….well…Rey. It just seems a little much. But, once again, the first trailer does deliver and spectacle and story.

Well, hey, at least he admits that it’s a good first trailer, right? That’s sure to soften the rest of this backwards comment. And toward the end, he even says that the trailer delivers (takes out glitter) spectacle! And story! Whatever that means!

I find it weird (and chuckle-inducing) that the complaint is having a “reliance” on a female protagonist. You know, because so many movies “rely” on this, since we live in a world where females get properly represented in sci-fi blockbusters, except when they hardly ever. Two in a row is just madness.

That said, I doubt James would dare say that the previous six Star Wars movies were a little “much” for having six male leads in a row.

Alphado: I don’t like that they’re making all the central protagonists female. Rey is the central protagonist of the new trilogy and the whole trailer of Rogue One revolves around another female character without a male protagonist in sight (only male antagonists). If they truly want to balance gender roles then have both female and male protagonists.

For them to truly “balance” gender roles, every movie coming out has to have only one female protagonist for at least 100 more years. I’m not sure that’s what you really want.

As for Rogue One, were you not paying attention to the male characters prancing around the screen with Jyn Erso at every turn? In fact, she and Mon Mothma are the only two women who even speak in this trailer. Counting the obvious protagonists (not extras), there were 5 males and 2 women. 

Someone call Anakin Skywalker so we can finally have balance.

Greg: Very strong trailer. My only issue is that this is twice in a row now we’re getting a Disney film where the primary cast is mostly or entirely “diversity based”, with white characters relegated to the background. C’mon, Disney…caucasian is an ethnicity too!

…Is this real life?

Twice in a row? You mean Force Awakens, where a white female was the main character? That wasn’t caucasian enough for you? A white male playing the main villain, Kylo Ren, wasn’t caucasian enough? General Hux, played by Domnall Gleeson? Harrison Ford as Han Solo? These guys were in the background?

Oh…yes, because there were like two or other three other characters who weren’t caucasian, so that certainly means Star Wars is oppressing caucasians by mixing the cast up. Good thing the star of Rogue One is caucasian, or else Greg would just get lost.

Brian: Doesn’t look like Star Wars let’s be honest

If only the trailer had stormtroopers, a story centered around the rebellion, ships and weapons straight out of the original trilogy, and imagination-stretching character designs.

Daniel: Poorly repackaged garbage. Nifty how they have an Imperial in a white uniform. Christ people have no idea the poorly recycled crap they are being sold.

Wait, I’m losing track of what we should complain about. So it’s too much like Star Wars now?

Eric: More like Hunger Games in space.

Wait, Hunger Games? I don’t think—

Steven: Except Hunger Games doesn’t have AT-ATs

What? How in the world—

Chris: Hunger games, the divergent movies, and now star wars. A strong independent woman who needs no man. Looks like star wars will just now be attracting teens

I really don’t think you understand how—

katarn11: THE HUNGER GAMES: STAR WARS EDITION!

Uh—

Yehezekiel: The Hunger Games: Space Edition

I hardly think that’s—

Ghost: stupid stupid stupid. Is this the hunger games Star Wars edition?

ENOUGH.

Guys and gals (but mostly guys if you can believe it), Hunger Games is hardly the first franchise to pit female characters against oppressive regimes. And to blithely complain about Rogue One having surface-level similarities to this franchise is pointless after you dig at least an inch.

First of all, this “Jyn Erso” character (who we all know is a fill in for Jan Ors), is nothing like Katniss, just based on this very short glimpse we’ve been given of her character.

From what we can tell, she’s an adult rebel of action, whereas Katniss was a reactionary teenager who sort of stumbled around in opposition. Jyn Erso has a clear goal and mission, while Katniss Everdeen is forced to kill other teenagers. Jyn Erso is rebellious to the rebels, while Katniss just sort of whined about Peeta during the majority of Mockingjay.

Yes, it’s too early to make assumptions about “who” Jyn Erso is based on this one teaser, but that goes double for these bizarre Hunger Games comparisons. We’re even teased with a possibility that Jyn will become evil in the end. The only thing we wondered about Katniss was whether or not she was going to kill a cat.

StormtrooperP: So I guess Star Wars is just all about women now?

It never wasn’t. These movies have always had central female characters, like Princess Leia and Padme. For once, though, there’s actually a believable ratio. 

Derbi50: Yay. More girl power crap in Star Wars, because it was super low on that. It’s just ungrateful disrespectful crap. 99.9% percent of military casualties in the 20th century were men. It’s like making a movie about men giving birth or stealing all of their wives stuff in a divorce.

I’m not even sure what to do with this comment. Maybe he’ll chill out once he gets his GED.

ShutupLieberman: Looks like a Divergent movie.

I don’t think you’ve ever seen a Divergent movie.

Adoscafeten: I’m surprised noone’s commenting on how the aesthetic looks like a tv-movie.

I’m surprised you’re surprised by this. You know, since it doesn’t look like a tv-movie at all.

I loved it up until the “subtitle” was presented: “A Star Wars story”? Why is it necessary to include that? It detracts from the intrigue of a supposedly “new” story by reminding the viewer that the Star Wars franchise, while beloved, is a highly commercialized entity. It broke the spell for me!

I actually understand this frustration, but this inclusion of Star Wars in the branding is unfortunately essential. It could mean the difference between this film making millions and millions of dollars less than it could, simply because people won’t realize it’s based on a franchise they already like.

Mstrymxer: WTF. Why is everyone british?

Because Star Wars has had British accents in its movies since 1977?

Star Wars: The Hunger Games – Mockingjay?

STOP.

Bluehawk52: Jyn = Rey. Visage. Age. British. Same. Unoriginal. Take the blinders off, put down the Kool-Aid, and think for yourself, people. Star Wars is dying. Send these Disney clowns a message and don’t support this trash.

If I put down my Kool-Aid, does that mean I have to take a sip of your Bud Ice?

Look, I hardly think Star Wars is anywhere close to dying, mostly because I pay attention to things and use my brain to form opinions. Seeing The Force Awakens become the third highest-grossing movie of all time helped me form that opinion, for example.

So calling Rogue One unoriginal because its protagonist is similar to a different set of movies in this franchise is like saying Captain America: The Winter Soldier sucks because Chris Evans is a white guy like Robert Downey Jr.

And as for unoriginality, I think if you actually rewind the trailer and take your own blinders off, you’ll see a load of things teased that have never even been touched by these movies. Not least of all a samurai fighting stormtroopers.

thezim: It should be called PC WARS: THE FAKE EQUALITY SAGA

Alright, I’m done. Wake me up when the 15-year-olds are done with study hall.


Hey! If you’ve come across a silly article that deserves the Snarcasm treatment, send it my way via Twitter or the comments below!

I’m Jon and thanks for reading this. You can subscribe to my posts by clicking “Follow” in the right sidebar. Or just say hey on Twitter! @JonNegroni

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2016 Movie Power Rankings

2016 movie power rankings

Welcome to my second-annual “Year in Film” rankings, where I list out every movie I’ve watched and reviewed in 2016.

Last year, I reviewed 87 films (most of them reviewed via the Now Conspiring podcast). But in 2016, I’m putting more focus into written reviews, so you can more easily search the archives.

Here are the rankings so far, with corresponding reviews linked:

#1 Moana

2016 movie ranking

#2 Sing Street

2016 movie ranking

#3 Manchester by the Sea

2016 movie ranking

#4 Hell or High Water

2016 movie ranking

#5 Moonlight

2016 movie ranking

#6 Sully

2016 movie ranking

#7 Zootopia

2016 movie power rankings

#8 Midnight Special

midnight special ranking

#9 Kubo and the Two Strings

2016 movie ranking

#10 Captain America: Civil War

2016 movie rankings

#11 Green Room

2016 movie ranking

#12 Pete’s Dragon

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#13 The Conjuring 2

2016 movie rankings

#14 Swiss Army Man

2016 movie rankings

#15 Southside with You

2016 movie ranking

#16 Hail, Caesar!

2016 movie power rankings

#17 Everybody Wants Some!!

2016 movie ranking

#18 Hunt for the Wilderpeople

2016 movie ranking

#19 The Jungle Book

2016 movie rankings

#20 10 Cloverfield Lane 

2016 movie power rankings

#21 Edge of Seventeen

2016 movie ranking

#22 Hacksaw Ridge

2016 movie ranking

#23 Arrival

2016 movie rankings

#24 Captain Fantastic

2016 movie ranking

#25 Finding Dory

2016 movie ranking

#26 Don’t Think Twice

2016 movie ranking

#27 Deadpool

2016 movie power rankings

#28 Doctor Strange

2016 movie ranking

#29 Don’t Breathe

2016 movie ranking

#30 Queen of Katwe

2016 movie ranking

#31 Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping

2016 movie rankings

#32 Justice League vs. Teen Titans

2016 movie ranking

#33 The Lobster

2016 movie ranking

#34 The Witch

2016 movie power rankings

#35 The BFG

2016 movie rankings

#36 The Nice Guys

nice guys ranking

#37 Kung Fu Panda 3

2016 movie power rankings

#38 X-Men: Apocalypse

2016 movie rankings

#39 Demolition

2016 movie ranking

#40 Snowden

2016 movie ranking

#41 The Light Between Oceans

2016 movie ranking

#42 Neon Demon

2016 movie ranking

#43 Star Trek Beyond

2016 movie ranking

#44 Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

2016 movie ranking

#45 The Accountant

2016 movie ranking

#46 Magnificent Seven

2016 movie rankings

#47 Suicide Squad

2016 movie ranking

#48 Money Monster

money monster ranking

#49 Hardcore Henry

hardcore henry ranking

#50 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi

2016 movie power rankings

#51 Batman: The Killing Joke

2016 movie ranking

#52 Jason Bourne

2016 movie ranking

#53 Gods of Egypt 

2016 movie rankings

#54 Ghostbusters

2016 movie ranking

#55 Warcraft

2016 movie rankings

#56 Independence Day: Resurgence

2016 movie rankings

#57 Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children

2016 movie ranking

#58 The Secret Life of Pets

2016 movie ranking

#59 Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice

batman v superman ranking

#60 Sausage Party

2016 movie ranking

#61 Alice Through the Looking Glass

alice looking glass ranking

#62 Dirty Grandpa

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#63 The Divergent Series: Allegiant

2016 movie rankings

#64 The Legend of Tarzan

2016 movie rankings


Review: Star Wars: The Force Awakens Will Please Everyone, But That’s About It

star wars force awakens review

This is a spoiler-free review. 

When Disney acquired the rights to make a new Star Wars film, there was a unified cheer that this new take on the beloved franchise would be reinvigorated, creatively. Finally, there was a new hope for Star Wars, one of the most groundbreaking and revolutionary trilogies of its time.

So it puzzles me to see The Force Awakens be the most derivative Star Wars movie yet.

George Lucas has always infused his films with what he calls “rhyme.” That is, he echoes moments from previous movies in order to manufacture a compelling moment. Limb-cutting, catchphrases, and even cinematic shots are repeated endlessly throughout the original trilogy and its prequels.

The Force Awakens restrains itself from “rhyme,” but settles instead for replication. Elements throughout the film are carbonite copies of plot structures in both A New Hope and Empire Strikes Back, remixed and polished for a new audience.

star wars force awakens review

The doe-eyed Rey serves as the new Luke Skywalker, there’s a mysterious Sith villain tied to the past, a resistance versus an unstoppable military, and of course, there’s a destructive space station that must be stopped. There are few sparks of novelty in The Force Awakens when it comes to the ideas and struggles we’ve seen already.

This is likely intentional. Like the balance and cyclical nature of the Force, The Force Awakens almost advertises that its story must firmly echo the adventures of Luke Skywalker and his friends. And that caveat serves as an excuse for J.J. Abrams, the director, to evolve the lore for a brand new audience unwilling to sit through 30-year-old movies.

That said, Star Wars looks better than ever. The creatures, settings, and practical effects are a marvel. So much so, that any use of CGI is actually distracting. You’ll probably feel underwhelmed by one or two of these computer-generated characters who don’t hold their own against Abrams’ other creations. They’re inventive, to be sure, but stand out in the worst way possible.

The best thing that The Force Awakens has going for it is its new cast, with Rey (Daisy Ridley) at its center as one of the saga’s best characters yet. Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) also delivers an excellent performance as the villain you’ll love to hate, and I gushed over the antics of the “daring pilot,” Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac).

star wars force awakens review

BB-8 is also a welcome addition to the new family of characters, truly deserving of the role left behind by R2-D2. And while I’m not yet won over by John Boyega’s character, Finn, the actor provided an energy to this role that his peers should certainly take note of. And like the other characters, I’m waiting intently to see what Finn can offer as the trilogy progresses.

The characters interact well with each other and the original cast. Taking a note from its Marvel Cinematic Universe, Disney allowed the screenplay to have plenty of humor and levity, which balances well against the dramatic stakes and galaxy-crushing battles taking place in the background. Its one of the film’s strongest, most unique offerings.

Because the characters are a delight to watch onscreen, the battles (both with lightsabers and blasters) are more electric than ever, and easily among the best of the saga. The ample space battles are among the most entertaining dog fights you can see at the movies, and a one-take shot in particular featuring Dameron will likely be replayed dozens of times when this gets to DVD.

There are only two noticeable things that hold The Force Awakens back from surpassing the best of Star Wars. As discussed, it fails to fully develop any of its newer ideas, in favor of plot retreads that somewhat break the line of being an homage. You can argue that they’re kicking the can down the road for the next two movies to gain their own identity, but for now, it comes off as manufactured. Disney knows the recipe for pleasing a crowd full of fans, and this is both a good and bad thing.

star wars force awakens review

You’ll get most of what you want out of The Force Awakens, but you’ll also know that you’re getting it. If The Empire Strikes Back had let itself be crammed with this much fan service, it wouldn’t have become one of the greatest films of all time, by comparison.

The second thing that holds The Force Awakens back is some of its writing. Granted, it’s a tradition with these movies to have gaping plot holes. But that’s no excuse at this point, especially when you have a movie that is excelling at doing the same things as its predecessor. You’ll notice many odd and confusing plot inconsistencies that will take you out of the movie, and even if they can be explained in the next movie or two, they’ll still distract you until we get answers.

The script’s job is to make us feel like we can keep up with the film’s mythology, letting us peek into the development of the characters based on the moments we’re allowed to witness in the story. The previous trilogy did a poor job at this as well, and I’m disappointed that Abrams and company were unable to produce a tighter narrative. One or two more drafts would have served this film extremely well.

Grade: B+

It’s one of the better B+ movies I’ve seen this year, to be sure, and a standout among 2015 sci-fi movies. But as a first offering by Disney, I’m not yet impressed by what they can do with Star Wars in terms of pushing the series forward and delivering something new and exciting to audiences. It’s a crowd-pleaser, by design, and that’s about all you’ll get out of it.

Extra Credits:

  • This movie could have used double the amount of Poe Dameron that we got. Oscar Isaac was superb in Ex Machina, his best movie of 2015, in my opinion. Be sure to check that film out, if you haven’t already.
  • I’ll be providing a spoiler-filled discussion review at some point, so for now, keep your spoilers to yourself, please.
  • I want to watch this movie again (it really is a lot of fun), but I’m actually more excited for Rogue One at this point, since it seems to be the Star Wars movie that will take more risks. It’s coming out next December.
  • I firmly believe that many of the unsolved mysteries in The Force Awakens will be tied somehow to events in the anthology movies. That’s all I’ll say, for now.
  • All of the old characters fit snugly back into their roles. Especially a certain droid.
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