Edinburgh Cinema

Edinburgh’s cinemas have their own, different feel. When I visit them, I’ll be writing about both the film and the place, giving you the organic experience. Film critics on the big scale can’t really cater for this, so I hope my reviews bring something extra in this respect.

21.12.16 Star Wars: Rogue One

21.12.16 Star Wars: Rogue One

21/12/16, Star Wars: Rogue One (the film The Return of the Jedi should have been)

It didn't start promisingly, a lot of jumping around from planet to planet, scene to scene, trying to establish different characters in different situations. The cast is good, not all are well-known (a strength), but plenty of charisma and people you can empathise with, not least with the main villain played by Ben Mendleson, but also - and importantly - with strong secondary characters played by Riz Ahmed, Diego Luna and Donnie Yen. Then the final third begins to unfurl, and you find yourself watching the film Return of the Jedi (1983) should have been, where good people do die, rather than miraculously all surviving a laser-and-explosions finale for a warm, fuzzy ending. This is the first 'Star Wars' movie I've watched as an adult where, at the end, I was gripped with emotion, and needed to fight back the tears.

The parallels and contrasts to the final third of The Return of the Jedi which closed the original trilogy in the early1980s are marked. You have a collection of rebel ground troops fighting their way toward something; meanwhile up above you have a Death Star under construction, and a rebel fleet trying to buy time for the troops below. You even have similar characters in the rebel space fleet to make the connection stronger.

The difference is, the troops down below begin to go down, one by one. They're dying for a cause and it's tragic and moving. You have a heroic couple who you're not sure whether they're going to hate each other or love each other who end up facing death together, knowing they succeeded at the last, in doing what needed to be done, and what they feel towards each other is admiration and love. You don't have fuzzy little ewoks. Instead of a constantly whinging C3PO, you get a much funnier, and ultimately more heroic android that's more 'Marvin the Paranoid Android' from Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, whose unhidden dislike of everyone and cynicism of every situation is welcome comic relief but never overused. His ending too, has quite a powerful sense of redemption in it.

You also, crucially, get Darth Vader at his frightening best, in one particular scene as a combination of Nolan's Batman and The Terminator, involving a dark room of trapped rebel soldiers. Oh God, why can't they have more of these kind of films with Darth Vader?

There are some bits I didn't like involving what I'm guessing is CGI to recreate characters from the 1977 original. It makes one wonder whether they'll recreate actors and actresses from the past, back in their prime. The implications for film-making are quite significant, but based on this film, they still have a way to go.

Nevertheless, it would be churlish of me to dwell on this peripheral issue. Rogue One is good fun, and the ending has a kind of lingering beauty. As a Star Wars fan, I'm aware there are other possibilities for these kind of 'associated' films, eg the similar acquisition of plans for the 'new' Death Star referred to in The Return of the Jedi (brilliantly realized, in fact, by Marvel comics in the 1980s). More films about Darth Vader, as Darth Vader, eg trying to discover the identity of the young pilot so strong in the force who destroyed the first Death Star – his son Luke Skywalker. I was afraid such films would ruin the legacy of that wonderful, original trilogy, but now I'm quietly hoping for more.
05.01.12 Passengers
Snowden / The World I Live In (2) 11.12.16
 

Comments

No comments made yet. Be the first to submit a comment
Guest
Monday, 08 March 2021

Captcha Image

What's On This Week

My Latest Posts

December 22, 2020

Lacanian Icarus: when Gina flew too close to the sun?

On the recent experience of nearly being no-platformed There are two identities in one when it comes to being part of a disempowered minority. The first is for yourself: all your failings, your insecurities, your doubts, and connected to this, your curiosity and quirks. Let's be Lacanian analysts for a moment: what we're talking about is the transg...
November 17, 2020

If I were to detransition, this is what I would write

Warning: this is a speculative piece of writing, not an official announcement, although I have recently begun to imagine an 'ideological' detransition (from trans woman to GNC male). Here, I'm trying to articulate and reflect on my thoughts and feelings, and imagining myself from a different perspective. In this post, I'm Gina v...
November 17, 2020

Trans Hell-thcare

The picture accompanying this post is important to me. I took it yesterday, 16 November 2020, unsure what I'd find. It's been nearly eleven months since I came off oestrogen for reasons I'll get into in a moment. Undoubtedly this has had an effect on me, bodily and therefore psychologically, but the accompanying selfie gives me a reassura...
October 17, 2020

What if gender-critical feminism came to power?

This scenario is inspired by a dialogue I had yesterday evening with a gender-critical feminist just before I went to bed. Here is what I dreamed: In the summer of 2021, the Conservative minister Liz Truss introduces legislation, making women-only spaces legally accessible only to those born female. This U.K. law includes a provision for funding al...
October 13, 2020

Responses to my blog post (1)

A frustrating aspect of my website is that when people write in, there's no trace of an email address so no way of getting back to people, and also no way of publishing their messages. However, I received such a nice response to my article just now that I'd like to include it here. It's from some who for the sake of confidentiality (in case it's ne...
October 11, 2020

On adopting a more gender-critical transgender activism

On adopting a more gender-critical transgender activism Note to the reader: This post is intended as a contribution to addressing the current tensions between transgender activism and gender-critical feminism. The way I see myself in relation to female i dentity, and the ideas I express here, are not a prescription for other trans women. The t...
May 11, 2020

The Book of Queer Prophets, curated by Ruth Hunt

in Books

  The Book of Queer Prophets: 24 Writers on Sexuality and Religion The historically fraught relationship between Abrahamic religions and LGBT+ identities provides the backdrop to The Book of Queer Prophets , a collection of twenty-four meditations by public figures who identify as both religious and LGBT+. The book's curator, the for...
May 09, 2020

Queer/Transgender short film: Mesmeralda

Joshua Matteo's short film, Mesmeralda , merging horror with esoterica, is now out on youtube . As with his previous work Metanoia , we see youthful trans actors racing through the empty streets of a moonlit New York, haunted by symbols and stalked by a masked figure of violent intentions. Mesmeralda , as described by Matteo, is the companion ...
March 08, 2020

Sterile like the moon: the joys of transgender healthcare

Sterile like the moon: the joys of transgender healthcare Summer, 2016: Gina's Big Bang, as transitioning begins A bureaucratic question in a sun-lit room. My medical practitioner asks me if I intend to have children. The question lingers, but the self-loathing is instant. No, I won't be having children. The practitioner nods. She moves on to the n...