Friday, February 24, 2017

Ave, Charles!

Charles finally sees "Rogue One" and lays out some thoughts about it.

Just a reminder: my review of "Rogue One" is here.


Charles said...

I never read your review the first time around, as part of my "no exposure" policy. That definitely would have tipped me off that we weren't getting a continuation of the story. I'm a little dismayed, though, if I read you right: Are we getting more of these "fill-in" stories in the future? I'm not sure I like the idea of that, to be honest. I want something new.

A few comments on your review (if I can make them here, instead of back there)...

The phrase "Pyrrhic victory" did not spring to mind at the end of the film--unless you are looking at it from the Empire's perspective, maybe? Not sure. A Pyrrhic victory is one where you win a battle that only hurts your chances in the larger campaign. This seemed to be the opposite of that: losing a battle to win the war. Maybe I misunderstood what you were getting it.

Also, Leia had more than a single word of dialogue. We only see her saying a single word, but she actually has an entire line that she says while her back is turned to camera (I forgot exactly what it was).

Oh, and totally not related to your review or even Rogue One at all, but I saw James Earl Jones live on stage last night in Tennessee William's Night of the Iguana! Weird play, but a pretty amazing experience. Jones was great. (Amanda Plummer was also in it, and she was quite good, too.)

Kevin Kim said...

re: Leia's dialogue

You sure that was Leia talking? I know someone talked to her, but...

re: Pyrrhic victory

A Pyrrhic victory is, quite simply, an overly costly victory (here, too—and here: "...a victory that inflicts such a devastating toll on the victor that it is tantamount to defeat"). The rebels got the info to Princess Leia, but everyone died. Pyrrhic victory definitely came to mind for me.

re: other movies

Yerp—other films are on the way, fleshing out the so-called EU, i.e., the Expanded Universe of George Lucas who, despite his vaunted EU, is no world-builder on the scale of Tolkien or Martin (or even Donaldson, for that matter).

Kevin Kim said...

Jones and Plummer! Impressive. Most impressive.

Charles said...

Wow. I guess I remembered the ending incorrectly. Perhaps I was too traumatized by Plastic Leia.

I still disagree that the victory was Pyrrhic. Was it costly? No doubt. Was it overly costly, though? That is, was the toll on the victor so devastating that it was tantamount to defeat? I don't think so. For starters, not everyone died. The team that went down to the surface (consisting of all our main characters) died, but they knew going in that it was essentially a suicide mission. That is, the loss of the team was pretty much baked in, and survival would have been considered a miracle. On the other hand, at least some of the rebel fleet in orbit around the planet survived--and we know that enough of this fleet survived to launch a counter-attack on the Death Star.

So, yes, I will agree that it was a costly victory. I do not agree that it was overly costly, though. This could be due to a difference in perspectives--I'm looking at this in terms of the rebellion as a whole. From that perspective, the commando team achieved victory through heroic sacrifice.

Kevin Kim said...

"I'm looking at this in terms of the rebellion as a whole."

We need to put you in charge of an army. You're just the guy to send troops on suicide missions. Heh.

This actually reminds me of an episode of "Star Trek: The Next Generation," in which Counselor Deanna Troi, the resident bleeding-heart empath, has to go through a command-training refresher, and during the simulation, she's given the choice of sacrificing a crew member to save the ship. Seeing every life as precious, she fails to send the crew member into danger and thus loses the ship and fails the simulation. When she re-tests, however, she's learned from her mistake, and she sends the crew member in. An interesting quirk in Deanna Troi's character arc.

General "Sang Froid" La Shure.