Dear Rogue One:
I’m so sorry that I didn’t see you in theaters like seriously the first second that you came out. I had made the terrible mistake that you would be a filler movie. And let’s face it, the idea of a stand-alone Star Wars movie baffled me.
How much research will I have to do in advance to understand the movie?
Am I capable of loving any other character outside of the Skywalker Family?
Probably not. Yeah, probably not.
And also, I’m so very sorry that I assumed that you would be a filler movie. I’m so sorry that I didn’t care to do my homework prior to seeing the film. I’m the worst ever. Maybe not even worthy of calling myself a “Star Wars Fan.” Not worthy.
Here’s what I will say: I love Star Wars A LOT. I even loved the prequels.
I got to see them in theaters. I got to cheer for Darth Maul. I got to swoon for Hayden Christensen. Sure, they weren’t my favorite, but I’m a sucker for a scroll on opening night. Bring it on.
I loved “The Force Awakens.” I grew up on these movies, and I don’t know why, but when “Rogue One” came around, I was tentative. I didn’t google what it would be about. I didn’t want to do any homework. And to be honest, I frickin’ LOVED Rey and BB8 and was totally fine waiting around for them to pop back onto the big screen.
And then, the word of mouth for “Rogue One” started going banana sandwich.
Ah shoot, I like really need to see it now so I can follow whatever the heck people are talking about.
My boyfriend and I hadn’t been on a date in a really embarrasingly long time, and we wanted to have a classic night out. Dinner and a movie. And all prior to 9PM because we are emotionally old. Anyway, I digress.
I insisted that we see “La La Land,” because I am a romantic.
I’m the type of person who considered “Moulin Rouge” to be in my top 10 favorite films of all time. This was also during a time when I considered “Dumb and Dumber” to be in my Top 5.
Screw it. It’s still in my Top 5. So, you won’t find me hanging out at the local ‘indie films only’ movie house every weekend. I like what I like. I can’t help it.
And, then…”La La Land” wasn’t playing at our local movie theater. Because it’s Downtown Boise, and they were playing only about 4 movies. My boyfriend argues that they were playing much more than this, but why the heck wasn’t “La La Land” playing? Anyway, we decided to see “Rogue One” by default.
And I was actually excited. Excited to see what all the fuss was about, and as soon as my boyfriend told me that the movie is about the team of folks that get the plans that blow up the Death Star I was like, Wait, it’s like a prequel to “New Hope”????!!!! I’m so in!!!! Why the hell didn’t I google this?????
So, the night before our big date, I fell asleep with little droids dancing through my head. The morning of our big date, I woke up to my boyfriend crawling back into bed with his phone and a weird look on his face. He wanted to tell me something serious before I had a chance to read it on FB.
I couldn’t read his expression. What else had Trump managed to do in the few hours I was asleep? I was baffled.
Then, he told me that one of my heroes had died. Carrie Fisher had died.
I didn’t even cry. I had a weird expression on my face (it must’ve been weird, at least it felt weird), and I looked at him in utter confusion. I was in total denial. Total denial even though I knew she had had a heart attack. Total and complete denial. He sat in bed with me and brought me my Princess Leia collector doll to hold. I must’ve looked like a confused child. I instantly thought of the impact that she had on me. I didn’t even immediately think of Star Wars. Instead, I thought of “Wishful Drinking.”
A book that taught me that it’s ok to be you With all your flaws. And that your flaws aren’t even flaws. They’re a tapestry of who you are and what you bring to this world and we should be loudly sharing this with everyone, rather than hiding it. We should be loudly proud of who we are. I watched her one-woman show of the same title online before I moved to New York, and she taught me the power of storytelling.
The power of knowing that you are enough.
Suddenly, us seeing “Rogue One” that night took on new meaning. There would be familiarity to this story that I thought would be so completely foreign to me. The music would transport me back in time prior to the events of “New Hope.”
I’m not a religious person, but I did feel like seeing this movie on this day would be like going to church. A small smile crept across my face. This was going to be our way to celebrate her. To jump into the galaxy that brought her into our galaxy.
I won’t give away the details of the film, but I cheered and shouted at the screen through the entire thing. I loved the wardrobe.
I loved the slow build and character development. I LOVED the wonderful mix of battle on the ground as well as in the sky. It felt real and gritty. It felt like a true Star War. It felt like the movie I’ve wanted to see from the time I was a kid. I was mesmerized.
And then, in the final minute of the film, after not shedding a tear for the entire film, I wept like a baby. It was beautiful. My heart was heavy and full all in the same moment.
What a beautiful and perfect film.
Thank you, Rogue One. Thank you.
May the Force be with you.