The most famous scene of ROGUE ONE was totally a last minute idea..

Gareth Edwards in an interview with Fandango:

He arrives and obliterates the Calamari ship, and then the blockade runner gets out just in time and he pursues the blockade runner. And then [editor] Jabez [Olssen] was like, ‘I think we need to get Darth on that ship,’ and I thought, yeah, that’s a brilliant idea and would love to do it, but there’s no way they’re going to let us do it. It’s a big number and we had, what, like three or four months before release. Kathy [Kennedy] came in and Jabez thought, fuck it, and pitched her this idea, and she loved it. Suddenly within a week or two, we were at Pinewood shooting that scene.

The numbers: It made less money than 2015’s Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ opening by nearly $100 million, the film still tallies the second biggest December opening of all time in North America. The picture’s opening weekend audience was comprised of 59 percent men and 74 percent adults, with 62 percent of all ticket buyers purchasing seats for 2D screenings as opposed to 38 percent who opted for 3D viewing..

ROGUE WINS: Rogue One: A Star Wars Story rockets to the top of the domestic chart, earning an estimated $155 million across its first three days in theaters

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story scored roughly $29 million in its pre-opening Thursday night showings, marking the biggest preview night box office of 2016!

More! Disney CEO Bob Iger doesn’t expect Rogue One to match The Force Awakens‘ record box-office run, but the new movie is forecasted to make as much as $150 million overall in its domestic opening. A global opening of up to $300 million in worldwide ticket sales could also be attainable for Rogue One

DEVELOPING THIS WEEKEND

Box office news..

ROGUE ONE set for a $140 mil weekend if estimates hold. Thursday sales were 50% of the FORCE AWAKENS ticket sales one year ago.. but the film is still strong, scoring 85% or better in positive film reactions..

Women are going to see ROGUE ONE is higher numbers than FORCE AWAKENS–but men are enjoying ROGUE ONE more than women..

More than 80% of filmgoers being surveyed say they are going to tell a friend to see ROGUE ONE — word of mouth and positive one and one reviews..

Big pre-Christmas box office weekend set .. May the force be with it.. 

Opening night lights out.. ROGUE ONE on the theater in front of me.. Truly a monumental show.. One of the best STAR WARS movies.. and it far exceeded FORCE AWAKENS in my opinion…

But that is my opinion.

Yesterday I posted a story about just how divisive some of the ROGUE ONE reviews have been. Some love it.. some hate it. No middle ground. 

The same experience occurred last night. The group of pep[le I went to see the film with actually thought it was mediocre at best.. They loved the DARTH VADER scenes, but for the most part they chalked this up to a less than memorable movie about what happens just before THE NEW HOPE arrives..

And I thought completely different.

One of my major issues with the FORCE AWAKENS was how it seemed to almost completely rip off NEW HOPE in storyline –this time a massive death star instead of the older more modest version the Empire built– and how it relied on old characters to get it rough the movie instead of eloping new ones..

ROGUE ONE stood on its own. It made you believe in the force and gave you a few good reasons to do so. The Empire has always been similar in its storyline to Nazism. But in this film, we get a more hardcore glimpse into just how ruthless they were.. and how often disturbing the tactics the resistance was before Luke Skywalker gave them reason and morality.. 

ROGUE ONE, for those who had lived under a rock, is the storyline of how the Empire loses its prized possession: The plans to the death star. The rag tag group of rebels referred to in later movies is explored in depth in ROGUE ONE. It gives a face and name to the once nameless storyline. And the brilliance of it is that we did not need Yoda, or Luke Skywalker, or even Chewbacca. There were a few homages and very brief appearances to the old characters we love, but the joy I found in this movie is that I felt like I was walking a new STAR WARS movie for once! It felt creative.. it felt fresh.. it relied not on old gimmicks but instead a limitless storyline.


And my God, Darth Vader was the most merciless we have seen yet. 

At one point during the film, I breathed in a big sigh and realized that I was seeing, in a theater, BRAND NEW scenes in a major movie featruring Darth Vader and James Earl Jones as the voice. How much better can that get!

Did this film had flaws? Sure..why not. But did it have any many flaws as the FORCE AWAKENS? Not to me.


ROGUE ONE is a movie STAR WARS fans deserved.. and the people who stole those death star plans certainly needed credit. Now they have it. Finally, the names are revealed and the heroes and heroines of the rebellion finally have their story told.

…indeed…I may very well be going to see this movie again.

REVIEWS ARE MOSTLY POSITIVE FOR ROGUE ONE…….

Except….

The story goes like this.. On Monday, critics finally got to see the newest STAR WARS film.. the reviews? Most good. Some mixed..
Some really, really awful..

The New York Times. A.O. Scott called it a “thoroughly mediocre movie” with “a surprisingly hackish script.”

“Rogue One,” named for the call sign of an imperial cargo ship appropriated by rebel fighters, is the opposite of that vessel. Masquerading as a heroic tale of rebellion, its true spirit is Empire all the way down.

In USA Today,

“Rogue One” feels small in scale, even with its signature heroism and sci-fi action, and its main players mostly lack the charm that made Rey, Finn and Poe in last year’s “The Force Awakens” — or Han, Luke and Leia back in the day — so special.

Stephanie Zacharek wrote in Time

“Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” will not change lives for the worse or for the better, and it will — or ought to — offend no one. Welcome to the Republic of the Just O.K.

The New Yorker

The director of “Rogue One,” Gareth Edwards, has stepped into a mythopoetic stew so half-baked and overcooked, a morass of pre-instantly overanalyzed implications of such shuddering impact to the series’ fundamentalists, that he lumbers through, seemingly stunned or constrained or cautious to the vanishing point of passivity, and lets neither the characters nor the formidable cast of actors nor even the special effects, of which he has previously proved himself to be a master, come anywhere close to life.

The PUBLIC gets to see the movie this week.. it’s all about to happen. And it will be huge. But how long-lasting?

We have come a long way since George Lucas.. and in a time far far away, we are bound to wonder if ROGUE ONE holds the interest of STAR WARS fans and makes the cash that recent films have…