“Rogue One” has another “Death Star”? Yawn. Five better threats for the Rebel Alliance to Face

Oh, to be a defense contractor in a time long ago in a galaxy far, far away.

To be a Lockheed Martin or Halliburton with some sort of Emperor/Imperial Senate “no bid contract” arrangement.

Because all those rubes want is fresh versions of the Death Star. And if that’s what they want, we’ll take their money, every time, even though the end result IS EXACTLY THE SAME every single time.

“Rogue One” is a “Star Wars” story set in the “Star Wars” universe but not part of the Luke-Leia-Han-C3PO continuum. Another way of approaching “A New Hope,” a new angle. So there are going to be overlaps in the mode of rebellion, the people rebelling and the means of quashing that rebellion. And there are going to be differences. But that doesn’t excuse the repetition that’s already settled in over these movies.

Same damn Death Star.

But seriously, why is no senator getting up and making a big speech about Government Waste?

These Death Stars cost a mint, every one of them. High taxes create rebellions. Ask any American.

And the number of habitable planets out there is limited. In this universe, most of them seem to be deserts, with a few frozen ones, jungle worlds and alpine forest Edens tossed in. Who could waste a whole habitable planet by blowing it up?

And it’s not like “Make an example of Alderaan” or whoever is working. Folks are still rebelling, still scoring X-wings on the intergalactic black market arms trade.

So here are five alternate threats that the New Idea Deprived “Star Wars” reboot should consider. Because enough with the Death Stars, already.

The big New Notion? Kill civilizations, not planets.

  1. BOMBS — “Star Wars” was born in the Neutron Bomb era of Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD). The idea was to bomb the Russians or Chinese or both with weapons that left structures standing but wiped out populations. It wouldn’t take many of those to cripple a civilization, and it wouldn’t take many more to send it into a death spiral. Fleets of Imperial bombers have to be prevented from seeding the atmosphere with big bombs that will end sentient life. The ticking clock finale has bombs being destroyed, neutralized or, in acts of self-sacrifice, prematurely detonated by heroes.
  2. VIRUSES — Send witting or unwitting carriers of manufactured plagues to infect this planet or that rebel base. The infiltrators/carriers are their own ticking bombs. Paranoia peaks because we don’t know who is infected, who will die and what it will take to prevent the contagion from working on one and all. “It’s a (cough cough) TRAP!”
  3.  MACHINES and MINIATURE MENACES — The buzz in space travel circles is about miniaturization. Create a needle-in-the-haystack menace, droids/drones delivered in unsuspected packages to rebel planets. Detecting, tracking, determining friendly droid from foe could be made exciting. Give these machines Stephen Hawking’s worst nightmare — learning, adapting at digital speeds. “2001” and “Terminator” and “Star Trek: The Next Generation” posited this. It’s in the zeitgeist. Why wouldn’t AI be a most realistic threat?
  4. ASSASSINS — This isn’t a big stretch, considering the Role of the Sith. But make the big threat a legion of disguised assassins, clones even, sent to inveigle their way into close quarters with this rebel leader or that one. Then, by any means necessary, they kill that rebel leader. This has “Terminator” tie-ins, but let’s leave time travel for another day.
  5. INTERNAL DISSENT — Revolutions come undone when they’re betrayed. Think Castro and Che, Washington and Benedict Arnold, Lenin and Stalin. It’s “Captain America: Civil War,” only with legitimate life-or-death differences in philosophy.

These are just suggestions. As millions of “Force Awakens” fans demonstrated, and millions of comic book film fans and “Star Trek” fans and “Taken” fans for that matter underscore, it ain’t originality that lines them up around the door.

But if SOME of us are bored to death by the endless parade of Death Stars, and finales with cities being disintegrated up into a flying cloud of debris in the sky, it won’t be long before the less savvy catch on to the tiresome plot recycling that these films practice, and stop showing up.

Got other suggestions? Post them as comments below. We can work out the payment from Disney/Lucasfilm later when they see the error in their ways and steal our suggestions.



About Roger Moore

Movie Critic, formerly with McClatchy-Tribune News Service, Orlando Sentinel, published in Spin Magazine, The World and now published here, Orlando Magazine, Autoweek Magazine
This entry was posted in Reviews, previews, profiles and movie news. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to “Rogue One” has another “Death Star”? Yawn. Five better threats for the Rebel Alliance to Face

  1. Keith says:

    Same Death Star as the first.

    • Yes, and going back to that is no excuse. Bereft of ideas, kind of a screenwriting exercise (“Let’s redo this from ANOTHER POV, as in ‘Rashomon.'”). Yawn.

  2. KG says:

    whats with the terms like “less savy”….ive been looking back through your reviews….your a pretty pretentious guy..who didnt play with you when you were a kid?….you do realize the avg movie goer is just as much a “professional” as you are….you cant bear the notion that anyone can do your job…i cant walk into a hospital and say “IM head of surgery today guys”….but i can slap MOVIE CRITIC in front of my name and BAM!…im you….enjoy your day….and p.s. dont tell me you took a whole semester of Film Criticism in college…..i took a semester of Physiology im not Freud

    • Dear, Keith Grogan, is it? “Savvy” is spelled with two “v’s.” Glad to hear you took a class in “physiology.” And you’re right. That doesn’t make you Freud. Who was a psychologist, BTW. I took a degree in criticism, and no, that doesn’t make me Ebert. But he was a sports writer, right? You can attach whatever title you want to your name, but if you haven’t made a living at something, you aren’t a “professional.” I am. Holler next time you’re in Florida, I’ll pick you up in my supercharged sports coupe and take you for a sail on Orion, my sailing yacht, bought by money paid me for reviewing movies and interviewing movie stars in the U.S., Canada and Europe. But to your point, a professional movie reviewer sees most everything, compares every movie to every other movie, and thinks about what will hold up, what has value beyond next weekend. And no, Abrams-Wars has none.

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