Film Preview: Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016)

Page Revisions:

(April 10, 2016) Original
(August 14, 2016) New Trailer (#2)
(October 16, 2016) New Trailer (#3) / New Posters (#2-#5)
(November 27, 2016) New Trailer (#4) / New Posters (#6-#29)
(December 11, 2016) New Posters (#30-#41)

Release Date:

December 16, 2016


From IMDb: “Rebels set out on a mission to steal the plans for the Death Star.”

Poster Rating: D+ / C+ / C- / C / B / B (2) / B+ / C+ / B- / B / C / B / C+ (8) / C- (8) / D+ / B+ / C+ / D (8) / B

Review: (#1) A simple placeholder will surely please fans who are just excited to know the film is coming. For everyone else, it’s pointless.

(#2) The design may trigger the appreciation of franchise fans, but the cheap effects work doesn’t accentuate the design nearly as well as hoped. (#3) Are we at a discotheque? This hallway shot is striking, but not in the best of ways. (#4) A lone woman on the beach with the Death Star looming over her. It would have more impact if it were more successfully detailed. (#5) For the most part, this works incredibly well. You have the full cast on display and plenty of nostalgia in its design elements, but there’s a lot of blank and wasted space that doesn’t embellish it quite well enough.

(#6 & #7) These two designs, using slight different title/info sections at the bottom, are otherwise identical. They are filled with detail, which is the main reason they work so well, especially as they tie in well to prior Star Wars offerings. (#8) The 1970s poster style looks visually daring even if it isn’t technically so. The excessive blank space in the design hinders its quality. (#9) A cheesy shadow with a bland backdrop. (#10) A different color scheme than previously and it works well enough.

(#11) A design that looks like a striking watercolor portrait ties into prior films in the franchise with its fascinating detail. (#12) What hinders this design so much is that attempt to place it all into an outline of Darth Vader’s helmet, which makes it look clunky and unfocused. (#13) Like design #8, this has a classicism that is appealing with a backdrop that’s less stark. (#14-#21) Of the two current series of character posters, this has a darkness that makes it compelling, though the lack of differing detail between designs is unfortunate. (#23-#29) This set of character posters may have more pleasing backgrounds, but the super-imposed characters against identical backgrounds isn’t distinct enough.

(#30) This artisanal poster, a term I use for designs that aren’t really marketing tools, but seem more designed for collectors, is a weak effort. You can barely see the figures within the word “HOPE,” which doesn’t help alleviate the boredom one would feel looking at this. (#31) This black-and-white design is a triumph. It’s subtle, yet beautiful. A study in how to create something artistic without making the concept feel cheesy. (#32) This falls under my prior comments of the character poster set #14-#21.

(#33-#40) The worst set of character posters yet. The background never changes, which is a problem with prior entries, but there’s nothing visually interesting in this particular set. The poses are unimpressive and the background is dull. I’ll give a small amount of credit for coating each character’s clothing with an overlay of Death Star plans. (#41) Like the prior successful incarnations, this design has all the visual style we’ve come to expect from this franchise while keeping the details fresh and interesting (even if we’ve seen it all before).

Trailer Rating: B / A- / B+ / B

Review: (#1) The subtle musical overlay that brings the audience into the Star Wars universe accompanied by countless visual reminders will easily erase any doubt in the mind of true fans, but if you already know the story, getting there might not be nearly as much fun as it sounds.

(#2) For those who aren’t really enthused by the Star Wars franchise, this trailer paints a portrait of a film that has all the makings of an exciting adventure that just so happens to exist within the Star Wars universe. Tense, dark, and compelling. This trailer should intrigue fans and non-fans alike.

(#3) More so than a tale of rebellion, the film gets a fleshed out trailer that examines the central character’s motive as well as exploring what gets her involved and where the action might be going. It certainly looks like it could be a better film than the last four.

(#4) The quality of this trailer is significantly lower than expected, but it appears to be official. That said, this trailer is a bit more blatant than prior offerings and there are attempts to add levity, which feels a bit out of place. This will still do a good job selling the film.

Oscar Prospects:

We now have to speak annually about the prospects of yet another Star Wars film picking up Oscar nominations. This one will likely appeal to the sound and visual effects departments, but I doubt it will reach the level of success of The Force Awakens.

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