New 'Rogue One' Photos Prove This Film Is Full Of Nostalgic Goodness Thanks To It's Throwback Feel — PHOTO
When thinking about the parts of a film that really make it a film, what part is the most key in your opinion? Is it the cast? The story? The director? The aesthetic? With the slew of new pictures released for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, the look of this film is actually going to be a major key in how we, the viewers, will access and relate to the story. Rogue One will legit be the mother of all prequels in the Star Wars universe, and to do so, how the film looks is going to be big. Sure, the prequel is going to have to cover the ins and outs of the plot. Yes, we're going to have Darth Vader come back to the Star Wars universe and give us all a major hit of nostalgia. But it's the aesthetic of the film that will stir up the nostalgia the hardest and that could be the one major key in whether or not Rogue One is a success. The pictures released by Entertainment Weekly show us that director Gareth Edwards is committed to a vision of the Star Wars universe that aligns with the original look of the films — a look so deeply ingrained in the public consciousness that it all but acts as validation in the good things to come from Rogue One.
Think I'm wrong? Let's think of it like this: wouldn't it make a bit of sense for Edwards and the Rogue One team to want to preserve the integrity of the franchise, especially when going back in time into the beginning of one of cinema's most beloved stories actually? When we as filmgoers are watching this prequel (of sorts), the first way that we'll be doing it is by sight. The visuals are the one constant that have kept our attention as Rogue One details have been released. In the case of Rogue One's aesthetic, it's a major callback to the Star Wars of 1977 and similar adventure epics of the '80s, like Indiana Jones.
In this way, Rogue One is already charged with the same kind of heady nostalgia that we saw in J.J. Abrams's Star Trek, where the aesthetic was the bright, shiny, light-streaked space age of the original television series. In film, the way film viewers access what they're watching through their sight as a means of processing and, in a way, feeling the film is called phenomenology. The phenomenological viewer looks at the film and, in processing what they see before them, experience a film both consciously and subconsciously; the subconscious here being the nostalgic love we viewers would ostensibly carry into Rogue One from the previous films.
Consider what we have seen of the costumes in Rogue One. They're simple in design, reminiscent of the clothes worn by Luke Skywalker and Han Solo in the original films. Jyn and Cassian's clothing is the functional clothing of a rebel fighter, worn in and rough. That's Han Solo's aesthetic all over. Similarly, those soldiers rushing off to battle and the guards leading Jyn in to see Mon Mothma are all suited up in the same gear that the rebel fighters and guards of the first Star Wars. It's not only the clothing either. The sets, like the one we see Orson Krennic standing in, have a simplicity of the first films without being flimsy. It evokes the spaces we've cultivated a love for — here, it's the Death Star — without being overtly kitsch.
The nostalgia elicited by the roughness or realness of the look of it is precisely what will set Rogue One up for major box office wins and a warm fan reception. Whereas The Force Awakens brought back a ton of original characters for fans to reconnect with, Rogue One will bring back in the look and feel of it. Naturally, I'm sure the story and acting are going to blow us all away — don't get me wrong. It's nice, though, to see that there is also a callback and preservation of the older aesthetic and for me, that's a sign of good things to come.