SPOILER FREE REVIEW: Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

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Finally, the wait is over, the vale has been lifted and we have had a chance to enjoy the most anticipated movie of this year! We here at Star Wars Dubrovnik will bring you the full, spoiler loaded review in a few days when most of you have already seen the movie, but for now, here’s a teaser review for all of you who are still about to see it. Again, this is a completely spoiler free text except for my own subjective experience of the movie’s quality and hints about the main positives and negatives.

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First thing’s first, let me get my fan boy raving out of the way and tell you to go and see this movie! Whether you will enjoy it or not, whether you are a fan of the franchise or not, you really want to see this movie. (nobody is paying me to say this btw)

Ever since the Dubrovnik filming of Star Wars Episode 8 this winter, we here in southern Croatia have been on needles and pins about where the franchise will go next and how it will develop. With the new ownership of the franchise, the entertainment giant Disney was always going to be a guarantee for Star Wars universe longevity and spectacular visuals… but with the financial goals now raised sky high, will it ever again be possible to make great quality Star Wars films from a dramatic point of view? Rogue One is a very important movie when it comes to answering this question because 1) it is the first of many spin-off movies to come, and 2) it does not have the burden of all the old characters from the original trilogy that are expected to be featured – like The Force Awakens did.

So, what did the makers of Rogue One accomplish? In my opinion, they have definitely made a standalone film with enough familiar visuals and characters and not too much fan service (I am looking at you The Force Awakens). This was a difficult task, but it seems Lucasfilm people do have their finger on the pulse of the fan base as I have the feeling there was plenty on the screen to keep us coming back for more as we dissect all the parts of the story, characters, and especially technology… as we do. The visuals are excellent and the right proportion of cgi vs. practical effects exists. This was a problem for some of the past films, you all know which ones I’m referring to, but with TFA and now Rogue One it seems those times are behind us. I would say Rogue One is the best looking Star Wars film to date. There is one cgi related thing in the movie that could prove ground breaking and I won’t tell you what, but you will know when you see it. Exciting stuff.

Acting was very good, but not without problems. Let’s just say not all of the actors were up to par or very well chosen for their roles… this is impossible to get into without spoilers, so I will devote more attention to it in the full review.

Rogue One Poster - photo StarWars.com Rogue One Poster – photo StarWars.com[/caption]

Characters were mostly well developed and well written. There was a bit less humour on screen than The Force Awakens and I’m for one very grateful for this, because the story really didn’t call for it. In TFA some of the meant-to-be-funny Harisson Ford lines (but not just his) fell very flat and detracted from the pacing and the story development.

Music was very good and in keeping with the tradition set by the great John Williams… it is not THAT good though. Sound effects were excellent.

The movie was shown in 3D which I generally dislike, but it made sense and added to the movie watching experience without a doubt.

Running time of just under 2hrs and 15mins was a good measure making the movie feel substantial, but by no means tiring.

All in all, I thoroughly enjoyed Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. It’s a great film, not without its flaws, but it definitely represents an interesting and positive direction in which to take the franchise, and one that will not only keep the masses buying tickets, but also keep more serious movie buffs from dismissing these films as action videos with no soul or integrity.
Keep an eye out for the full review this weekend.
MTFBWY

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Rogue One Premiere in Dubrovnik on December 14th!

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Christmas season is upon us and we know what that means for all you Star Wars fans out there. Rogue One: a Star Wars Story is opening globally in two weeks (as you all know) and the tickets are finally available for purchase!

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, photo Jonathan Olley/Lucasfilm
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, photo Jonathan Olley/Lucasfilm

Movie is opening in Croatia on the 14th December at 7:00pm CET and if you are lucky enough to find yourself in Dubrovnik – the filming location for Star Wars Episode 8, you can watch the movie in the city’s Cinestar multiplex theatre. Tickets are available online and are expected to go fast, so hurry up. Croatian cinemas show movies with original soundtrack and original language with Croatian subtitles, so don’t worry about your Croatian winter holiday making you miss the movie premiere.

If this doesn’t get you in the spirit of the holidays, nothing will.

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Young Lando Calrissian Found!

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The search is over! As reported by Hypable the role of young Lando Calrissian in a spinoff movie about Han Solo, coming out in 2018, is going to be given to Donald Glover.

Actor Donald Glover attends the world premiere for "The Martian” on day two of the Toronto International Film Festival at the Roy Thomson Hall, Friday, Sept. 11, 2015 in Toronto. NASA scientists and engineers served as technical consultants on the film. The movie portrays a realistic view of the climate and topography of Mars, based on NASA data, and some of the challenges NASA faces as we prepare for human exploration of the Red Planet in the 2030s. Photo Credit: (NASA/Bill Ingalls)
Actor Donald Glover attends the world premiere for “The Martian” on day two of the Toronto International Film Festival at the Roy Thomson Hall, Friday, Sept. 11, 2015 in Toronto. NASA scientists and engineers served as technical consultants on the film. The movie portrays a realistic view of the climate and topography of Mars, based on NASA data, and some of the challenges NASA faces as we prepare for human exploration of the Red Planet in the 2030s. Photo Credit: (NASA/Bill Ingalls)

Young actor will have a difficult task of capturing one of the most charming characters of the original trilogy and one with perhaps the most interesting character arc as well. Star Wars fans have been anxiously waiting for the actor chosen to be named and while there is no such things as 100% approval rate among the fans, the reactions so far have been mostly positive.

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SPOILERS: Latest Reports from Irish Filming Locations of Star Wars Episode 8

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As reported by StarWarsNewsNet, quoting StarWarsUnion, the latest rumours by the locals around Irish filming location of Sybil Head paint an interesting picture. Apparently, the location which is used for scenes taking place on Ahch-To will show Rey’s Jedi training. Also, at a certain point, knights of Ren will show up and engage in fighting which Chewbacca will a part of as well. All scenes were short during the day.

Irish filming location, photo nightangel, StarWarsNewsNet Cantina Forums
Irish filming location, photo nightangel, StarWarsNewsNet Cantina Forums

It seems we can look forward to seeing Irish filming locations, probably in the first half of the film in the finished Star Wars Episode 8. This is going to be the eagerly anticipated continuation of Rey – Luke storyline which ended The Force Awakens. We are still to see what role Dubrovnik, Croatia will play which was used for filming of the Episode 8 extensively.

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New Rogue One: A Star Wars Story Trailer

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The new trailer for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is out on Star Wars YouTube Channel and it’s looking fantastic. See for yourself:

The way in which these teasers and trailers are released is magnificently methodical. It is clear Lucasfilm went for the fan base with slowly exposing some of the new vehicles, locations, and characters, capping it all off with the anticipated confirmation of Darth Vader’s appearance in the film. Days are long, but they are melting away as we countdown to release date.

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Star Wars Movie that Never got Made

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In case you never heard of Splinter of the Mind’s Eye, you are not alone. Although this story was published as a 4-part comic book in 1995 it was originally envisioned as a sequel to Star Wars: A New Hope. Looper reports on their official YouTube Channel:

While the filming for Star Wars Episode VIII was going on in Dubrovnik, we’ve reported on an ambitious plan by Disney to release 5 movies in the next five years (Rogue One and Episode VIII being two of those). It is clear to see the franchise will get plenty of additions and reboots. With this apparent hyper-production, what are the chances some more parts of Splinter of the Mind’s Eye will appear in the upcoming movies? The recycled scene with Rey battling Kylo Ren was definitely a big success in The Force Awakens, and it goes to show entirety of the Star Wars Universe is a fertile ground for future story developers.

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VIDEO: New Rogue One: A Star Wars Story Trailer will Blow You Away

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New trailer for the upcoming movie Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, published on Star Wars YouTube Channel is jam packed with awesome visuals and plenty of hints for potential story line details. It’s important to say… well, just watch it first.

How’s that for a taste of the action? One thing you cannot take away from Disney is the fact they generate hype like no other entertainment company out there. I will not go into long dissection of the trailer as I am sure so many people will and I’ll simply see what they have to say about it first, but the fact is, this trailer has finally moved my attention completely away from Star Wars Episode VIII which I am intimately tied to after their filming in Dubrovnik.

Exactly five more months until the premier of Rogue One is going to be one long wait, but the things are definitely heating up and expectations are rising. The movie is going to have to be something special to please the fans, but then again, isn’t that always the case?

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BREAKING: After Star Wars in 2016, Robin Hood: Origins to be Shot in Dubrovnik!

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Dubrovnik is known as Croatia’s most renowned holiday hotspot, but also for more and more top notch foreign film and TV productions that are coming to this wonderfully preserved medieval city to make all manner of films and TV programs. After Game of Thrones and Star Wars Episode VIII, a brand new confirmed production set to film in Dubrovnik is none other than Robin Hood: Origins, by Lionsgate.

photo: Wikipedia
photo: Wikipedia

As Dubrovnik Times reports, the lead role of Robin Hood will be played by Taron Egerton, known for the role in Kingsman: The Secret Service, while Jamie Foxx will be featured in the role of Little John. This production (which also features Leaonardo Di Caprio as Executive Producer) should be the biggest and most serious film project on Croatian soil to date, but it remains to be seen what role Dubrovnik will play.

photo: Wikipedia
photo: Wikipedia

All in all, if you are aching for a bit of Hollywood this winter, make a trip to Dubrovnik. It promises to be a very interesting off-season period for this Croatian historical city.

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SHOCK: Samuel L. Jackson Claims His Star Wars Character is Still Alive

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Since the Irish part of Star Wars Episode VIII filming, we have been missing big news regarding the sequels, but in the news today is potentially quite an exciting development. As reported by Time.com, Samuel L. Jackson was quoted as saying his character Mace Windu wasn’t killed in Star Wars Episode III Revenge of the Sith. As you may recall, Mace Windu was force thrown from the Senate building by Emperor Palpatine after Anakin Skywalker cut his arm off trying to protect the Emperor.

photo Lucasfilm
photo Lucasfilm

Jackson went on to say he told George Lucas he thought his character was still alive to which George replied: “I’m OK with that. You can be alive.” – which doesn’t mean much, but there is plenty of talk Samuel L. Jackson has taken quite a liking to being a part of Star Wars saga, and let’s not forget, he managed to get Lucasfilm to allow him to have a purple light sabre in the movie.

photo Lucasfilm
photo Lucasfilm

Apparently, the light sabre prop he used (and still keeps in his house) has letters BMF inscribed on it, and if you need clarification on what that stands for, maybe you’re not the movie buff you think you are.

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Australian Star Wars Burlesque Seems Very Intriguing

By now we all know Star Wars franchise has spread over a range of products and entertainment media, so it comes as no surprise that there is a quite successful Star Wars themed burlesque making waves in Australia as reported by Huffington Post Australia:

Aside from the fact sensual dancing in Star Wars outfits usually generates positive comments from the fans of the franchise, it does seem like the creators of this particular show aim a bit higher than simply exploiting the globally recognised brand. The performances seem to be laced with good humour, good dancing, and yes, a bit of tantalising imagery as well. All in all, it’s a shame they do not have any tour dates outside of Australia for now. For more info, visit www.empirestripsback.com.