by Michael LaPaglia | Mar 19, 2017 | Entertainment
Ten Rogue One Observations
The digital release of Rogue One is less than a week away. It has now been several months since its initial theater debut and I’m finding the need to share some further thoughts about the film. Yes, it’s time to take a look at some Rogue One observations!
Rogue One Readings
It’s meaning and overall impact upon the Star Wars experience is getting clearer for me. A busy work schedule, family events, a Royal Caribbean Cruise, and a bout of bronchitis prevented me from seeing Rogue One for a third time in the theater. However, I was able to spend several hours reading and reviewing a few of the guides and other texts that have been published since December. By the time I (and probably most of you!) was itching to really sit down and absorb its visual impact once again, the announcement for the digital and Blu-ray releases were made! I guess I can wait a few more days! 😉
During these months of contemplation, I’ve developed these Rogue One observations that I want to share.
Star Wars Reading Materials
Rogue One Observations
1. Gareth Edwards is an extraordinary filmmaker.
It is clear that he was destined to have a lasting impact on the Star Wars experience. It really does not matter if the ending or other aspects of the film were reshot. Gareth’s love for the Star Wars cinematic experience runs deep and it is demonstrated throughout the film making process and the finished product of Rogue One. I am wholly impressed at his dedication to bringing a new story and chapter into the Star Wars experience. Yep, I am a huge fan!
Oh, another store at Disney Springs!
2. Rogue One very clearly stands within the upper most tier of the Star Wars films.
Its visual style, storytelling, and heart make it so when placed among the other seven films. It’s so well done, that it feels as though it was meant to be made. Although I refuse to resort to the pointless efforts at ranking the Star Wars movies in any way, Rogue One should be extremely high on anyone’s list.
3. Rogue One significantly alters one’s perception and understanding of the Star Wars cinematic experience.
It’s ingenious execution adds an astounding level of meaning to the entire saga.
More Star Wars Shopping at Disney Springs
4. Death Troopers are indeed awesome.
The mystery of their existence and their frightening appearance will ensure their legacy in Star Wars from this point forward.
5. Michael Giacchino’s film score is outstanding.
It has been a staple in my playlist rotation since December!
6. The third act of this film could possibly be one of the most exhilarating ,visually stunning, and emotional 20 minutes that I have ever seen on film.
Additional multiple viewings are in order to fully comprehend and appreciate the impact of those final 20 minutes.
7. Disney is demonstrating to be a responsible and competent steward to the Star Wars experience.
Regardless of how you feel about Disney as a company, it cannot be denied at this time that its acquisition and subsequent management of LucasFilm has been nothing short of extraordinary for the Star Wars fandom.
I love the Rogue One promo signs at Disney Springs!
8. My appreciation for Rogue One notwithstanding, I am somewhat hesitant to embrace the upcoming Han Solo film.
Something tells me I’m not alone in this, so time will tell if my uneasiness is warranted.
9. I am now breathlessly awaiting December and the release of Episode VIII.
A trailer will be dropping at any time and that will only fuel the anticipation.
10. Rogue One surely did not assist me in overcoming my “problem” related to Star Wars merchandise.
Yes, I continue to pick up merchandise throughout my travels — much to the dismay of my family!
Star Wars Merchandise at Disney Springs
Bravo LucasFilm and Disney!
Now it’s your turn; share your Rogue One thoughts in the comments below!
by Michael LaPaglia | Dec 21, 2016 | Entertainment
An Initial Look at Rogue One with No Spoilers
My first viewing experience of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story occurred earlier this week. With family in tow, we arrived early enough to be the first viewers let in the theater. Hey, I like my choice of seats!
For most of its fandom, the reactions related to the entire Star Wars saga on film has been an evolutionary process. After all, multiple viewings are often needed to fully comprehend the merits of each movie. And its shortcomings. Sometimes, delving in to those hit or misses, takes time.
Overall opinions and perceptions of each Star Wars film may also go through several transformations. I can personally attest to that. And although that can be said for any film in the history of cinema, Star Wars remains unique. Arguably, the Star Wars film saga might be considered the first in cinema history that created an environment necessitating multiple viewings across time for its devoted fan base.
Therefore, it is impossible for me to provide a comprehensive review a few short days after first experiencing Rogue One. I think many will agree that multiple viewings of the Star Wars films is a strongly reinforcing stimulus — personally and socially.
First Thoughts on Rogue One
Rogue One is an excellent addition to the Star Wars film saga. Of course, I must admit that my strong bias towards the Star Wars universe would make it difficult to find any movie on this topic less than satisfying or enjoyable. Furthermore, the year-long anticipation of this stand-alone film, along with the repeated viewings of trailers and featurettes, definitely pushes me toward a positive response.
That being said, it really is an extremely well-made and exciting movie.
Gareth Edwards and the Disney/Lucasfilm team have created a Star Wars story that can stand on its own as a wartime science-fiction adventure. It also is a stunningly effective piece that fits snugly into the other chapters of the saga. Being able to successfully deliver a film whose initial storyline began as the brief preamble to Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope forty (40!!) years ago is impressive.
It is certainly a film that has a more “adult” tone to it, but in reality that isn’t necessarily a revolutionary aspect to a Star Wars film. Since the more adolescent representations of the Star Wars story seen in Episode VI: Return of the Jedi and Episode I: The Phantom Menace, the Star Wars film universe has decidedly become more “adult” in tone and presentation.
Rogue One introduces a new set of characters that are solid supplements to the saga. Other than Jyn Erso, and similar to the prequel films, the exploration of their individual attributes, histories, and motives are somewhat thin. This doesn’t detract from the film as a whole, since the objective of the storyline does not require extensive storytelling in this way. It does more than a satisfactory job at explaining what is motivating Jyn and that’s what matters.
A great new droid character, K-2SO, makes his appearance in Rogue One. His presence and his “personality” is a significant addition to the sagas trio of established droid characters.
Trying hard not to sound redundant or utilizing clichéd adjectives, it is difficult to not describe the visual effects and the cinematography of this film as being outstanding. As the weeks go by, I will expound further upon these subjects.
The film is somewhat long on exposition at the start, but once it shifts into the middle act, Rogue One is an exhilarating experience. Similar to what I stated shortly after my first experience of The Force Awakens, Rogue One has met my expectations and exceeded them on several levels.
I will be seeing Rogue One again within the next week to experience it from a perspective that differs from the excitement of the initial viewing. This will allow me to develop additional responses that I will periodically provide in this forum.
by Michael LaPaglia | Dec 18, 2016 | Entertainment
Why Discuss Star Wars?
Star Wars is my childhood.
I was nine years old in 1977. Moving forward from that year and the first viewing of Episode IV, Star Wars is an anchoring stimulus and theme to my life story.
Star Wars has been a part of my life for decades. By following me through those decades, Star Wars has also become part of my son’s life. Truly the definition of a modern day myth and fable that is being passed generationally.
Star Wars Musings
Overused and clichéd musings about Star Wars and its meaning abound. Some thoughtful and well done, others less so. Thousands of discussions and interpretations in print and other media exist related to Star Wars, its impact on culture and society, and its influences.
Inclusive to these articles you will find a diverse range of topics. Individual and group passions found as center points of these discussions include: political overtones, film-making, genre specific, toys, fandom, homages, influences, Lucas, Disney, symbolism, music, visual effects and CGI, art, collectibles, the original trilogy versus the prequels, characters, expanded universe, new canon, the droids, spoilers, trailers, books and comics, animated series, and so on. Interesting reading for many fans!
Star Wars Meaning
For me (and so many others), Star Wars is all about the magic, the characters, the mythology, the philosophy, the film-making, the filmmakers, The Force, the music, the collectibles, and most of all, Hope.
Legends of The Force
Future posts on this site may include some or no specifics to any of the topics listed above. It is my desire that my submissions will reflect the meaning of Star Wars as it has impacted my past, present, and possibly my future.
Additionally, I will be looking forward towards the future of the Star Wars saga. Whatever it may be. Follow along and we’ll explore the Star Wars universe together!
And now that I’ve seen Rogue One, I’ll be back with a review very soon. 🙂
Why is Star Wars important to you? Share in the comments below.
by Michael LaPaglia | Dec 13, 2016 | Entertainment
Avoiding Rogue One Spoilers this Week
On 12/10, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story had its Hollywood premiere. Exciting times for Star Wars fans indeed.
For the past two weeks, the primary alert on my phone has been continuously reminding me that tickets for my initial viewing of Rogue One have been purchased. And that I will be at an IMAX theater in Franklin, Tennessee on 12/18 for the experience. I can not wait.
As the week progresses, not only will I continue to eagerly anticipate arriving at that IMAX theater, I will also be facing the dilemma of how much information about Rogue One is too much to be exposed to. Last year at this time I faced a similar plight with The Force Awakens premiere.
Storm Trooper from The Force Awakens
Star Wars Social Media Timeout
I will most likely attempt to replicate last year’s strategy by voluntarily placing myself on some sort of a social media timeout. This will minimize the potential damaging exposure to dreaded spoilers. It worked for me last year. We’ll see if I’m strong enough to resist the temptations once again. If I hear or see a spoiler, please send help.
The Force of the Merchandise
The stimuli that I will be unable to avoid this week will be the voluminous amount of Star Wars branded merchandise present wherever I go. I have a distinct weakness to those temptations and find myself quickly moving towards any merchandise display branded with that amazing Star Wars logo.
My family has determined that I need professional help for this. As a Behavior Analyst, I argue that the Star Wars logo and Star Wars merchandise operate as discriminative stimuli that signal the availability of reinforcement. Technical words to describe my behavior; I will be further exploring and describing what this means in more simple terms within future posts.
Coming up next week: the Rogue One review with no spoilers! I promise.
by Michael LaPaglia | Dec 8, 2016 | Entertainment
One Week Until Rogue One
The anticipation for the release of the very first standalone Star Wars film, Rogue One, is something I am enjoying. Much like last year at this time, where the anticipation for Episode VII, Star Wars: The Force Awakens was ongoing, it is a time to look forward to a new chapter in the Star Wars films.
Although there has been a significant amount of both positive and negative chatter within and among the fan base, I am trying not to prejudge the film in any way. The re-shoots, the Gareth Edwards issues, the alleged changes in the tone of the film, the change in score composer from Alexandre Desplat to Michael Giacchino, and any other various ”controversies” are only adding to my anticipation. I can’t wait to watch Rogue One in IMAX 3-D at my favorite cinema location this month.
Dark Side vs Light Side Icons
As has become an integral aspect to my history (and yours too!!) with Star Wars, there will surely be a fair share of iconic images, sounds, characters, and scenes in Rogue One. Based on my observations of the trailers, photos, and other media representations, it is the Death Troopers that seem to be intriguing me the most at this point.
For the vast majority of my fandom for Star Wars, I have always tended towards the “good” or the light side. Some of the important references to the Light Side are the Jedi, the Rebellion, Han Solo, R2-D2, and X-wing Starfighters.
R2-D2 and Princess Leia
Beginning with Episode III and its relentless portrayal of Anakin’s transformation to the Dark Side, the icons related to the Dark side became more appealing to me. (I am not sure what that is saying about me as I am getting older. Perhaps a consult with a therapist is in order!)
Within Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith are images that are epochal for the entire Star Wars saga. These include: the appearance of General Grievous, the scene where Anakin takes out Mace Windu’s lightsaber (and his arm!), Anakin’s eyes turning red, the not-so-subtle imagery associated with the light saber battle between Obi-Wan and Anakin along with the film score in the scene, and Anakin physically transforming into Darth Vader with the placement of the mask and the breathing. In The Force Awakens, it’s Kylo Ren and all that he represents and what he does. Of course, it’s also the voice in the mask that is really cool!
Right now the images of the Death Troopers in Rogue One are having an impact on me. We will see if that holds true and if any additional ones appear while viewing the film.
In your opinion, what are the two most iconic aspects (images, scenes, sounds, characters, etc.) of the Star Wars films and why?
by Kimberly LaPaglia | Dec 8, 2016 | Entertainment
Small Town Parades for Free Entertainment
Do you hear it? The parade is coming down your favorite main street!
Living south of Nashville, TN, we’ve experienced very endearing small town parades. Showcasing marching bands, small children on bicycles, veterans, high school groups, cool cars, and wacky floats, it’s always a family-oriented and FREE form of entertainment.
Local high school performs in 4th of July parade
Typically featured on national holidays, small town parades can be part of your family’s celebration. Make it a tradition to perform in or watch one of these festive processions.
Pirates of the Caribbean Float
What makes a small town parade extra nice? Well down here, it’s the southern politeness that makes waiting for a parade actually fun. No bumping, squeezing, or last minute tall people pushing their way in front of you.
Plus, you’ll certainly see someone you know marching past. You’ll be close enough to thank a veteran, cheer on a scout, or root for your favorite high school team or band.
Veterans in Franklin, TN parade
One of our favorite local parades is found during the Christmas holiday season in Leiper’s Fork, Tennessee.
Local Parades Coming Up
Mt. Juliet Christmas Parade; Fairview Christmas Parade: December 10, 2016 at 11:00 AM
Gallatin Christmas Parade: December 10th, 2016 at 12PM
Leiper’s Fork Christmas Parade: December 10, 2016 at 2 PM
Murfreesboro Christmas Parade: December 11 at 2PM
Do you have a favorite local parade or has someone in your family marched in a parade recently? We want to hear from you!