Hyperspace Theories #24: The Yin and Yang of Rogue One


In this month’s episode, the Hyperspace Theories crew shares our initial reactions and analysis for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. Needless to say, the discussion is full of spoilers for the movie, so if you haven’t yet seen the movie, navigate away for now and come back after you’ve experienced the film. FANgirl contributor Linda joins Tricia, B.J., and Kay for the episode.

We begin with our first impressions of Rogue One from our respective first viewings, and compare how our assessments shifted upon seeing the movie additional times. We then talk about our favorite characters from the movie and why they resonated with us, as well as Michael Giacchino’s musical score, the first Star Wars soundtrack not created by John Williams.

As usual, our discussion of Rogue One centers on our themes of world-building, characterization, and storytelling. Topics include Jyn and her teammates for their mission, the Rebel Alliance and its leadership, Krennic and the power struggles within the Empire, and the use of familiar characters, technology, and imagery from the Original Trilogy, Prequel Trilogy, The Clone Wars, and Star Wars Rebels in telling Rogue One’s story.

While we enjoyed the movie a great deal and found many aspects to praise in its Star Wars qualities, each of us also identified things about the movie that didn’t quite work as well as others. Perhaps this isn’t too surprising: with four different men credited for story and screenplay, and significant reshoots conducted months before the movie’s release, Rogue One didn’t come together as smoothly as other Star Wars tales. The trailers, for example, have numerous scenes and shots that do not appear in the final film, indicating that entire sequences were revised or removed late in the production process. This not only makes speculation about the movie in advance more likely to be mistaken, of course, but also reflects the filmmaker’s struggle to pin down the core plotlines and emotional beats of the story even as the final cut came together. Rogue One is a movie with many Star Wars strengths, but from a storytelling perspective it does have its weaknesses.

As the first of the Star Wars Story films, Rogue One opens up the franchise for a wide variety of future silver-screen tales in the galaxy far far away. The Force is with us, and we are one with the Force.

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Tricia Barr took her understanding of brand management and marketing, mixed it with a love of genre storytelling, and added a dash of social media flare to create FANgirl Blog, where she discusses Star Wars, fandom, and the intersection of women within Star Wars fandom. She is co-author of Ultimate Star Wars and Star Wars Visual Encyclopedia from DK Publishing, a featured writer for Star Wars Insider magazine with numerous articles on the Hero's Journey. Her FANgirl opinions can be heard on the podcasts Hyperspace Theories and Fangirls Going Rogue. Tricia Barr's novel, Wynde, won the 2014 Independent Publisher Book Award Gold Medal for Best Science Fiction/Fantasy/Horror Ebook. She was also part of Silence in the Library's successful all-female creator science fiction and fantasy anthology Athena's Daughters, which is available now. For excerpts and tales of her adventures in creating a fictional universe, hop over to TriciaBarr.com.