By W D Nicolson - December 14, 2016
The wait is almost over Star Wars nerds and nerdettes... Rogue One drops in Australia in about 7 hours from now and yours truly will be amongst the fanatics who see the film as it debuts at 12:01am Thursday.
The wait this time hasn't been remotely as hard as the wait before Episode VII (The Force Awakens) but because JJ Abrams didn't stuff that up - I don't think it is a reach to suggest that everyone is genuinely just happy there's another dose of Star Wars on the way, rather than full of anxiety that Star Wars could get another dud added to saga.
Will it be perfect? Probably not.
Will it be good? Hard to believe it won't be because of where it sits in the story cycle - it's set up to be rich and tasty.
And that's the challenge Disney has had since taking over - make any of the new films good, even if they don't really have to make any of them great.
Now George Lucas might have dropped the ball in a galactic way with the prequels but at least we had more Star Wars - and Disney got a free kick or three as a result. And the bonus was The Force Awakens went closer to the great level of good rather than just satisfactory.
So we get a bunch of Rebels, another Death Star (well the original one but you get the point), an Imperial suit and of course, the real bonus - Darth Vader.
What will Vader do in Rogue One? No idea yet, the trailers have only hinted at his involvement - basically he's been shown turning slightly and walking like he's desperately in need of a bathroom...
But he'll do something!
And that alone is a good enough reason to get along to the cinema for a viewing. As with any prequel - we know how it 'ends' so admittedly I go into this film not overly concerned with the longevity of the Rebels in the film (probably the biggest challenge for the director/script - will we get invested enough in the characters that pretty much all have a used by date of film's end on them from the first time we get introduced) - but I think that's not something that would deter people from going along.
But the by-product of their roles suggest we'll see a lot of 'meaningful' deaths on screen - which if you list the notable/collateral deaths on film in the original trilogy you get a list this long (and is surely incomplete):
A New Hope:
Rebel Soldiers - Stormtroopers
Rebel Commander - Darth Vader.
Stormtrooper who kindly set to stun - Princess Leia.
Uncle Owen/Aunt Beru - Stormtroopers.
Cantina Thug - Obi-Wan Kenobi.
Greedo - Han Solo.
Alderaan - Grand Moff Tarkin.
Imperial Detention Officer - Luke Skywalker/Han Solo (not sure who shot first here).
Death Star Stormtroopers - Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, Princess Leia, Chewbacca.
Obi-Wan Kenobi - Darth Vader.
TIE Fighter Pilots as Falcon escapes - Han Solo/Luke Skywalker.
Rebel Pilots (Porkins/Gold Squadron/Red 10/Red Leader/Biggs) - TIE Fighters/Darth Vader.
Grand Moff Tarkin and all those Death Star contractors - Luke Skywalker.
The Empire Strikes Back:
Tauntaun - Wampa.
Tauntaun - No jumper.
Wampa - Luke Skywalker.
Probe Droid - Han Solo.
Dak/Zev - Imperial AT-ATs/General Veers.
Rebel Snow Soldiers - Imperial AT-ATs.
Imperial AT-AT - Wedge/Jansen/Luke Skywalker.
Snowtroopers who were just trying to setup a tripod - Han Solo/Chewbacca.
TIE Fighter Pilots - Han Solo's flying/Asteroids.
Imperial Star Destroyer Captain - Asteroid.
Mynock - Han Solo.
Cave Darth Vader - Luke Skywalker.
Captain Needa - Darth Vader.
Stormtroopers - Princess Leia, Chewbacca, Lando Calrissian.
Return of the Jedi:
Tatooine rat - Jabba's Guard 'Dog'.
Jabba's Dancer - Rancor/Jabba.
Gamorrean Guard - Rancor/Jabba.
Rancor - Luke Skywalker.
Jabba's Skiff Henchmen - Luke Skywalker/Sarlacc.
Boba Fett - Han Solo/Sarlacc.
Jabba - Princess Leia.
Jabba's Entourage on Sail Barge - Luke Skywalker.
Yoda - Sleep.
Biker Scout Stormtroopers - Han Solo, Chewbacca, Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia.
Rebel Pilots - Imperial Pilots.
Rebel Star Cruiser - Death Star/Emperor.
Ewoks/Rebel Soldiers/Stormtroopers/Imperial Officers - see left also Han Solo, Princess Leia, Chewbacca.
Admiral Piett/Super Star Destroyer - A-Wing Pilot Bill.
Death Star Shield Base - Han Solo.
Emperor - Darth Vader.
Darth Vader - Emperor... though Luke Skywalker removed his mask so...
Death Star and even more contractors this time - Lando Calrissian with an assist from Wedge Antilles.
Final Tally*... Luke Skywalker outdoes Daddy V for total kills - even if you don't take into account the first Death Star. And Empire was the nicest of all the movies death count wise...
* Truth be told there's gotta be a YouTube video in the above... and he presto (language warning) here is one below:
So yeah a LOT of people carked it in the original trilogy... of the above however maybe a dozen are 'important or memorable' characters.
Anyhoo... that took a while to collate from memory - and it appears now I could have just watched the clip above...
Bring on Rogue One tonight - review Thursday morning!
PS. Here is my The Force Awakens review from a year ago... yes I loved it.