“Rogue One” is a side story in the “Star Wars” franchise, that tells the story of how the plans to destroy the death star, which were used in the previous movie “Episode 4 A New Hope”, are acquired. There was some debate on whether the movie would be a success due to the backlash it received even before it was released on December 16th. The hashtag “#Dumpstarwars” was created for those who wished to boycott “Rogue One,” as many felt the past two movies were feminist propaganda because they featured female leads, and that “Rogue One” was also “anti- Trump”. Trump supporters launched onto the boycott after writers Chris Weitz and Gary Whitta compared Trump to the Empire over a series of tweets. “Please note that the Empire is a white supremacist (human) organization,” wrote Weitz. “Opposed by a multicultural group led by brave women,” added fellow “Rogue One” writer Gary Whitta. Both men changed their avatars to a Rebel insignia, a reference to the symbol of solidarity with persecuted groups that has spread following the election. Some of the early backlash also came from what actor Mark Hamill, who plays Luke Skywalker, said. After director J.J. Abrams hinted that there could be gay characters in the Star Wars universe, Hamill suggested that Skywalker’s sexuality is open to interpretation. “But now fans are writing and asking all these questions, ‘I’m bullied in school… I’m afraid to come out’. They say to me, ‘Could Luke be gay?’ I’d say it is meant to be interpreted by the viewer… If you think Luke is gay, of course he is. You should not be ashamed of it. Judge Luke by his character, not by who he loves,” Hamill said.
Despite the hashtag, the movie grossed over $290 million worldwide on opening weekend. The movie also ran during a four-day holiday weekend, making a total of about $63 million, adding to its domestic total of $439 million so far. The movie scored 8.1 on IMDb and a 7.5 on Rotten Tomatoes out of ten. The Rotten Tomatoes audience gave it a score of 4.3 out of 5. The movie was received as one of the darker films in the franchise, as it delved into themes like, just because you’re the “good guys” doesn’t mean you always do good things. While the movie is definitely darker, like most “Star Wars” films, it has its fair share of comedy. New characters, like the android K2SO, bring hilarious comic relief in-between moments of intense action and storyline.
The movie will continue to be featured in select theaters until January 19th, so if you haven’t seen it, that will be your last chance to see it released in theaters. The DVD release date hasn’t been officially announced, but is estimated to be in April.