The newest trailer for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, the first of what is certain to be many, many, many Star Wars spin-offs to come, has debuted and it looks absolutely epic. Until around two-thirds of the way in when it starts to feel like a focus group tested highlight of uplifting shots and inspirational speeches sure to please that middle section of the country we don't really understand. There are shades of greatness in this trailer (like Mads Mikkelsen and Ben Mendelsohn), and I think this will rank high on people's lists of the best Star Wars movie—if only because you can instantly discount a solid half of the franchise. I don't think it will be great, however, because you can feel an invisible hand at work that's saying, "Where's Dark Vader? Where's the thing that walks on two legs that Chewie had in Jedi? Where's the lazer swords? Where's Yoda?"
Dear Hollywood studios across the board that are producing films, I have a note for you all. You don't get it. You cannot please everyone. It's impossible. Stop trying. Some people like these movies because they pay attention to them, and some people like them because they had the toys when they were kids and so a guy like Greedo who lasted four minutes in one film is a legend, because everybody had that fucking action figure. This one...
This fucking guy right here was like the third star in every one of my Star Wars adventures. Him, Luke, and Han were like the Three Musketeers in my mind, and I'm nostalgic for that time in my life, but I don't need Greedo to show up in the movie to want to go and see it. I want to go and see it because I like Star Wars and I like that world and I want to see more adventures in it, not the same adventures I've had to live with for the last thirty-some odd years.
If you want to make these movies and you want to make them well, not just successful, but make them really mean something, stop getting in the way of people that want to branch the story in new directions. There's a seed here of a great film and I worry that the studio's incessant watering down of it has only made it grow into something substantially less impressive than its potential suggested. Disney, if you want to keep buying these properties, you've got to let them be their own thing and not turn them into something you can market before it's made.