Jyn Erso, thief/hero.

Jyn Erso, thief/hero.

By now you have seen the trailer for the new Star Wars prequel, Rogue One. If not, well:

So my first thought is: Yes. Damn this looks cool. It’s Star Wars meets the Bourne Identity, and with a kick-ass woman in the lead to boot a la Max Max. It’s the perfect mash-up for the genre, and I’m happy to see something in this universe that doesn’t look like a copy-and-paste of what’s come before.

Except something irked me. I love Forest Whitaker. He was superb in The Butler, and pretty much everything he’s been in. So I don’t fault him for his lines. But in the tail end of the teaser he says, “If you fight…what will you become?”

Now I understand this is a teaser. There are a thousand and one possibilities as to whom he is speaking with (most likely Jyn Erso) and the context in which it was said. But…do we have to go down this fucking road again? You know what I’m talking about. “The Dark Side, versus THE LIGHT!” Why does Hollywood think that heroes always need to be so dark and edgy and corruptible? (E.g. see Batman vs. Superman). One of the fantastic things about Rey in The Force Awakens is her exuberant innocence, a la Luke Skywalker in “A New Hope.” Rey will likely be tested by the Dark Side too, but if my hunch is correct she will not be corrupted. I get that Jyn’s character begins with ambiguous morals — she is a criminal from the get go, but I really hope that this film doesn’t follow that trite old Star Wars character arc of individuals fighting their own inner emo battle of good vs. evil. Fighting for justice does not necessarily corrupt you, and Star Wars often forgets this. This movie looks refreshing and I hope that the characters are as well.

Otherwise, I think this looks pretty kick-ass.