#RogueOne, the second-highest grossing film of 2016, is the #StarWars film no one was ready for. Even without an opening crawl or a hero with force-wielding powers, this film is #EmpireStrikesBack good.
Before the film was released, Rogue One cast a spell on me with its wonderful cast and epic potential. Having watched it four times, I can honestly say that this is my favorite #StarWars film to date. Not just because I love #DiegoLuna's acting and the cast's chemistry, but because director Gareth Edwards crafted the film with so much delicacy and respect to the world that George Lucas introduced in 1977. Though #GeorgeLucas fumbled with the prequels, his futuristic world has multitudinous opportunities to be even greater than he ever thought possible with #Disney at the helm.
Set in a galaxy far, far away, Rogue One has had a great impact on me. It has forced me to come to terms with certain aspects of my life that I don't particularly like, but have to deal with.
With four lessons to offer, Rogue One is the Star Wars film about the other guys, the underappreciated soldiers of the skies, whose efforts were just as important as those of the Jedi.
1. All Is As The Force Wills It
You can't always get what you want and that's the shitty part about life that no one warns you about. Some people spend their whole life working towards a goal that they'll never reach. Perhaps they wanted to open up their own successful business only to have every single attempt fall through. Maybe they want to be an actor, but they've never even made it to a callback.
We all fail in life. Yet that shouldn't distract us from realizing that not everything is as it seems. Though we expect life to turn out a certain way that doesn't mean we're not blessed in some other aspect of our lives. The person whose business attempts continually fail might have a stable job that offers them great benefits and decent pay. The hopeful actor might be a better writer than performer. What may seem unfair to us might actually be a blessing in disguise.
All Is As The Force Wills It is a way of saying that some things happen for a reason and that reason may be something you don't need to know at this moment. If something has to happen, then it will, good or bad.
2. Make Ten Men Feel Like A Hundred
People believe that success in life means having a high-paying professional job, getting married, and buying a house. It's the so-called American Dream that the US has been pushing down people's throats since the 1950s.
In my opinion, the meaning of success should not be measured by the amount of money you stash in your bank or the number of rooms you have in your home. Success should derive from the quality of life you live. By quality, I don't mean the kind that money can buy, but the emotional quality. Do you have someone to share your experiences with? Do you spend time with your family and friends? Can you remember the last time you sat down and actually paid attention to the things around you? It's these kinds of questions that should result in your success.
Make Ten Men Feel Like A Hundred evokes a sense of fragility. You never know when you'll die, so enjoy your life to the fullest even if things aren't going your way and you hate your job, your boss, or your situation. Make ten years feel like a hundred and make them count each and every time they come around.
3. Be Careful Not To Choke On Your Aspirations
Our society has created a culture obsessed with fame. No matter what country you're in, reality TV has become a profitable business that everyone wants to be a part of. From The Voice to America's Next Top Model, people are obsessed with having their fifteen minutes of fame. Don't get me wrong, reality shows are great entertainment when you want to block out your own problems. The only issue with this kind of programming is that it creates a false sense of hope in individuals who truly believe they can be the next big thing overnight and will do anything to make it happen.
I'm not trying to bash anyone's dreams, but nobody is an overnight success. Everyone who has ever been revered as successful has had to claw their way to where they're at and that's something not everyone focuses on. It's like going on a friend's Facebook profile and seeing several pictures that show their vacation in some exotic land you can't even afford to think about. What those pictures don't show is the two jobs they had to work at in order to make it a reality. Their Facebook profile is like a highlight reel of a really shitty year perhaps. Nothing comes easy. So don't choke on your aspirations if they don't pan out right away. Keep hustling to make it happen without selling yourself short.
4. War Is Raw
We all face obstacles that shape the way we are and change the way we approach the issues that plague our lives. What may be easy to one person might be obscenely difficult to another. Everyone is waging a war on something, whether it's themselves, their family, or society. There's no doubt in my mind that every person on this planet has had at least one obstacle they've had to overcome.
Nothing in life is laid out on a silver platter and that's the reason people feel they have to take matters into their own hands. Take a look at the crew of Rogue One, each and every person on that impounded Star Destroyer came from a different kind of circumstance. Cassian Andor wanted to justify each action he made in support of the Rebellion. Jyn Erso hoped to reunite with her father and bring an end to the Empire's plans. Bodhi Rook decided to betray the Empire for the greater good of the galaxy. Chirrut Îmwe wholeheartedly believed in the Force, a power he could never wield, and lived a dutiful life. Baze Malbus was torn apart by war and almost lost all faith in the Force. K2SO defied the Empire's original intent for his kind and refused to be controlled by anybody else, but himself and Cassian.
All of these characters may be from a galaxy far, far away, but they feel more real and more relatable than any other Star Wars characters I've ever seen. They demonstrate a side of the Rebellion that was overlooked and forgotten in the original trilogy. They represent the people who have fought our wars and protected our countries from harm, by standing at the front lines in honor of freedom. They are the many and the few who have survived the horrible realities of war. They are citizens of the world that deserve our recognition and understanding.
War is raw because it forces us to face our innermost fears and introduces the possibility of failure at the hands of a power that may be greater than ourselves.
From the cast, the solid story line, and the epic ending, Rogue One has easily become my favorite film of 2016. Though the road looks hazy for the next couple of years, I hope these lessons will aid you in 2017
Were you ready for Rogue One? Let me know in the comments below.