Welcome to Screen Gems, our weekend of diving into adjacent queer and queer past titles worth watching or revisiting.
The expedition: Rogue One
The month of May brings a host of holidays: Memorial Day, Mother’s Day, and our personal favorite, Star Wars Day. In fact, some fans even like to celebrate Star Wars Days with May 4 and Revenge of the 6th. Series creator George Lucas also turned 77 this week.
Hey, we always like to have a reason to play with our lightsaber.
With that in mind, we’re bringing you one of this week’s helpers: Rogue One. The story, set in the days leading up to the original film, follows a group of misfit bandits led by Jyn Erso (Felicity Jones) on a dangerous mission to steal blueprints for the Galactic Empire’s new superweapon. evil, the death star. Jyn joins forces with the Rebel Alliance to infiltrate an Imperial base holding the plans and to settle a decades-old score with Director Krennic (Ben Mendelsohn), the man responsible for her parents’ deaths.
Despite a very tumultuous production involving hasty reissues, numerous covers and budget overruns, Rogue One is a formidable film that both expands the Star Wars universe and spices up fan service a bit. What’s the odd angle, you ask? Rogue One also earned accolades for unofficial gay couple Chirrut (Donnie Yen) and Baze (Jiang Wen), a blind monk and ruthless mercenary, respectively. While the relationship doesn’t present any explicit evidence that the couple are gay, the film strongly implies through the characters’ subtext and beats that their relationship goes far beyond bromantic.
Indeed, their relationship has become one of the most commented on in the film as it feels much more passionate than the straightforward romance between Jyn and the rascal Cassian Andor (Diego Luna). There’s no doubt some fans will complain that the movie never directly addresses the nature of the relationship, and while they have a valid point, dealing with a couple with coded subtlety is sometimes more fun. Besides, we don’t know how anyone could watch the pair in a decisive battle and not think that they are madly in love.
With a cast that also includes Forest Whitaker, Alan Tudyk, Riz Ahmed and – thanks to groundbreaking technology – Peter Cushing and Carrie Fisher, Rogue One represents the second best entry in the series since Disney took control of the pilot’s seat. While the first act of the film shows signs of significant changes and the characters, on the whole, are not as bright as the usual Star Wars roster, the third act of the film more than makes up for these minor flaws with a symphonic. mix of action and drama. Imaginative, extremely entertaining, and with an almost named gay couple, we recommend celebrating the fandom of Star Wars and A New Hope to see much needed gays wield the Force. (Sorry, but a condescending wink and you’ll miss a fuck in the abysmal, insulting Rise of Skywalker doesn’t count!)
Streams on Disney +, Amazon, Hulu, YouTube, VUDU, and iTunes.