I figured I would wait until the crowds thinned a little bit and not see the film in the first few weeks after release. I remember, as a kid, standing in line on the opening night of “Return of the Jedi” at Porter Square Mall in Dothan, Alabama; with what seemed like tens of thousands of people.
In Dothan, you didn’t get crowds like that, unless it was the Peanut Festival. Yes, that is a real thing and, yes, it was a rager. Think concert-rodeo-fair super-sized combo kind of event, ‘Bama style.
You know, Dothan is the peanut capital of the world, but … moving on.
If you haven’t seen “Star Wars: Rogue One,” go ahead and stop reading HERE.
I had read the prequel to Rouge One, called “Catalyst,” so I was very familiar with the scientific work of Dr. Erso, the fall of the Republic and turning into the Empire. Also, Rogue One is a prequel to a New Hope. So, it would appear they dig prequels. Bouncing around from planet to planet was cool.
Rogue One was a very in-depth look at a behind-the-scenes look at the Empire and the power structure. The same with the Rebellion, you got to see several layers deep in what was really going on a long time ago in that famed galaxy far, far away.
As the film progressed, in walks Grand Moff Tarkin — looking straight outta 1979.
The technology is known as computer generated imagery (CGI). The type of tech compiles computer graphics to build 3-D images that are both static and dynamic. In this case, a compilation of images leads to the resurrection of the No. 3 Imperial baddie.
But before Rogue One, we must go back to 1968 to a group of Russians. The same Russians that laughed at Nasa’s multimillion-dollar space pen that could write in zero gravity. The Ruskies had a 10-cent alternative: “we take pencil to space.”
So, in ‘68 a team of scientists, led by N. Konstantinov, developed high-level math in which they could move a digital cat across a computer screen. Winning.
“Superman,” “Aliens,” “Black Hole” really pushed the boundaries of its use and set the bar for what is possible, which, essentially, is anything. The slow-mo bullet effect in the “Matrix” films. That’s CGI tech, too.
This type of special effect changed movies then — and is 100 percent changing the game now. The ability to bring back imagery from our childhoods even cooler than it was then is awe-inspiring.
When I saw the end of Rogue One, I was 100 percent choked up to see the return of our beloved Princess. The world was certainly a better place with her in it.
As we played Star Wars on the playground in Dothan in 1980 — or as my wife and I enjoyed last weekend — the franchise always brought entertainment, hope and inspiration, as good versus evil waged war.
In loving memory of Carrie Fisher: may The Force be with us all.
Blake Dowling is CEO of Aegis Business Technologies. He writes for several organizations. You may reach him here: firstname.lastname@example.org.