Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Star Wars: Rogue One Red Carpet

 We went to the Japanese red carpet for Rogue One, and we took photos and video. Diego Luna smells like sunshine and joy.

In early December, J-Wave radio hosted a fan preview event for Star Wars: Rogue One. It didn't include a viewing of the movie, but it did include a red carpet where fans could meet the stars and director, a free gift bag, and a panel put on by the cast.

Midori (my girlfriend) was well aware of this sort of event in Tokyo. She'd met Quentin Tarantino through a similar event a few years ago, and last year she was able to go to the Star Wars: The Force Awakens event as well. So, when it was announced, she took to the website and applied to the lottery to win a ticket for two to stare dreamily into Diego Luna's sparkly eyes. Luckily for us, she not only won us two spots, but won spot number three—spot three put us as numbers five and six in line, in the very front. Out of two-thousand fans.


I was pretty excited. The film hadn't come out yet, but we were both very hyped for it. So, when the day arrived, she dressed up as “BB8 Girl” and I dressed in my generic Sith costume from Halloween. We rushed to the venue where we were greeted by two employees, who ushered us down to the red carpet area. I felt very fortunate to get to go to such an event, but I couldn't help but think about the line from the movie Fanboys--”What if the movie sucks?” 

After finding our spots and exchanging pleasantries with a few of our neighbors,
THE WAITING began. We waited for about two hours for anything to really happen, with the same one minute clip from the Rogue One soundtrack on a loop, driving all of us slowly insane. Eventually, though, after all of the Japanese celebrities I didn't recognize took their places, Gareth Edwards popped out of a car and walked down the red carpet. 

Soon followed
Diego Luna and Felicity Jones, who stopped in to greet fans and sign autographs. Midori had a small card signed by Diego and Gareth, and I had my Darth Vader light saber signed by Gareth. Neither of us got anything singed by Felicity Jones, however, because her publicist (whoever the lady in the red dress in my video is) wouldn't let her sign much of anything, wouldn't let her speak to fans, and prevented most people from making much contact with her. I'm sure she had a good reason, but it sure seemed to miss the whole point of the event. Diego was nice.

 Anyway, after all the waiting was finally over, the lights went down. We were given little light sticks, and we all switched them on. They were Disney branded LED party sticks, and the colors were controlled by the venue and timed to music. It was pretty rad. The music started.

All focus went to the stage, and the Death Star slowly rose out of the floor. Darth Vader's breathing interrupted all other sounds, and then the Sith himself slowly rises with his own guard of Stormtroopers. We oohed and awed, and then the cast of Rogue One shoots out of the stage as well.

Each member of the cast delivered a short speech (not short enough apparently for the translators) hyping up the fans even more. Diego and Darth had a little comedy routing going for the duration of their stage time, the cast took press photos, and Gareth closed it out with a short speech about how Japan inspired him to direct the movie, and how “kibo wa shinanai,”
hope never dies.

On our way out, we were each given a gift bag, which included a poster, a metal figurine, a card, and several books trying to get me to buy Bandai Star Wars toys. It was like a $20 dollar value on top of getting to meet the cast and see the cool stuff. Thanks, Disney.

Anyway, we did eventually get to see the movie in 4DX via Toho Theater in Shinjuku. The 4DX effects, including water sprays, vibration, and chair pitch changes made the movie an amazing experience. The movie itself was pretty enjoyable for us, even though a lot of people seemed to take exception to the weird CGI Tarkin and video game Carrie Fisher. I will admit the re-shoots seemed to change the movie from what we expected (and seemed to cut out a lot of Jyn's back-story), but the point of this post isn't to review a film. Although I enjoyed it.

I also produced a video of the footage we produced, and it's here: Star Wars: Rogue One Red Carpet Japan

That's pretty much all I had for now. HOPE NEVER DIES (unless you shoot it with the Death Star.)

See you space cowboys.


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