Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, last year's blockbuster spinoff film, has been left off a Star Wars movie marathon event taking place in December to commemorate the arrival of The Last Jedi. Anticipation for writer/director Rian Johnson's sequel is about to reach a fever pitch, as Episode VIII tickets will go on sale today (October 9) after the latest trailer debuts on ESPN's Monday Night Football. Lucasfilm has done their part to get fans properly hyped for the event, unveiling two separate teases of Rey training and Luke Skywalker holding his old lightsaber once again.
As The Last Jedi draws nearer, many viewers will be interested in rewatching the previous films to refresh their memories before seeing the next chapter in the saga. Some people will do this from the comfort of their own living rooms, but others are going to participate in special marathons planned by select theater chains. Cineplex has put together such an event, but they've curiously chosen to exclude one integral part of the film series.
On a listing on Cineplex's website detailing promotions for The Last Jedi, a Star Wars Marathon Event is mentioned, with the tease of showing "all eight movies" in one day. The poster, however, makes no mention of Rogue One, which was the eighth live-action Star Wars movie released in theaters. Granted, the description of the marathon specifically states this is for the saga films, but it is still a little odd the first anthology is not part of this celebration of the galaxy far, far away.
It's not as if raising the number of films shown to nine would make the marathon too long for Cineplex's standards. Back in 2015, when Avengers: Age of Ultron was about to come out, the chain put together a massive Marvel Cinematic Universe marathon that played the 11 installments in the franchise - beginning with 2008's Iron Man - that ran for over 27 hours. All of the Star Wars films to date (including Rogue One) would take 17 hours, 40 minutes to binge all the way through from start to finish. Even if The Last Jedi clocks in at 2.5 hours, a complete Star Wars marathon wouldn't come anywhere close to Marvel. Obviously, Cineplex was focusing on the saga films (which makes sense), but they easily could have fit Rogue One in as well and few would have complained. Many would jump at the chance to see the Battle of Scarif on a big screen again.
While viewers can experience the complete story of the Skywalker family without watching Rogue One, the spinoff is arguably as valuable to the film series as any of the other entries. Its events directly lead into A New Hope, setting the stage for the original trilogy in a poignant and satisfying way. The Last Jedi could also include references to the first anthology, as the Resistance have a flagship named after the heroic Admiral Raddus. Even with the success of Rogue One, the spinoffs still have a stigma of being "Star Wars filler" in some circles, and this would have been a nice way of cementing their rightful place in the franchise. Perhaps when Han Solo is set to premiere next summer, Rogue One can be part of a marathon.
- Star Wars 8/Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017) release date: Dec 15, 2017
- Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018) release date: May 25, 2018
- Star Wars 9 / Star Wars: Episode IX (2019) release date: Dec 20, 2019