Rogue One’s Problem with Jyn Erso and “Show Don’t Tell”
Since we got a few asks about it and I got to see the movie last night I thought I’d share a few quick feelings.
First I’ll say that I read the setup as Jyn being the main character and Cassian being the support. Which in and of itself is ~whatever~ but that understanding colored the rest of my experience.
So. With Cassian we get a lot more developmental story time. We get to see him be a captain in the resistance/alliance/etc, we get to see him interact with a variety of folks and see those dynamics play out, and he (Diego) gets real opportunities to show off his acting.
However with Jyn we go straight from her as a kid and losing her family (and lbr that scene was about Galen not her - which, hey fair enough i guess), straight to her being grown and in jail. No carry-thru narrative weight, just boom, there we go. We don’t know anything about her. There are a couple times we get to see her fight, but tbh it’s not that impressive to warrant the bit about her being Guerrera’s best soldier by the time she was sixteen. And to have her attitude about fighting the good fight or whatever turn on such a pinhead, again, carried practically no narrative weight (for me). So when they give her the big speech at the roundtable it just reads as an inexperienced young woman out of depths trying her best to play with the big kids. Which yeah, sucks, but that’s how it read.
An easy fix IMO would have been to have literally one scene with teenage Jyn and Guerrera, where he could have told her about Galen and she could have expressed sadness or frustration or something. That would have added maybe 3-5 min at most, and if you shorten some of the boring action scenes and get rid of one of the useless Krennic scenes (the one with him and darth for example) then boom there you go, plenty of time to build the character of your MAIN LEAD CHARACTER…. /ffs. I don’t know whether to put it down to bad directing, bad writing, bad editing, or a combination thereof, but I mean … why did it have to get that far.