Last December, Disney gave the world an early Christmas present when - contrary to naysayer’s expectations - Star Wars: The Force Awakens performed the ultimate Jedi mind-trick and made George Lucas’s nightmarish prequels nothing but a distant memory. Or, arguably, the world gave Disney an early Christmas present when The Force Awakens became the highest grossing film of the year and, very nearly, the highest grossing movie of all time. Avatar and Titanic are still slightly ahead when it comes to box office, but The Force Awakens is so close that James Cameron must be feeling the heat from Kylo Ren’s lightsaber bristling the hairs on the back of his neck.
But will the highly anticipated Star Wars spin-off Rogue One make this two memorable Christmases in a row for Star Wars fans and the accountants at the House of Mouse, or will the franchise’s first big-screen standalone crash and burn faster than a speeder bike taking a dodgy left-turn through the forest of Endor?
It’s definitely going to be an interesting litmus test for Disney, who have come in for some not-unfair criticism from certain quarters because of the ultra-commercial (some might say, money grabbing) way they’ve exploited the Star Wars universe ever since George Lucas sold them the moistur