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Movie Review: Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016)

Updated on June 8, 2018
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Natalie is a writer who works at her local library. She enjoys writing reviews, watching anime and TV shows, and playing videogames.

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story blu-ray cover.
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story blu-ray cover. | Source

Quick Info:

Director: Gareth Edwards
Studio: LucasFilm
Runtime: 133 minutes
Availability: on DVD/blu-ray

Story Summary:

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story tells the story of how the Rebel Alliance stole the Death Star plans and brought them to Princess Leia. It tells the tale of Jyn Erso and how she was recruited into the Rebel Alliance to search for her father Galen Erso, who built the Empire’s superweapon, the Death Star.

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story Trailer (Official)

The Actors Are Decent:

I liked the actors in this film. The actors weren’t amazing or fantastic with an exception, but they were decent in their roles.

Felicity Jones is all right as Jyn Erso, she doesn’t really stand out to me as being an amazing actress, but she did a decent job in this film. He character is decent, but not outstanding to me.

Diego Luna did a good job as Cassian Andor. He gave a decent performance and his character was all right. His character isn’t really a likable character until much later in the film.

Donnie Yen is great as Chirrut Îmwe. I like his character because he has personality and he was an interesting character too. He did a great job acting and stunts too.

Mads Mikkelsen did a great job as Galen Erso. He’s one of the actors I did like in this film. He was an excellent choice for this character.

Alan Tudyk is fantastic as K2-SO. His character was the best character in this film and the most enjoyable one to watch. The character is the most entertaining character because he’s written very well and he is the highlight of this film.

Riz Ahmed did a great job as Bodhi Rook, I liked his character and he gave a great performance in this role. I did like his character and how he grew over the course of the film.

Jiang Wen is fun as Baze Malbus. His character is very one-note, but he did develop over the course of the film. I did like him, but I feel he didn’t give him enough screen time in the film.

The other actors are pretty good too, it’s not the best acting ever, but it was a decent cast and it was entertaining.

Rogue one: A Star Wars Story Soundtrack:

The Soundtrack is there but Feels Like a Pale Imitation of John Williams:

The soundtrack is decent, it was nothing amazing. Michael Giacchino is a decent composer, but it just feels like he’s imitating John Williams, his music is good, but nowhere near John Williams and what he’s composed for Star Wars films.

It’s a decent soundtrack, but relies too much on nostalgic musical motifs created by John William’s music to stand out on its own as a good Star Wars soundtrack.

I’m Not Emotionally Connected To These Characters:

I don’t really feel emotionally connected to these characters, and that’s because the writing doesn’t give them the best character development. The flaw is in the writing and its inability to give all the characters personality and development that feels earned is the problem.

The character writing isn’t good enough for me to get attaché to all of them, and that’s a shame. If the writing were a little better, I would enjoy the characters more than I did.

This fight choreography is stupid because it doesn't line up with A New Hope at all.
This fight choreography is stupid because it doesn't line up with A New Hope at all. | Source

Continuity Issues With Episode IV: A New Hope:

Now I know most Star Wars fans love the Darth Vader appearance at the end of Rogue One, but there are issues with this scene, while it looks cool and shows him being terrifying, there is a huge problem if you’re watching these films in chronological order, Darth Vader using his lightsaber in swift strikes and quickly dispatching Rebels doesn’t happen in the Original Trilogy because of the limited technology of the 70’s and 80’s, so if you’re going to be surprised at how slow and clunky the lightsaber choreography is for the fight scenes in Star Wars: Episode IV: A New Hope (1977) is compared to this film.

The plot events in the story don’t match up to the dialogue in A New Hope that well so it’s quite easy to see the continuity errors if you’re a diehard fan of Star Wars.

Yes, I like this character.
Yes, I like this character. | Source

The Politically Charged Tweets By The Writers Was A Bad Thing For The Film:

There was a big controversy for this film because the writers on Twitter started bringing in their political views into this film.

Rogue One writer Chris Weitz tweeted this because of people saying they were with the Empire because the actress in Rogue One is not white.

"Please note that the Empire is a white supremacist (human) organization." To which Gary Whitta, another writer, responded, "Opposed by a multi-cultural group led by brave women."

The writers were also using this to make sideways remarks at President Donald Trump and his supporters. As my readers, you don’t care that I support Donald Trump, I don’t use my reviews to randomly say I support Donald Trump, I’m bringing it up because as a Trump supporter and a Star Wars fan, I don’t need some scriptwriter telling me that I’m wrong about my politics in something that’s just supposed to be a fun space opera movie.

I don’t care if the actors hate President Donald Trump or not, but when you start insulting and alienating people who pay to buy tickets to go see your films at the box office; you’re being stupid and shortsighted. Star Wars wasn’t just for people who lean left, right, or the middle, it was a story for everyone to watch, not just some people.

Reader Poll:

Will you watch Rogue One: A Star Wars Story?

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The Film is Decent, But Not The Best Star Wars Film:

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is an entertaining Star Wars film, but it doesn’t contain any of the depth found in George Lucas’ Star Wars films. It lacks the layered storytelling that made people love both the Original Trilogy and the Prequel Trilogy. It’s easy to complain about actors and music and visual effects in the Prequels, but you can also complain about those things in the Original Trilogy too because it’s so old now.

What has always mattered to me is the story in Star Wars movies and while this film has a decent story, it could have been a lot better and more enjoyable if the characters weren’t so underdeveloped in this film.

K2-S0 is the best thing about this film.
K2-S0 is the best thing about this film. | Source

Quick Summary:

What Works;
What Doesn't Work:
Decent story
Characters don't really get development and lack real personality
Good visual effects
Darth Vader's fight choreography doesn't fit with A New Hope right after the movie ends
Decent acting
Continuity does not line up with A New Hope that well in some areas
Exciting space and land battles
The writing could be better
 
Planets lack George Lucas' creativity
 
Lackluster sountrack

Final Grade: C+:

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story suffers from bad character writing where there are few likable people on the “Good” side and where no one really has a distinct and memorable personality outside of K2-S0. It suffers from bad character writing and it’s held back by that because I’m supposed to care about these characters, and I only like a few of them.

It also suffers from continuity issues that don’t line up with Star Wars: Episode IV: A New Hope and diehard fans will pick that out. The Darth Vader fanservice was over-the-top and when you go into the next movie expecting Darth Vader to do that stuff you’ll be disappointed by the old, clunky fight scene choreography when you go in expecting Darth Vader to do all this cool stuff like in this film.

It’s a fun film, but doesn’t quite hit all the things that make people love Star Wars movies. I still haven’t decided whether or not I want to buy the film for my own collection or not. It’s not one of my favorite Star Wars films at all, it was fun, but not really worth buying unless you really love it. It’s worth your time if you enjoy Star Wars films but it could have been a lot better than it was if they had better scriptwriters for the characters.

My Rating:

3 stars for Movie Review: Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016)

© 2018 ReViewMeMedia

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