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Rogue One: A Star Wars Story - Spoiler Review
A Film that any Star Wars fan Can't Help but to Enjoy
OFFICIAL GRADE B -
Overall, this was a good solid film. Any normal fan of the franchise could not help but to enjoy this entertaining story. However, the film suffers from the slow first two acts. It is saved by the incredible last 30 minutes that takes us right up to the beginning of A New Hope.
There are so many good things to say about this film.
Cosmetically, it may be the best film of the year. "High Quality" would be an understatement. The special effects were on point and the CGI work was some of the best that I've ever seen. Even the CGI Tarkin and Leia worked for me. CGI becomes an issue in films when it's distracting and takes the viewer out of the movie. This never happened once while watching Rogue One.
Felicity Jones (Jyn Erso), Mads Mikklesen (Galen Erso), and Ben Mendelsohn (Orson Krennic), each gave strong performances. I thought these characters were good additions to the Star Wars Universe. Which brings me to the fact that all of these main characters that we are introduced to throughout the film do not make it. After succeeding and transmitting the plans for the Death Star, the Empire uses the weapon to destroy the planet which they are on. This is excellent for story telling and continuity purposes. These character's don't exist in the future films. These were rebel soldiers that are valuable assets to the rebellion. They had to die. Had they all survived, you would not be able to sell me on the fact that the rebels no longer used them at any point in the future films when these characters would obviously be able to contribute tremendously.
Make no mistake, this is a dark film. It is probably the darkest Star Wars film in the saga. That works for this movie. You are able to connect emotionally and realize the sacrifice these heroes made to fight the Empire.
The greatest aspect of the story/plot of Rogue One is how is corrects a major issue with A New Hope. One of the oldest complaints with the original Star Wars is why the Empire designed the Death Star with such a ridiculous flaw. Rogue One corrects this issue. Galen Erso is forced against his will to build the Death Star. In an attempt to undermine the Empire and to offer some hope of stopping their tyranny, Erso builds the defect/weakness in the Death Star. This is the one thing that Rogue One does that actually expands the Star Wars universe. It helps to shape the events that later take place in the Star Wars story.
Finally, DARTH VADER. We finally get to see Darth Vader on the big screen again. Although Vader's screen time is unbearably short, the few scenes we get are extremely satisfying.
The first scene with Vader does an excellent job of portraying how powerful Vader's presence is and offers us a line that I'm sure Star Wars fans will be quoting for years: "Don't choke on your aspirations director." If that line didn't give you chills, then you cannot call yourself a Star Wars fan.
"Lord Vader will handle the fleet." Vader's scene with the rebel soldiers was easily my favorite scene in the movie and may have been literally the best scene in all of Star Wars. This sequence alone bumped the movie up from 3 stars to 4 stars. I don't know how many times I'll re-watch this movie, but I can guarantee I'll play back that Vader scene on YouTube several million times.
Favorite Moment in Rogue One
What was your favorite moment in Rogue One?
The first two acts of this film were obviously an issue. It was slow and even a little boring. It almost feels like an entirely different movie than the last act. Rogue One had several reshoots. I was under the impression that whatever movie was being made by Edwards, was changed and revamped. I would not be surprised at all if the Vader scenes were part of the reshoot or if the reshoot was just to include his character.
Lack of Vader. Why not have Vader be a more of a major character in this story? He may be one of the greatest characters ever created and you actually have a chance to use him and you choose not to. Don't understand it Disney/Edwards/ whoever is responsible for this. I feel like Edwards has a reputation for doing this sort of thing though. I was let down by Godzilla due to the fact that I thought Bryan Cranston should have been utilized more and Edwards does the same thing here with Vader.
Some of the characters in this movie are honestly weak and generic. There's really no other way to put it. Compared to the other great characters we've had in the Star Wars universe, they just don't match up. Outside of Erso, we don't really get enough to care about these characters. The way the characters are introduced can be compared to introducing yourself on the first day of class, state your name and one interesting fact about yourself. "I am Chirrut Imwe, I am guardian of the kyber crystals."
Some of the scenes in this film seem out of place or lack to have a sense of purpose. For example, when Saw Gerrera uses the creature of the pilot to see if he is telling the truth. We never see the consequences of that. I think the rest of the scenes that seem out of place can be attributed to the reshoots.
Last complaint: editing. After watching the film, watch one of the trailers again just to see how much has been edited or cut out. There was clearly a lot of hasty and last minute editing done.
Overall, I really did enjoy this film and think that it is a fine addition to the Star Wars universe. It certainly has its issue, but it was able to correct and age long complaint and give us perhaps the greatest scene yet in a Star Wars film.
Did you agree with my rating/grade? What complaints or praises did you have about the film? Let me know in the comments below/