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Rogue One, spoilers ahead
A Star Wars Story... with some people... and stuff.
It's Star Wars. It didn't have to wow anyone to sell tickets because the the franchise of this IP has become bigger than a religion in some aspects. The world of the War in the Stars has become one of the mainstays of the Sci-Fi world, and rightly so as the originals brought it into the mainstay of society. So no matter if you like it or not, you know what Star Wars is.
So here we have it, a stand alone movie in the franchise that should not be mistaken for the next movie in the Star Wars trilogy (this would be obvious you think, but no this is something that can happen, and did happen). This movie tells the tale of the individuals who brought us the information of the Death Star and it's weakness which allows the famous Mr. Skywalker himself to take it down with his well aimed shot.
To totally ruin the ending, I don't understand why they decide to blow up the 'records facility' AFTER the data has already been transferred. That contains ALL the records for ALL the empire... would that not be something you wanted to save? I mean...maybe we wanna build a second Death Star, good thing we have the blueprints to... oh wait, Tarkin blew those up so we have to start from scratch? It could be I'm over thinking it, but that seemed a fairly big plothole.
The characters of Rogue One are somewhat forgettable, and this could in fact be seen as a way to promote the fact that this isn't a saga and merely a 'one-shot' story in the grand scheme. But even still, one would think that you could have some more character to an individual so as not to be known as "Gun-guy" or "Force-guy" or even the lowly "Pilot-guy". They appeared no more than cardboard cut-outs that I felt no attachment too or really cared about in any way.
The main character... Jyn? Whatever her name was, she was fairly forgettable as well and I found myself often wondering why we needed that HUGE backstory about her father, blah blah blah. About half way through the story the writers seemed to decide that they needed to focus on the two characters of Cassius and Jyn, the other ensemble cast members getting no more attention than a passing traffic cone until they get their "moment to shine" which involves a 'how they die' montage.
You know who I did like. The robot K-2. He had the most character, the best lines, and was the only one I felt a little sad about when they died. I also enjoyed a droid who has some personality and free spirit in his duty bound self. The best statement by far something akin to "I'll stand with you to the end Jyn... Cassius says I have too."
Whitaker. Everyone was hating on this character before they even saw it. I for one was excited to see a truly extremist Rebel, someone who was willing to go to any lengths for 'the cause'. I thought it would be a neat dynamic to see that extremist who went to lengths that no others were willing to go because 'it was needed'. I also kinda wanted to see what the take on 'terrorism' would be in the Star Wars franchise, but I am guessing that might have been too touchy a subject to broach. We do live in an age when we have to be very delicate about offending anyone.
Then there is the issue of the CGI. Yeah sure it was great to have those cameos, and perhaps it was seen by many as a grand gesture which had people cheering. In my theatre it was met with snickers and disdain, a few people even booed. The CGI did not look great, heck it didn't even look good, and I was super disappointed with it.
Now perhaps I'm being too harsh, but there are two instances of it, and both seemed off putting and rather odd. I suppose I can tolerate them for the sake of "It's Star Wars".
Is it a great movie? That entirely depends on what you wanted out of it.
If you want an exciting second half movie with lots of action and a rather slow build set in the Star Wars universe, then this is the movie for you.
If you want character development, character attachment, a solid plot without holes or a movie that moves as a steady pace, then this is NOT the movie for you.