Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016)
Directed by: Gareth Edwards
Written by: Chris Weitz and Tony Gilroy
Starring: Felicity Jones, Diego Luna, Alan Tudyk, Donnie Yen, Ben Mendelsohn, Forest Whitaker, Mads Mikkelsen
One of the biggest strengths of this film is probably the connections that are built with the individual characters. Felicity Jones naturally stands out as the heroine female lead. My personal favorite was Donnie Yen’s character, “Chirrut Imwe”. His character was the only remnant of the spiritual side that acknowledges the Force, and he’s probably the closest you’ll get to a Jedi. (Trust me, that’s not saying much though.) However, the real scene-stealer belongs to K-2SO, the android robot. Just like in the past Star Wars films the androids continue to provide comic relief throughout the film. K-2SO’s pettiness and witty banter was easily one of the best aspects of the movie.
Darth Vader!!!!! While I was initially disappointed that they revealed he was going to be shown in the movie, it clearly didn’t matter when he’s actually shown. Granted it would’ve been a major surprise had they kept him a secret, he was still displayed enough to make up for it. He has one particular scene that simple legitimizes his already huge stature as one of the most famous characters in cinema pop culture. You’ll know it when you see it. This major scene alone may make you literally feel the powers of the dark side.
In terms of action, Rogue One doesn’t hold back either. From the ground fights, to spaceship battles, it surely encompasses all of the hard fought action that the Star Wars films brought to the table in the late 70s and early 80s. Despite probably knowing the eventual outcome of the film, there were still some great moments of suspense that will keep you engaged to the very end.
There were some rather slow moving parts in the middle of the film. There is a lot of dialogue that will probably play more to the dedicated Star Wars fans more than casual movie goers. One of the biggest appeals to the film is that it is a prequel to Star Wars: A New Hope (1977). However, given that fact, if you’re unfamiliar with Star Wars (1977) then there will be a lot of references and call backs that can be missed.
If Stars Wars were to be completely erased, and rebooted, Rogue One would be the exact movie to do it. It encapsulated everything that fans loved from the original Star Wars (1977) film, except modernized it for today’s audiences.
I do think that in order to truly appreciate this film, it’s practically a requirement to watch Star Wars: A New Hope (1977) before watching Rogue One. Without watching Star Wars: A New Hope, I don’t think that this movie will cater to casual or even new incoming movie fans the way Star Wars: The Force Awakens did. Rogue One serves a major purpose in emphasizing a lot of backbone to the story of Star Wars A New Hope. We get to see why getting the plans was just so important and just what it took to accomplish the mission.
I didn’t get a chance to see this in 3-D and I was perfectly content with that. Though 3-D may have helped with some of the big star ship battles, the movie still was very enjoyable to watch without it. I would definitely recommend watching this, but as I said, be sure to watch the original Star Wars (1977) film first. If you have seen it before, it wouldn’t hurt to refresh your memory and see it again prior to seeing Rogue One.