Friday, December 16, 2016

Rogue One (A Star Wars Story) – Movie Review: Is it for Everyone?

Rogue One is a different kind of Star Wars Movie.

Rogue One A Star Wars Story, I still like anthology better, starring Felicity Jones, Diego Luna, Donnie Yen, Alan Tudyk, Ben Mendelsohn, Wen Jiang, Forest Whitaker, Riz Ahmed, Mads Mikkelsen and directed by Gareth Edwards. Rogue One is the first standalone film set in the Star Wars universe and is about how a group of Rebels steals the plans for the Death Star, and ties directly into the events of Star Wars A New Hope. Taking a small blurb from the crawl text of Episode Four and turning it into a two-hour film may seem unrealistic, but everyone involved made the movie a soaring success. It adds layers and depth to Star Wars Episode Four, and it will be a welcome addition to most Star Wars Fans.

Is Rogue One for the average Star Wars fan or people who aren’t fans of the franchise at all? I loved the movie after the first viewing and will be going back again to see it multiple times. I’m not sure I can separate myself to say if this film is for everyone. I have read all the comics, all the adult books and most of the young adult novelizations for the new Star Wars Canon. This gives more insight into what has been happening since the end of Episode three with characters like Tarkin, Darth Vader and others. The book Catalyst was an excellent introduction and prequel to Rogue One. The start of the movie is a really the next chapter in the book, and if you are a fan of any of the books Catalyst is worth reading and then watching Rogue One. It adds so much backstory and nuance to relationships in the movie, that I’m not sure I can be objective about how much I liked the film because I have read the book. I don’t think people have to read the book to enjoy Rogue One, but it does greatly enhance the story. Due to this Rogue One is more of a fans Star Wars film, but I still would recommend it to anyone who likes a good action adventure film.

The story is excellent and takes the audience on a fantastic ride. The third act of the movie will leave no one disappointed. It is the first Star Wars movie to really look at the war between the Rebellion and the Empire, and show the ground soldiers and their struggle. It also expands the universe overall, adding to the structure of the Rebellion and how they went about combating the Empire. The characters introduced are all great, and everyone is raving about K2-SO, the droid voiced by Alan Tudyk, for good reason. He provides the right amount of humor throughout a dark gritty story. Felicity Jones performance as Jyn Erso ties the entire movie together. She does a fantastic job as the main focus of the film. Diego Luna character’s, Cassian Andor, is a more complex Rebel than has ever been shown, and I really enjoyed his character in the movie. It added a deeper layer to the soldiers who fight for the Rebellion. Donnie Yen and Wen Jiang characters are not delved into too deeply, but the chemistry between them is fantastic. I don’t think much backstory was needed for them during this film, but I would hope we get a book or another form of medium diving into how they met. I also want to know more about the Jedi Temple on Jedha and what they did there.  

With any film there are also some drawbacks. I’ve got two, one about the actual film, and then one a nerdy complaint about how it affects the overall Star Wars universe. The only story complaint I had for the movie is that the first ten minutes jumped around too much setting up the story. There are a bunch of different worlds introduced and we move around to some of the major characters extremely quickly and it is a bit jarring. Once Cassian and Jyn meet up the pace flows well and the rest of the film isn’t an issue. I won’t get into my nerdy complaint until a spoiler’s video, but I don’t like something the movie tries to “fix” within the main Star Wars storyline. I don’t think anything needed to be fixed, and this issue is the only time I was disappointed with the film. This fix will make many people happy, but I think it actually takes away from something else which comes in a later movie.

Overall though Rogue One is a fantastic amazing addition to the Star Wars universe and I can’t wait to see it again. I will be going multiple times to see it in theaters and I think the film’s success will ensure many more Star Wars anthology films. This movie is well worth seeing for any casual Star Wars fan and I think people who aren’t fans can still enjoy it for the emotional war story the film provides. The film is geared more towards the hard core fans, but I do think anyone can enjoy it. Let me know what you think and what your favorite parts of the film were in the comments below. Like share subscribe and all that fun stuff. 

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