Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (Movie Review)

 

It has been a year since Star Wars returned to cinemas with Star Wars The Force Awakens. The success brought about discussion for spin offs and stand alone films. A shared universe like most franchises now a days. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is the first of those stand alone films and already has made over 400 million in the last week since its release, but lets see how it faired critically.

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is a prequel to the original trilogy but a sequel to the prequels (did you follow that?). Simply put, a film that takes place after Revenge of the Sith and before A New Hope. I was very excited to see Rogue One, as a big fan of the films even parts of the prequels, I was intrigued with the plot of this film. First off, I want to start by saying that I absolutely enjoyed this film. It was fun, it was dark, and had some of the best set pieces I have ever seen from a Star Wars film and good performances. The pace of this film is strange, at points I felt like the story was dragging, trying to find Jyn Erso's father and took a huge detour with Forest Whitakers character Saw Gerrera. Sticking with Saw Gerrera, that character felt immediately out of place in this universe and I was taken out of the film. I believe Forest Whitaker is a great actor but I just didn't believe or like his performance in this film. Those were my only negatives on the film, other than that I absolutely loved the film. Diego Luna's character was one of my favorite's, he was given much more depth and we see that from the start when he is introduced n the beginning of the film. A more grey character who's motives are totally justified in one of the films best character arcs. The hero of the film and my favorite performance was from Alan Tudyk's performance as K2-SO. His comedic timing and eventual dramatic turn gave depth to the android that has made such others like R2D2, C3PO, and BB-8 beloved by Star Wars fans. 

Felicity Jones as the main protagonist of the film was good, her story felt cut short and one I wish we could have gotten more from. Her performance was great and I didn't mind her overall motivations after the second act. Now, the thing you have all waited for, Darth Vader. Vader does make very few appearances in the film and are used to highlight not only the terrifying nature of the Empire but also showcase Vader's ruthlessness and power. Even in moments when Vader was not present, there were very key reactions from characters when hearing his name or a similar sound his breathing apparatus would make. It really reinforced the idea that Vader was seen as a figure of fear and complete darkness that was once lost when Return of a Jedi came out in the 80's. Some of the best scenes in the film were the battles on the beach and space. Rogue One promised us a war film, something that ironically the Star Wars films haven't truly delivered, until now. A lot of the more emotional and intense moments came from these scenes in the film that really took our emotions for a ride. Overall I enjoyed Rogue One very much, if you saw it then you know there isn't much room for a sequel and some stories I wished could be explored more but as a contained one off film it was good.

The Grade

B+