Spoiler Free Plot.
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story begins with a young Jyn Erso alerting her father to the arrival of an Imperial ship near their home. Galen (Mads Mikkelsen) is immediately troubled and sends his wife and daughter away to hide while he faces the empire alone.
Director Krennic (Ben Mendelsohn) meets with Galen outside his home flanked with four black clad troopers. He requests that Galen return to finish his work as progress is stalled on an unnamed project. Galen refuses and cites that after the death of his wife he is not the man he once was, his memory was also deteriorating.
This is immediately proven false as Lyra Erso rushes the men from afar pointing a blaster at Krennic and demanding he let’s them go. Krennic offers them comfortable living, revealing that he knows that they have a daughter, all he asks is that Galen complete his work. There is an altercation and Lyra is killed while wounding Krennic.
Jyn witnesses her mother’s death and her father’s capture and runs to a nearby cave bunker to hide. The troopers fail to find her and Krennic with Galen in two leave the planet leaving Jyn alone in the bunker.
She stays there until the bunker hatch opens and Saw Garrera (Forest Whitaker) asks Jyn to come out.
This is the start of the movie and it sets up the premise nicely. There is enough context for returning fans to know what is being talked about without too much being given away for newcomers.
The next time we see Jyn (Felicity Jones) she is grown up and waking in a prison mining facility. This shows that not everything went according to plan and now we are left wondering why is Jyn in prison and where is Garrera. All these questions are answered throughout the movie but that would be spoiling.
I’m here to tell you what you already know, since this review is more than four months too late. I hadn’t had the opportunity to go and see Rogue One in theatres and even if I had seen it I wouldn’t have reviews it because this blog is still relatively new. But I got my hands on Rogue One recently and just finished watching it about an hour ago. And it was good. It was actually amazing. So amazing in fact that despite the fact that I know no one cares about this review it does deserve to be talked about more.
Now you may notice this trend with my reviews, please understand that I am not a critic, I am just a guy on the internet and I have discovered that it takes just a little effort from movies to please me. I don’t watch bad movies and the good movies that I watch I usually tend to enjoy. So don’t ever expect me to slay a movie on my blog because chances are that the movie you hated is a movie that I actually liked a lot. This is my opinion that I am offering you to read.
What Did Work.
Okay like my previous review, let’s talk about what worked in the movie.
While it is true that there is no real character arc for Jyn or any of the rebel team, that’s really not what this movie is about. This is not about some great hero or savior that brings about the end of a tyrannical ruler while being reunited with his father. This is about a few unknown people, who you wouldn’t even think of being heroes, pulling off the impossible and getting the Death Star Plans to the Rebellion.
In this context Jyn worked really well, Felicity Jones portrayed a believable and conflicted character that feels important even though we never heard about her before this movie.
All of the Rogue One Team.
Cassian Andor, Chirrut Imwe, Baze Malbus and Bodhi Rook, worked together pretty well and bounced of each other realistically. There wasn’t any usless character thrown in the team without any purpose, all of them were integral to the story and delivered a terrific performance.
was hilarious and Alan Tudyk’s dry humor worked well in the movie. The movie is not like other Star Wars movies so the jaunty quippy humor of the Original or the stupid slapstick humor of the Prequels would not have worked.
It is a grim and gritty movie but not in the sense of Batman V Superman where everything was dark and muted. There are some truly spectacular visual scenes and the way the Death Star scenes are shot are nothing short of amazing. When it comes to scale, there’s no one better than Gareth Edward’s. There are amazing battle sequences that are visually fantastic and it even fits in with the desperate tone of the movie.
With this movie you couldn’t have Threepio constantly annoying you with his voice and mannerisms and even R2 innocent chirping wouldn’t fit in it. This movie required sarcastic, tongue in cheek, dry humor which Alan Tudyk delivered very well.
What Did Not Work.
I have a hard time coming up with a lot of negatives for Rogue One because to me there were none. Tiny gripes sure but nothing game breaking.
I will say this without spoiling anything; there are two major CGI characters in this movie, one that is in the movie longer than the other. And they both kinda looked bad. I won’t say anymore until the spoiler section.
Okay so we talked about the good and the bad now let’s go to the Scale of Awesomeness to give the movie a rating on our Sci-fi Movie Scoreboard.
Scale of Awesomeness.
Sci-fi – 10/10
Action – 9/10
Entertaining – 8/10
Intensity – 9/10
Climax – 10/10
SoA – 9/10
So on my Sci-fi Movie Scoreboard Rogue One:A Star Wars Story scores an Astounding:
Alright! So first let me say; Holy Crap! That Hammerhead Corvette! How the hell did that thing actually push a Star Destroyer into another! That was genuinely awesome.
Then there was the Darth Vader reveal. Submerged in the Bacta tank then making Krennic nearly crap himself. And what about that fight in the corridor! That single moment made this movie and epic Star Wars movie for me.
I mean there is no Darth Vader in The Force Awakens, then technology limitations hampered the original trilogy and the less said about the prequels the better, but I have never seen Darth Vader as amazing as he was in this movie and he was maybe in it for a total of ten minutes, but what an amazing ten minutes am I right? Rebel soldiers flying left and right, Vader just swinging left and waving right. Amazing!
There was a lot of speculation about Jyn actually being an Imperial spy in this. That didn’t turn out to be the case and I was grateful because that would have been a nonsensical twist. In fact it was Cassian whose morality was in question because he starts off ten minutes into the movie, killing a rebel informant when they get compromised and he is unable to escape.
Speaking of morality conflicts, this movie challenged my way of thinking about Star Wars. From that first scene in A New Hope, where you see the rebel soldiers gathered around the door and Vader comes in with his troopers and start killing everyone, you think one single thing;
Rebellion – Good.
Empire – Bad.
And no this movie doesn’t show the Empire in a good light, but Rogue One does show that the Rebellion is not all chocolates and roses. Cassian is not the Han Solo of this movie, quite the opposite actually, he is a spy and it’s his job to carry out covert ops against the Empire. This includes eliminating sources when they get compromised or killing Galen Erso.
The moment when Jyn and Cassian fight after Jyn loses her father, Cassian insists that she is in shock and not thinking clearly but she insists on hashing it out and he tells her;
“… we don’t all have the luxury of deciding when or where we want to care about something. Suddenly the Rebellion is real to you, some of us live it… “
You can’t talk your way out of this…
“I don’t have to.”
This was a real point of contention for me because I really felt for Jyns loss but also knew that Cassian was not to blame. He could have killed Galen, chose not to, directly defying orders. And the person who he did it for chose to attack him in a point of weakness. Even now I don’t know whose side of the argument I am on.
Who do I agree with? Obviously the Rebellion is not Black and White, and it can’t be. People like Cassian exists and are actually vital to the survival of a Rogue regime that is fighting against tyranny. And Jyn is the character that is being thrown into this situation head first, she is us, and yet I feel that she might have been wrong on this. I still don’t know.
The fact that that once scene got me thinking for so long is a testament to this movie. It was passionate scene and Jones and Luna pulled off the conflict believably.
Now onto the final and biggest spoiler of the movie. I didn’t realise that everyone was dying until the last AT-ATs arrived.
Again great work on scale, they are the scariest I have ever scene in any Star Wars movie to date. Anyways, it’s starts with Chirrut, then Bodhi gets blown up by a grenade, Baze finds the Force again but dies with a last gasp as he is overpowered by the enemy.
The last two to go, Cassian and Jyn do so after transmitting the plans to the Rebel fleet and go down as the Death Star destroys the base on Scarif. The ending is swan song to them as the rebels get the plans and Darth Vader goes after it.
Their deaths were certain as soon as they landed on Scarif and they fought against all odds to get the plans through. The characters in this movie had tragic stories that were told by expert writers and was put to screen by a superb directory whole phenomenal actors performed the roles.
Whenever anyone asks me, where to start watching Star Wars, I always tell them that the prequels should never be your first and this is true for this one as well. Rogue One is a prequel to Star Wars A New Hope but it should not be watched before A New Hope. This is a companion piece to A New Hope and should be watched after Episode 4 to further the Star Wars experience.
Finally I’ll talk about the two CGI characters. Peter Cushing’s Grand Moff Tarkin was brought back to life and the first time you see it, it is so close to the uncanny valley that you have to cringe but over time I got used to it.
However there is no point where I actually truly believed that I was looking at the actual Peter Cushing, it was always that glaring obvious fact that this character is a CGI character.
The second character though, was way worse for me. Even though it’s for three seconds long. I have seen the late great Carrie Fisher portray Princess Leia so many times on Star Wars reruns and binge watches and I’ll tell you LucasArts, good try but your version Ain’t Got Squat On The Original!
There was only one Carrie Fisher and no computer can replicate that beauty.
So that was my late review of Rogue One:A Star Wars Story. It was a great movie, I had little to no gripes with it and if you haven’t seen it then I suggest you do because it was an amazing watch.
This was Media Monday, give it a like if you thought the review was great, shout in the comments if you thing it was crap. Follow me to get my latest Posts immediately. I will write again soon.