Rogue One is a Purely Satisfying Experience, A New Hope
The strange thing about this movie is that it is more of a war drama than the sci-fi adventure one might expect from a Star Wars story.
I know it’s late but I finally watched Rogue One. I had a lot of expectations from this flick and it kinda fueled a lot of those expectations.
I would start by saying this, “Rogue One is not your typical Star Wars movie.” Insense it feels so refreshing to watch a new take on the franchise. I know a lot of you folks didn’t quite like Star Wars: The Force Awakens but don’t let that feeling void you from watching this.
This is not a Star Wars movie. At least, it’s not the kind of Star Wars you’d recognize. Whereas the episodic movies are all about the magic of the Force, ‘chosen ones’, and good conquering evil, Rogue One is about the brutal tragedy of war. So much so, that I’m pretty surprised Disney let director Gareth Edwards make a Star Wars movie so dark.
There are no heroes, just people fighting whatever they have left against an enemy so powerful it seems hopeless. The Rebellion is on its last breath, still going because they don’t know what else to do, arguing amongst themselves and mistrustful of everyone. This isn’t the Alliance we were introduced to in A New Hope – this is what was happening behind the scenes, in the dirt, up against the wall – basically doing whatever it took, even if that meant becoming just as bad as the enemy you were fighting.
It is so much more than solving that big plothole in the original trilogy, I am talking about the Death Star, lemme leave it just right there instead of spoiling the experience for you.
Like so much of this film, that electrifyingly staged passage is suspended between the past of one galaxy and the present day of another. Rogue One — released 11 years after its prequel and 39 years after its sequel — isn’t just a bridge between generations, it’s a waypoint between analog and digital ways of storytelling. And on that level, it’s absolutely fascinating. Edwards clearly reveres the practical genius of George Lucas’ designs, and his film does a great job of mixing modern touches (e.g. a climactic moment that hinges on boosting a satellite signal) with more material inflections (e.g. a parallel climactic moment that hinges on someone pushing a delightfully rustic metal switch). The whole movie is compellingly balanced between old and new, determined to pave over the potholes that have been caused by corporate and creative upheaval over the years and force a feeling of cohesion upon Hollywood’s signature spectacle. This is about bringing peace to the galaxy in more ways than one.
Talking about the characters, they all delivered some fabulous performances. K-2SO (Alan Tudyk) was my favorite character from the entire flick, his sarcasm was the only thing that cooled the mood when needed. Even Chirrut Imwe (Donnie Yen) was fabulous, even after being blind he was a real badass. Jyn Erso (Felicity Jones) was the real star of the movie and the only character who got a proper introduction. There are literally more than a dozen of characters and none of them except Jyn gets proper introductions. For example, Saw Guerrera was there just because they wanted someone from Clone Wars in the flick. BTW if you folks are going to watch this movie just for Darth Vader then prepared to be disappointed as he hardly shares any screen time.
I really liked how well it tied to New Hope and while I really missed Jedi(s) or massive abusive of lightsabers, still even after that the action scenes were a pure joy. Starts off slow, but boasts a fantastic third act and a very satisfying ending. A worthy addition to the Star Wars canon.