Rogue One: Spoilerific review

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So, I just saw the new Star Wars film, Rogue One today. You’ve probably seen some professional reviews by reviewers, but those guys are paid to watch movies. You want to know what an audience member thinks. Here’s my spoilerific review.

A solid film, but there was some disappointment. The plot complements the story of the original trilogy with some good embellishment on the established saga. We meet Jyn Erso, daughter of an Imperial scientist, who gets roped into the plans of the rebel alliance, who seek to obtain the plans of the first death star, which her Imperial scientist father designed. If you’ve watched the original trilogy, I think the ending of the film is quite clear really. The plans are obtained and the rebel alliance receives them.

I must give kudos to this movie, as it did have a hard job. It was outside of the main story of the saga, and it had to make its own identity. The new characters, for example, were a good reason this worked. They all did a good job with their respective characters. The heroes were a patchwork of rebels and people who were just roped in. My favourite character, and a highlight of the movie, was the robot K2-SO. A snarky reprogrammed Imperial droid who isn’t afraid to speak his mind (Did I just assume his gender? THAT’S OFFENSIVE!). I enjoyed the characters. Erso was a good lead character, whose actions triggered the domino effect which brings the empire down. Krennic was a good villain, who wants to prove himself to his superiors, and is in command of the sleek and sexy death troopers.

Our other 3 heroes, Cassion Andor, Chirrut Îmwe, Baze Malbus, and Bodhi Rook all get their own moments, and act as great heroes. The film has a great character roster, from the main players, and the minor ones. We even see Bail Organa again! The action was solid, and the story was basic, but it had complex characters, with multifaceted personalities.

In terms of certain scenes, it was great to see Darth Vader, and the action was solid. It was a great climax. I  loved seeing Darth Vader actually do stuff really reinforces the threat level of the character. In the original trilogy, Vader doesn’t do much. In Revenge of The Sith, it isn’t Darth Vader who is killing children. In this film, he does kill people, and it made him so scary.. All the main characters did. All the main players in the film dying was really quite surprising. I didn’t expect this to happen, but it makes sense. This is a war, and not everyone gets out of the war unscathed. The beach battle felt like a guerrilla war.

There are a few missteps, however, The film was a bit slow pacing wise, and was unfortunately inferior to the previous entry into the franchise. The inclusion of the death troopers, while great trailer fodder, they barely appeared or did anything in the movie. This reminded me of Captain Phasma in The Force Awakens. They look good on a trailer, but ultimately do little in the movie.

Another problem I felt was that I thought that this film didn’t really go too deep into the war film concept that it was supposed to be. I wasn’t expecting anything too gruesome, but I felt that they could have gone further with the war concept. They did a lot of good stuff with it though. But TFA did show some blood. I saw no blood on this film. It could’ve been done. And where were the Wilhelm Screams? I only heard one.

There is one more thing worth discussing with this film though, and that is the resurrection of Peter Cushing, and the CGIfication of Carrie Fisher as the young Princess Leia. There is a huge controversy regarding the ethics of it, and that will fill a whole post. In short, I have no qualms against it. I thought the CGI was very robotic, but I do believe that having the Grand Moff Tarkin character revived makes sense for the film, and he was ruthless. Same thing for Leia.

In short, I’d give the film 3.7 stars out of 5. It was a good film, and I think it was a great expansion to the story that is told in the main series, but I felt more could have been added. If they went the full hog with the war film idea, and cut the story by 20 minutes or half an hour, I’d rate it 4 stars or higher. All in all, it was a good addition to the lore of Star Wars.

 

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Ben

Since 2012, Benjamin Attwood has written for the If you Ask Ben blog.

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