Rogue One: A Star Wars Story review
A long time ago (a co) in a galaxy not so far away, Disney acquired the rights to the George Lucas-created Star Wars stories. Not only did they want their hands on the characters and famous movies from before, but they also wanted to kickstart a whole galaxy of new movies. Not only did they want to create a new trilogy to continue after the events of the original Star Wars movies, but to also develop spin off films that honestly have even more potential. As great as the old movies are, it’s a fascinating idea to expand upon the characters and events that were happening within.
I’d personally would like to see several spin off movies. A movie about Yoda might be cool, if they expand upon the little mentor to look into his early days as a jedi. Boba Fett and Obi-Wan Kenobi also might have potential with their own stories. Fans of the comics and video games have campaigned for a movie set within the events of the Knights of the Old Republic (which would be a prequel to the prequel trilogy!). Todays movie is set not too long before A New Hope with Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.
Years ago as a young girl, Jyn Erso escapes the empire when they come to her family farm to take her father back to help build a super weapon with the capability to destroy planets. Now a young woman, Jyn (played by Felicity Jones) being taken to a prision, but the rebellion helps her escape. The rebels offer her a clean slate for her previous problems in exchange for help to finding her father. She agrees and with Rebel officer Cassian Andor (played by Diego Luna) and droid K-2 (played by Alan Tudyk) head to the desert planet of Jedha to look for the one person who would know where her father is.
They run into a blind monk-like warrior Chirrut (played by Donny Yen) and mercenary Baze (played by Jiang Wen) where after a conflict with Stormtroopers, find Gerrera (played by Forest Whitaker). He reveals a hologram with Jyn’s father that reveals his love for his daughter and that the Death Star was designed with a flaw that could easily destroy it. They are also informed that blueprints for the Death Star and it’s flaw are in a secure data bank on the planet Scarif. Jyn Erso, her band of mercenaries, and even some of the rebels, plan an attack on that world against the empire and Darth Vader (played by James Earl Jones)
For it’s first outing into a spin off story, Rogue One is entertaining. I say this because I think it’s better at giving people what they want out of what to expect from Star Wars then delivering a genuine movie. That doesn’t make it bad, but it does contain flaws.
I’ll say from the start that Rogue One is shot better then The Force Awakens. Almost every frame could be captured and placed as a picture on my wall. Director Gareth Edwards really understands how to make his audience truly feel a part of this universe without 3D.
The action (especially in the final forty minutes) comes closer to the original series as they make everything feel large in this ironically small story. Seeing the X-Wing ships battle the AT-AT walkers almost felt like a scene right out of Empire Strikes Back.
What prevents this from being a great movie? Unfortunately, it’s a big problem and it’s the main charecters of Jyn Erso and Cassian. Both actors are trying their hardest and make certain parts work, but there’s not a lot to their personalities aside from tough loners. At least the side characters were there to pick up a lot of their slack. K2 got more laughs then he deserved. Even though Darth Vader’s scenes are short, his presence is dark and frightening. That’s all I can say without giving away any major spoilers.
I’ll give this four K-2s out of five. While it’s not the best of the Star Wars series, it’s certainly the best prequel. I might pop this one again, but only on a large screen where the action looked the best. It has a good story, but it needed stronger characters to make an impact. Maybe this is why this story of Star Wars wasn’t a major part of the original trilogy. Take what you can get, check it out, and may the force be with you.