So here it is. My dreaded review of the latest Star Wars film. I hate anything that makes me think I am attacking a beloved franchise but a review I must do to keep an objective mind. So here we go…*gulp*
Let me start off by saying that this was a good movie. I thoroughly enjoyed it and I will have to be honest, it wasn’t flawless. As I said, it was a good movie but there were some parts that felt off or rushed. The action was typically Star Wars. Massive air and land battles in the massive edge of your seat kind of way. The ideas for the main characters were compelling. So what happened that made it only “good” and not “great”? What happened was that in the pursuit of the action goodness, the exploration of the characters felt weak. The only really well fleshed out part was the explanation for the 2 metre gap in the Death Star. This was explained in a very clever way that I, not sure about other people, found compelling. But the character development wasn’t strong. I would have to chalk this up to either the script being rushed through those moments or it may have been because of video editing to keep the film around the 2 hour mark. Since I have not seen the original script, I will chalk it up to video editing and hope that an extended edition will flesh out the characters more. I didn’t feel like I was connected with the characters for the important dramatic points later on and this problem arose mostly in the feeling-rushed-and-hardly-explored first half of the film. I won’t put the spoiler here for the people who have not seen it yet. But I do say: Well played, Disney/Lucasfilm! My hats off to you for essentially doing the following meme (well, a spin off a meme that appeared on my facebook timeline a week or two ago):
People: “WTF? A 2 meter hole that if a torpedo hit, it would destroy a space station after traversing a large pipeline?!? You can’t justify that! That’s like a pin needle hole in a basketball. There’s no legitimate reason for that!”
Lucasfilm: “Hold my beer while I work on that…”
*While the people wait with not high expectations, Lucasfilm writes a script which results in Rogue One: A Star Wars story *
Lucasfilm: “My work here is done.”
*Takes beer back and takes a giant swig*
I do have to say I liked the blind guy (Chirrut Imwe as played by Donnie Yen Ji-Dan) who was obsessed with the mantra”I am the force and the force is with me.” I felt he was the second most compelling character (and my favorite) and the heroine had a decent backstory. It was just a shame that they butchered it short. Also, I do feel that the space battle was an homage to the giant space battle at the end of the Empire Strikes Back and the land battle was an homage to the Battle of Endor of the Return of the Jedi. Just no Ewoks involved.
I also enjoyed the sarcastic, full of sass, droid this time around known simply as K-2SO (voiced by Alan Tudyk). He certainly came across as a robot I enjoyed more than the classic C-3PO and highly entertaining. But I won’t go into too much detail about that. So minus some character development issues, the film was a good film. Better than Episode VII? I don’t think so. I will take Episode VII over this one but I would like to see Felicity Jones again in other installments of Star Wars as she had some talent for bringing to life the tough-as-nails heroine trope. All in all, a worthwhile film to see on it’s own and a worthy addition to the franchise. With it’s apparent success, it isn’t hard to see the studios doing other mini-stories to Star Wars as well. I can only hope they will do one on Boba Fett and his race. At any rate, I have died many times to bring you this review…*trails off*
PS: if that went over your head, go back and watch the original trilogy where the implied Rogue One operatives are mentioned in passing. After all, there was only one way it could end based off Mon Motha’s statement in Episode IV before the Death Star briefing.
This is a strong 8 out of 10 tie fighters (for my Empire supporting friend). A strong entry and I look forward to more Star Wars lore-expanding movies now!