Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
We really enjoyed Rogue One when we saw it in the theater at release time. We recently enjoyed rewatching it at home with my daughter who had not ever seen it before. I feel like I have a much greater appreciation for Star Wars movies now that I have recently watched (and reviewed) all of them in numbered order.
I wasn't expecting to like Rogue One as much as I did and I actually enjoyed it more the second time through. Perhaps because I caught a lot more of the references that only true Star Wars fans would understand. I've heard many people claim that this is a stand-alone movie, but I really don't agree with that. I think you would feel confused without a proper Star Wars background and I'm just not sure you would care as much about the important sacrifices made by these characters.
I enjoyed this film and I am giving it an 8 out of 10 on our rating scale. I'm going to turn you over to Alex now because his review really is well worth the read. I'm so glad he is my Star Wars buddy. It makes it so much more fun!
May Four Stars Be With Us: Past Redone: A Rogue One Story.
If you were to say the word “prequel” to anyone in the Star Wars fandom, images of Jar-Jar Binks, dumb lines about hating sand, and a general sense of denial would pervade their soul. So the makers of this film had a lot to live up to, telling the story of getting the Death Star plans and making it as epic as it seemed. The chances of failure were high. But I think they succeeded.
This film is not meant as an introduction. Rather, it takes familiar concepts and fleshes them out. This includes the issue that bugged every Star Wars fan since Day 1: How do you miss a critical engineering flaw in your battle station’s design?
Our heroes range from conflicted to hopeful, and in one instance, sarcastic. Special credit goes to Samurai type and Jedi with the serial numbers filed off, Chirrut (Blind Warrior Monk), as well as K-2SO, who, as a reprogrammed Imperial Droid, provides a nice contrast to the mannerisms of C-3PO.
In fact, the heroes are pretty much the focus of the film. But they’re not as innocent. These are actual people, with actual messed up mannerisms. Our Heroine, Jyn Erso, is recklessly troublemaking at one moment, and overcome with emotion the next. And even the rebel alliance comes out looking weathered, with members who have done bad things for the greater good.
But that’s war, isn’t it? There are no clear cut “good guys” to be found, only a conflict between those who seek to preserve hope, and those who seek to snuff it out. And by focusing on these heroes, warts and all, the story makes us feel for this ragtag group of people.
The main villains from a New Hope stand as immovable pillars, and the new bad guy, Officer Krennick, winds up fighting to make an impression. This is near impossible, but even so, he stands looking down on these rebels, a lesser pillar in the Empire.
This is not the light romp of most spinoff material. It is arguably darker than the source material. But as a message of overcoming impossible odds to keep the beacon burning brightly, it may well be the film we need the most.
However, there’s one problem. The film only works once. This isn’t like Pixar, where you get moved every time you watch. Once you’ve seen it, you know what’s happening, and the emotion loses impact.
But all in all, this is a minor quibble. The focus is developed, and everything hits just so.
Frequent readers may be expecting a review of high and low points. That’s not going to happen here. This is a rebellion, remember? I’m rebelling.
BUILT ON HOPE (8/10)
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