Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016)
Developed by: Lucasfilm
Distributed by: Walt Disney Studio
Directed by: Gareth Edwards
- Felicity Jones
- Diego Luna
- Alan Tudyk
- Donnie Yen
- Wen Jiang
- Ben Mendelsohn
I’m going to be completely honest here, I am not exactly the biggest Star Wars fan nor am I extremely familiar with the Star Wars universe (except from the common knowledge from those films). So therefore I went into this movie with literally zero expectation, partially because I have no idea what the story is about and when it takes place and also because I was so lazy that I couldn’t be bothered to click a three minute trailer on Youtube. It’s movies like these that I’m glad I went in there blind with no expectations whatsoever.
This movie is without a doubt one of the most entertaining movies I’ve watched in 2016. And there have been a lot of great films this year. I would even go as far as to say that this movie was even better than The Force Awakens.
This movie is essentially a story that takes place before A New Hope about a squad of troops called Rogue One from the Rebel Alliance attempting to steal the plans of the Death Star (a super weapon capable of destroying planets) after they’ve learned about a fatal flaw in the Death Star’s system that can be exploited.
As I said before, I’m not extremely familiar with Star Wars’ materials so just like the Force Awakens I went into the movie blind and yet I was thoroughly entertained with the big cast of characters.
Felicity Jones played Jyn Erso who’s this really badass girl who’s went through a pretty shitty childhood. I thought that she was great in this film. They didn’t try to do shit similar to Rey from Force Awakens either. In this film she isn’t really a techno wiz badass kind of person like Rey who can do pretty much anything like a badass but instead starts out as a pretty paranoid girl which is understandable considering the things that she’s experienced throughout her life. But then eventually evolves and learns her way around the Rebels and her crew which made it very satisfying.
One of my favorite characters however is Alan Tudyk as K2SO – the big black droid. What can I say? I have a soft spot for sarcastic douchebags who have a dry sense of humor, it just makes me laugh. Granted he isn’t the most sarcastic or savage character I’ve ever seen on screen but still very entertaining.
Donnie Yen as Chirrut, holy hell this guy was awesome (it’s Donnie Yen for god’s sake) he’s a blind sort of hermit martial artist that’s become extremely well verse in the way of the force, if that is not badass then I don’t know what is. I mean let’s face it, martial arts aren’t really something you would associate with Star Wars and to see something like that integrated so well into the film makes it very refreshing. I also really like his sense of humor which was never a big defining feature of his character but just enough to make him likable.
Furthermore his relationship with Baze (played by Jiang Wen) I felt that they really have good chemistry with each other. Chirrut was the “idiotic” kid brother who never takes things seriously and Baze was the older brother who facepalms every time he has to deal with Chirrut’s shenanigans, which was really fun.
Although I do wish there was more of the characters though, which brings me to some of the negatives of the cast.
There wasn’t really a lot of explanation for the characters’ backstory (save for Jyn’s backstory) which kind of bummed me out because these characters are really interesting but there was so many of them that they had to try to force everything in.
Cassian Andor (played by Diego Luna) is an example of this. I mean the character is fine but that’s the problem – he’s only fine. Mainly because he shares so much screen time with Jyn but we never really got a lot out of his backstory and motivation. I will say this, though, that Cassian did serve as a important factor of the story showing off the ugly parts of the Rebellion showing us that not everything is so black and white as there are many shades of grey (and no, don’t get the wrong idea. I hate that movie to death, how on earth did 50 Shades get a sequel is beyond me).
However with that said, the cast of villain in this movie is pretty good. Orson Krennic (played by Ben Mendelsohn) didn’t have the deepest motivation I’ve seen in movies but his explosive personality and his commanding presence makes him a really good Star Wars villain because he felt like an actual threat. A lot better than that Tarkin wannabe guy in Episode 7 (I forgot his name).
Now I’ve heard a couple of complaints about two specific characters in the film that a lot of people didn’t really like. Which is CGI Tarkin and CGI Leia (because they can’t bring back Peter Cushing – God rest his soul – and they can’t bring Carrie Fisher’s years back unless they somehow manage to find the Lazarus pit which is unlikely). I’ve heard a lot of people complained about how it was CGI and it breaks immersion. I myself didn’t really mind the CG, it was actually pretty impressive CG work actually. I mean I knew it was CG the moment Tarkin came on screen but still it didn’t break immersion for me.
One other thing that really did excite me and had me orgasm all over the place was of course Darth Vader… well, for about 5 to 10 minutes because he was barely in the movie. Which I’m totally fine with but still… goddamn it, it’s Darth Vader, and 10 minutes is just nowhere near enough. At least we get to hear that buttery voice of James Earl Jones again.
And also another thing, I must admit that it’d been a long time since I’ve seen the original Star Wars movies and at this current stage I’ve pretty much forgotten about the majority of the details in those movies (so forgive me if this detail was already in the original movies). With that said I still got to say that Rogue One had massive balls killing off every single main characters in the movie, I really didn’t expect them to do that, I thought that at least one of them would survive but nope, this guy is dead, that guy is dead, everybody is dead. It really did hit me hard though since I really liked the characters of the movie.
By far the best part about Rogue One is the extremely exciting and well shot, well choreographed battle scenes which is what Star Wars is all about. It felt massive and destructive. No more of this old school Stormtroopers missing the heroes every single shot, the enemy here actually felt threatening, they are actual soldiers, not cartoon characters, some of them even have this filthy Stormtrooper armor going on which adds to the realism. I honestly had more fun with the battle scenes here than I did with Episode 7 even when there is minimal use of lightsabers, just nothing but old school battlefield shoot out with regular foot soldiers and battleships going ballistic onto each other, it was absolutely epic. Coupled in with the amazing CGI and special effects made it an absolute joy to watch.
Now there are also a couple of other negatives of the film, mostly is the editing, more specifically the editing of the first arc of the film which is admittedly quite choppy with a couple of unnecessary scenes and scenes that were placed in a confusing way chronologically speaking. However once the film gets to about the half way point it picks itself up and the excitement just keeps coming that will really make this journey an epic one.
Overall Rogue One is one of the best Sci-fi adventure film of this year with incredible battle scenes, effects and a large and interesting cast of characters that I wish they’d shown more of their backstories. Some editing issues around the first arc of the movie but from the half way point onwards it’s nothing but pure fun and entertainment.