Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

In a time of conflict, a group of unlikely heroes band together on a mission to steal the plans to the Death Star, the Empire’s ultimate weapon of destruction. This key event in the Star Wars timeline brings together ordinary people who choose to do extraordinary things, and in doing so, become part of something greater than themselves.

It is finally here, another Star Wars film and although this time it is in the form of a prequel taking place between episodes 3 and 4.  With hype still high but somewhat lower than last year’s The Force Awakens, Rogue One flourishes.  Even with less hype than last year, this is a STAR WARS film after all expectations are high and Rogue doesn’t disappoint.

 

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Rogue One’s story introduces us to all new characters and some slight call backs to some of the past.  For the most part this film is hailed with all new characters and does not rely much on the past.  With the exception Grand Moff Tarkin, who is completely CGI, the past characters of the past receive limited screen time.  That said yes it’s true, Darth Vader receives at most 5 minutes of screen time.  As a minor complaint, I would have appreciated more Vader.  He could have carried more scenes that Grand Moff Tarkin had control of.  However the complaint is minor and the biggest villain in cinema history is used effectively.  The scenes that Vadar is in are fantastic and some of the best set pieces of the film.

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I have heard complaints that the plot for Rogue One is predictable in its climax.  I find this completely unjust considering we already know how A New Hope begins.  As for what I thought the first act is slower and a bit exposition heavy, but is necessary to set up the rest of the film.   The story is an excellent fill-gap between episodes 3 and 4 and even puts to rest an age old gripe that some fans have with the original films.  Fans of the original trilogy will love how the plot sets up the films that we know and love.

Our new characters are one of the very interesting parts of Rogue One.  All of the characters are enjoyable but out of them all Jyn Ersay is of course the standout.  She is only character that we get background on and experience a significant character arc.  One of the complaints you can make about Rogue One are the character are not significantly well realized.  While we care about them we don’t seem to become attached and learn about their motivations.  They all come across as quite disposable.  Many of the characters in significantly entertaining but you leave the film unsure of their names.  Donnie Yen in particular was my favorite, his character was well realized and was the most interesting part of the film each time he grazed the screen.  While this seems like a major complaint, it’s really not.  I still loved all the characters the same and you really don’t notice the lack of development because the story is so captivating that is pulls you in.

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Rogue One delivers some of the best special effects ever.  Director Gareth Edwards provides fans with an amazing experience.  Some shots looked as if they were straight out of the dreams of Star Wars fans.  Things we have been waiting to see for decades.  The fight and battle scenes were among my favorite of the film and were excellently choreographed.  The final set piece is unbelievable, and had everyone in my theater on the edge of their seats.  An unforgettable experience for sure.

Rogue One has its flaws but they are completely easy to overlook.  I would go as far to say that the movie is perfect in every way.  While my analytical side wanted to point out the flaws, as a movie lover and a Star Wars fan  I loved the experience even more than episode 7 of last year.  A lot of fans, myself included will have to reconsider the lists of their top Star Wars films after watching Rogue One.

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Not only is Rogue One a solid addition to the Star Wars universe it’s one of the best films of the franchise to date.

Grade: 10/10

Rankings: (As of Now)

1. The Empire Strikes Back
2. A New Hope
3. Rogue One
4.The Force Awakens
5.  Return of the Jedi
6. Revenge of the Sith
7. Attack of the Clones
8. The Phantom Menace

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