The new Star Wars movie has exploded in theaters, and even with a predictable plot, it has won a true fan’s approval.
Rogue One has shown us that Disney is going to use Star Wars as a story telling device and not as just a mere cash cow that they can crank toys out of. The new film’s story was fresh and original and had me on the edge of my seat till the credits rolled, even though I knew how it was going to end.
The story begins with a flashback, as we see our hero, Jyn Erso (Felicity Jones), living a simple farm-girl life when the Empire comes to abduct her father Galen (Mads Mikkelsen) for his top level engineering skills, which they need to design their top secret weapon, the Death Star. Years later, Jyn is thrust into the middle of a rebellion and forms a team of creative characters to rescue her dad. But their mission is thwarted by the movie’s villain, Director Krennic (Ben Mendleson), who finds out that Galen is aiding the rebels. Galen is soon killed in rebel bombing raid, but shortly before dying he informs the rebels they must steal the Death Star plans. After an emotional speech, the team gears up for a suicide mission to steal the plans, which they barley manage to accomplish before they all die.
This movie genuinely had me in tears by the end, and that’s a testament to Disney’s storytelling and character building ability. I walked into this movie with the assumption that all these characters were going to die (none of them are in the next story), but I still cared for them; they all had a story to tell and a unique personality. Not to mention the plot had me on the edge of seat the entire film, which shocked me since I knew the rebels were going to get the Death Star plans in the end. Another thing this movie did well was create action. Since this film couldn’t rely on an epic lightsaber battle, it had to present us a new style of action, and it delivered us a more grounded feel with its fast-paced blaster battles. The action scenes in this movie made Star Wars feel more like a war.
But this movie wasn’t perfect. The major flaw of this film is the pacing. In the first hour it felt like it was introducing character after character. Some of whom played a large role, but some were just offed in the next scene. A case in point is Saw Gerrera (Forest Whitaker). For those who don’t know, Saw Gerrera is a fan favorite from the Clone Wars TV show, and it felt like the producers wanted a famous actor like Forest Whitaker to portray a fan favorite character for fan service. He was poorly done and messed up the pacing of the film, but this is a small nitpick on a film that was near perfect.
Rogue One is also full of cameos and references to A New Hope, but these were all done and with extreme care, and this proves to me that these films are made with love, which as a true Star Wars fan that makes me feel good. Plus, I counted at least twenty in-jokes and cameos that the true fan will appreciate. The most notable cameo this film used, though, is Peter Cushing as Grand Moff Tarkin. Peter Cushing played this character back in 1977 with the first Star Wars film, but he passed on in 1994. By using the same CGI effect that brought Paul Walker back from the dead to finish the Fast and Furious movies, Disney has brought back a man who has been dead for twenty-two years to play not just a small cameo, but to take the spot of the secondary villain of the film. Seriously, he’s in about four scenes of the film, and that’s saying something because Darth Vader is only in two! They also used an effect to make Carrie Fisher young again to play Princess Leia at the very end of the film.
All in all, Rogue One is a great adventure/war film, but even more so it’s an amazing Star Wars film. I give it nine out of ten Cobblers. The film is one with the Force and the Force is with it.