From Lucasfilm comes the first of the Star Wars standalone films, “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story,” an all-new epic adventure. 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.
What We Thought:
I liked Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, but didn’t seem to love it like others I know. I’ll watch it again. I’ll own it and it’s definitely part of the Star Wars universe, but I just didn’t have the emotional attachment to it that I had for The Force Awakens.
I’ll start with the positives. Donnie Yen and Alan Tudyk steal the film. I’m a huge fan of both actors and both are great. Tudyk shines as the voice of K-2S0. He mixes his humor with what feels like an homage to Anthony Daniels’ C3PO.
I’ve been a fan of Yen’s Asian films for years and I’m thrilled to see him in a franchise like this. As a blind monk warrior who believes in The Force, but does not possess it like a Jedi, he has some tremendous action scenes. He takes on Stormtroopers with a stick and whoops them all. If you are a fan of his Ip Man series, you’ll love him in this.
I think why I didn’t love the film is because as a fan of Star Wars, you already know what will happen. This film takes place right before the original film (A New Hope) so you can kind of guess where it’s heading. That’s fine, it happens in a lot of movies, but I think that’s where my lack of emotional attachment came from. I didn’t latch on to these characters because you know what will happen. The Force Awakens brought in new characters like Rey and Finn and you didn’t know what to make of them. I’m trying not to spoil anything, but again, if you’ve seen A New Hope, you know the premise of this film.
I also thought the film missed a few opportunities it could have taken. Sure you never want to fill a movie with countless cameos just so fans can say “Oh look, it’s blank”, but it could have had some random ones that might have gone over some people’s heads. You could have thrown some X-wing favorites from the original trilogy in the big battle at the end. There’s 2 cameos, well 1 is more a character, that come from the original trilogy but they are CGI’d and don’t look so good. It’s obviously hard to de-age someone by 40 years or digitally make a character that was portrayed by an actor who is now dead, but there’s ways of doing it. Shoot someone from behind and don’t show their face. Fans will understand who they are. The CGI character of the dead actor was quite scary to look at.
This probably sounds more negative than positive, but again I did like Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. It has some good action sequences and I’m always down to see Darth Vader, the greatest movie villain of all time, even if he’s underused. The film fits nicely in between Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope and is definitely a Star Wars film. I don’t see it doing The Force Awakens money, but it certainly will be a blockbuster and the number one movie of 2016.
Cast & Crew:
- Felicity Jones
- Alan Tudyk
- Forest Whitaker
- Donnie Yen
- Ben Mendelsohn
- Diego Luna
Recommended If You Like:
- Star Wars
- The Empire Strikes Back
- The Return of the Jedi