Technically day 18, we are at.
Welcome back! I hope you enjoyed my story earlier today, but now I have something hot off the theater. I have watched Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, and now I am here to give my impressions of the film. I am sure they will settle down in the coming days, but I am very excited to talk about this amazing film. If you want a spoiler-free opinion, I say I would juggle it around with A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back as the best film in the franchise. If you want a number rating (which I do not like) it is a 9/10, with The Force Awakens being a 7/10. I would try to make a conscious effort not to talk about spoilers, but I know I would slip. So, spoilers will be below.
Are you ready?
Unlike The Force Awakens, Rogue One is far more tasteful in its originality while remaining very loyal as a Star Wars film. It definitely strays away without the Jedi having a role in the film, but it feels like a gritty Star Wars film that is real. It respects the original trilogy and aspects of the prequels, even going as far as to include some actors and a planet from it. One thing I cannot ignore is the littering of references here and there, with characters and technology appearing in very subtle but noticeable ways, and it is welcome after last year’s film.
The characters are likable, and very well acted. They feel like ordinary people amidst a war for a greater cause, and an ugly side of rebellion is shown as well. The film ultimately was not very grey, however, despite this. It is still a tale of good versus evil, which is to be expected. Jyn Erso does carry the film well, and her development and charisma work for a one-off appearance. K-2SO will be a fan favourite for sure, and Director Krennic is a classic Imperial officer who serves well as the main antagonist. Appearances from returning characters are also very tasteful, with Darth Vader fulfilling his role in spades, Tarkin fitting into the film very naturally. The same can be said for Mon Mothma and various cameos such as C-3PO and R2-D2.
The fact that all the main characters die at the end of the film help to elevate the gritty feel that war is hell, and also that hope remains in the Rebellion. The final battle over Scarif may be my favourite battle in the films, as it is grand without the clutter of the prequels (yes, even the opening from Revenge of the Sith is probably not as good as popular opinion deems it to be) and the limitations that faced the originals. It does not shy away from battles on both ground and air and shows both the Rebels and Imperials turning their own tides in a balanced fight that serves as a victory for both.
The portrayal of the Empire in this film is also one of its strong suits. They are a totalitarian body that encompasses all, and this film shows that the are to be feared. Normal Stormtroopers are backed by bulkier counterparts that do serious damage to the main characters, and the Death Star proves to show how inevitable death may be for some of the Rebels.
To end off my first impressions, I can say that the score was very good even without John Williams and that the CGI was well-implemented as well. Emotions existed, character motivation existed, and heart existed in this film as well. I was smiling at the end, which does say something that not a lot of films are able to.
In this moment of time, I can finally say we have a good Star Wars prequel. It flows into A New Hope perfectly, in every sense of that word. I will let that sink in, and I will see you tomorrow.
Good night. 🙂