Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016) Review

rogue-one

The story takes place not very long before the beginning of Star Wars: A New Hope. This spin-off story revolves around a young girl who’s father is captured and made a slave to the Galactic Empire. Raised to be a fighter, she joins a group of Rebels in hopes of stealing the plans of infamous Death Star and revealing how to destroy it.

I will say I am not one of the biggest Star Wars fans. I enjoy the series, but I’m not a crazy fan like those who make the films such a box office success. I loved last year’s The Force Awakens though. That said, I didn’t enjoy Rogue One very much. I feel like this is one movie that ONLY the hard core Star Wars fans will love. To me this was a totally unnecessary film. In my mind, I don’t need to know the story of how the plans of the Death Star got to Princess Leia, or the characters behind it. The story at hand serves no purpose at all other than to bank off of the real Star Wars series. I understand that they want to expand on the universe, but when a person thinks “Star Wars” they think of the original trio, and now our new characters in Rey, Finn, and Poe. I respect them for trying this out, and from the sounds of the reviews that are rolling in and the reaction by audiences (and the applause from the crowd I saw it with), it must work for quite a few, but not for me. Like I said, the idea is respectable, and Gareth Edwards provides some find direction, but at the same time, the whole story and movie screamed fan fiction to where I almost couldn’t take it seriously. I did also find myself growing extremely bored during the movie up until the final act when all of the action happened. Everything prior to the final act felt like boring sci-fi drama, but when the final act came around then it started to feel like a Star Wars movie. I absolutely loved seeing Vader do his thing in the two scenes he was in, and the very end with the tie in to A New Hope was perfect. And of course you get the excellent special effects. That’s really the gist of what I really liked about it. In terms of characters, they were very bland, flat, and under-developed, with the exception of our lead character, Jyn (played very well by the always talented Felcity Jones). All of the other characters felt as I said above. Even Forest Whitaker (admittedly I’m not a fan of him either) felt like he was totally half-assing his part (I guess it doesn’t help that Whitaker was utterly pointless in this movie). And don’t even get me started on the annoying droid K2SO who is basically C3PO combined with the annoyance of Jar Jar Binks. K2SO’s snide remarks were funny in the beginning, but then they kept reoccurring every 10 fricken minutes.

Rogue One (and the future Star Wars spin-off films) to me will serve no other purpose other than to be fillers between the REAL Star Wars movies. And that’s honestly not a good idea to me. Half the reason The Force Awaken became such a success was because it was the sequel so many waited YEARS for. To have spin-off films with no real purpose between these films will ruin the anticipation for the real films and could probably even weaken it at the box office. As I stated before, these films to me are very unnecessary and come off purely as the result of fandom reaching it’s highest point. With everything prior to the final act being boring melodrama and flat and non-engaging characters with weak acting by most of the cast, Rogue One is saved well enough by the final act, the dazzling effects, good direction by Gareth Edwards, and fine performance by Felicity Jones, as well as the pretty exciting tie-in to A New Hope. I do not doubt for a second though that the hardcore fans of Star Wars will be pleased.

NOTE: The opening feature the “A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away…” heading, but NO opening scrawl or theme. HOWEVER, right when the film ends it has the same closing theme and credits. So that last part was exciting as well.

3/5

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