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Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story Review

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away....
I had the privilege of seeing an early screening of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story yesterday. I couldn't say anything about it besides that I was there until today. I've been a big Star Wars fan since the original, when it first came out, and I feel privileged to have seen the latest movie early. No Skywalker Ranch visit for me though as some other bloggers... Maybe next time (hint, hint, hint).

In short, if you're a fan of the series, you won't be disappointed. The film serves as a great sequel to Revenge of the Sith and prequel to A New Hope, filling in details here and there beyond the "let's steal the Death Star plans" plot. It is full of great battle sequences, plenty of cameos of known characters, and a diverse cast never before seen in a Star Wars movie.
I'm going to avoid any big spoilers from the movie but I will mention some of the major plot points from trailers primarily from before the movie was released. The basic premise of the movie is to show how the rebel alliance gets the plans to the Death Star. In case you couldn't guess, the new cast and crew succeed. That's the whole thing about the movie, you know they're going to succeed since you know what happens in the next movie. You kind of wonder how they're going to succeed at times, but you know they do so that does spoil things a little for you. I didn't get that feeling when watching the three prequel movies in the main series. I mean like you knew Anakin Skywalker was going to turn into Darth Vader, but that didn't affect my enjoyment of the prequel trilogy.

It is interesting to see what Disney is doing with these one off movies. In Rogue One, there is a lead female protagonist, a very diverse cast of leading characters, but still a male director. Not to knock what director Gareth Edwards did, but perhaps next available director slot could go to a female one.

About the movie... There is a good amount of drama and action in this epic space opera. The battle scenes make me flash back to the original movie with all the X-wing pilots flying around. There are also urban fight scenes, all with plenty of destruction. No exploding planets like perhaps other Star Wars movies, but the ordinary characters at the start of the movie turn into heroes by the end. Basically, the movie shows there are ordinary people in the Star Wars universe who do important things that aren't involved with Jedis.
My favorite character of the movie was Donnie Yen as Chirrut Imwe. While Felicity Jones does a great job as Jyn Erso, Donnie's portrayal of the blind monk Chirrut Imwe offers some memorable battle scenes along with his friend and battle buddy Baze Malbus. Chirrut is definitely one with the force, just not a Jedi. K-2SO is a worthy droid to add to the Star Wars universe, on the level of C-3PO for helpfulness. Forest Whitaker's portrayal of Saw Gerrera should have gotten more screen time.
One word of caution without revealing too much... I would be hesitant to bring a really young child to the movie. The movie is rated PG-13 for a reason, for its extended sequences of sci-fi violence and action. There are numerous battles scenes and people do die. Nothing too gory, but IMDb's description of the violence as "there is very little portrayal of injury or bloodshed" seems a little tamer than I would say.
I can't wait to see the movie again. I only saw the 2D version of the film. It is also available in 3D and IMAX. I may rewatch the 3rd and 4th movies of the series as a refresher to see if I pickup anything I might have missed the first time around. Overall great job and an amazing movie.
*Read my Disclosure


  1. Great review of the movie! I haven't seen it yet, but hope to soon! :) Thanks for sharing your experience!

  2. Great review, can't wait to see the movie.

  3. I am SO EXCITED for this movie; what a thrill to have been part of a special screening!