Dark Vader: "Be careful not to choke on your aspirations, Director."
Rogue One follows Jyn Erso (played by Felicity Jones) a Rebellion soldier and criminal, who is about to experience her biggest challenge yet when Mon Mothma sets her out on a mission to steal the plans for the Death Star. With help from the Rebels, a master swordsman, and non-allied forces, Jyn will be in for something bigger than she thinks.
I had my worries with Rogue One, if I must admit. After the massive success of "The Force Awakens", the universe of Star Wars has now expanded even more. There's going to be more sequels, prequels, and spin-offs every year now. Why this worries me is because I fear I'm going to be sick of theses and not really get exited anymore. Star Wars should be treated like a three year event like before, it gives more time for the writers & director to really flesh out the story. It may seem like a long wait, but it'll be worth the wait. But that's not all. The trouble re shoots this went through and the ridiculous short deadlines during post-production. But after seeing the film myself, I can safely say that this new prequel isn't a bad one.
"Rogue One: A Star Wars Story" is a good movie. Not great or amazing, just decent. In my opinion, it's not up there with "A New Hope" or "Empire Strikes Back". It's more in the middle for me. If I have to be honest, I actually enjoyed "Force Awakens" more than this. Yeah, I said it. The movie is flawed, but it dose have a lot to like about it.
I can't imagine the pressure Gareth Edwards must have felt making this, kinda like what Abrams was feeling. In interviews, Gareth has said he was a Star Wars fan and it was the reason why he wanted to make movies. So this is very dear to him and while there where some slip ups in parts, but I must say that he handed the material really well. Gareth Edward is very good at making things feel huge and the heavy scale of things. The action scenes were directed so brilliantly that it actually felt like a war movie.
That's what really surprised me about "Rogue One" is how dark and depressing it is. Some people may have a problem with that, since everyone is use to these adventures with are favorite characters. For me, I didn't have an issue with it. Heck, I'm kinda glad it had the balls to go that far and be violent. The humor is very limited, but when there is humor is mostly from K-2SO (played by Alan Tudyk), who was just the best.
The CGI in this movie was incredible and quite groundbreaking. I mean, it's TOO GOOD. The way it blended with the real life environment and the action scenes was so good that half of the time I was watching computer effect's on screen. How it was executed was so beautiful and quite the achievement.
Now the biggest complaint I've been hearing from Star Wars fans is about Peter Cushing Digital Resurrection. Yep, he's back to cinematic life through the use of state-of-the-art visual effects wizardry. He's character Grand Moff Tarkin is in the movie, but instead of re-casting the role or kept his digital face in the shadows, but that's surprisingly not the case. He's in the movie quite a lot as you see him in full form and up close. This is getting a mix response from people and even I was a bit mixed on it. I was a bit weird out by it, as Peter Cushing has been dead for 22 years and seeing up there was hard to digest. But after letting it sink in, I thought it wasn't too noticeable and in a few scene I actually brought into it. I thought it looked real when he wasn't moving around or any close ups to his face. But that's just my thoughts.
Speaking of bringing back old characters, Dark Vader makes a appears in this. While he's screen time is very short, but he steals every scene he's in. Eventually the hallway scene, that was so bad-ass and one of my favorite moments in the movie. It's great to see him and James Earl Jones back as one of greatest villains of all time.
Now for the problems: The first half of "Rogue One" was a bit rough for me and I was kinda bored at times. I didn't care or got attracted to the characters. The characterization was lacking and that's a real shame, because Star Wars is all about the characters, as it's the thing we remember from these movies. It's not all about Lightsabers and battles, it's the characters. Felicity Jones, Alan Tudyk & Mads Mikkelsen characters were the only ones that I cared about. The others not so much.
Another major part of the Star Wars movies is the score. John Williams score is so iconic that it's hard to top it. It's the heart of the series and I kinda wish he did the score for this, because Michael Giacchino score wasn't that good. But I'll cut Giacchino a little slack, he only had 4 weeks to compose it and it is a tough act to follow. That goes back to what I said about the deadlines being too short.
Overall rating: "Rogue One: A Star Wars Story" is a good entry to the series and it dose feel like a dark Star Wars movie. I may have problems with the movie and I have to be honest with that, but I do think it ties in very well with "A New Hope". A plot like this was needed to fill in the 40 year old plot gap.